Chapter Events

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February 2023

Feb
20

Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan

Monday, February 20th, 2023
to (Eastern Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Will be Recorded Chapter Meeting Program/Speaker Presentation

ZOOM presentation by Barbara J. Barton, Author

In her presentation "Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan", Barb Barton will introduce us to the history, culture, biology, economics, and spirituality surrounding this sacred plant. She begins her story in the days before European colonization and travels in time through the logging and industrialization eras. Barton explores the worlds of the Anishinaabek and the colonizers as she contrasts their different perspectives and relationships with Manoomin. The audience also learns about Michigan’s historic wild rice beds, why many of them vanished, and how both tribal and nontribal people have sought to restore and protect Manoomin across the landscape. Attendees will also learn how Manoomin is harvested and processed. As one reviewer has noted, this book “makes me want to paddle the backwaters of Michigan’s rivers and lakes, searching for lost stands of this amazing grass.”

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March 2023

Mar
20

Aldo Leopold and Finding a Land Ethic for Our Time

Monday, March 20th, 2023
to (Eastern Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Will be Recorded Free Event Chapter Meeting Program/Speaker Presentation

Presented by Martha (Marty) MacCleery, Wild Ones River City Chapter Education Chair on Zoom.

The audience will be drawn into the life and contributions of Aldo Leopold, the father of the Land Ethic. He authored the landmark book, "A Sand County Almanac", published in 1949, that proposes that land is a community of living things to be loved and respected, a core tenant of his term land ethic. When one loves and respects the land, then one appreciates it as living circulating system that can nurture all forms of life, not just humans.    

Follow Aldo Leopold as he joins the U.S. Forest Service in 1909 and begins working around the country, all the while observing and thinking about what he saw and experienced. In 1935 he purchased a worn out sand county farm near Madison, Wisconsin. He and his family slowly turned the old farm into a beautifully restored landscape with abundant wildlife. That experience along with a lifetime of rich work experiences, became the basis of his landmark book, "A Sand County Almanac", considered to be the basis of the conservation movement of the 20th century.

After watching a 2.5 minute trailer of Green Fire, the Emmy Award winning documentary on Aldo Leopold, the presenter will challenge audience members to envision a bold modern conservation movement for our time. Together they will explore some modern interpretations of landscape stewardship in the 21st century, all the while honoring Aldo Leopold’s legacy.  Such reasons for hope include David Tallamy’s Homegrown National Park™ and emphasis on keystone native plants, leveraging right-of-way corridors by including native shrubs and understory trees, and landscaping with the needs of birds in mind, thereby preserving the food web for all animals, including us!

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April 2023

Apr
17

Planning, Planting and Maintaining your Native Garden-Ask the Professionals

Monday, April 17th, 2023
to (Eastern Time)
Bunker Interpretive Center - Calvin University, 1750 E Beltline Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49546 Map

Public Welcome Free Event Chapter Meeting Program/Speaker Presentation Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

Presented by Amy Heilman, Rebecca Marquardt, and Alysia Babcock—three landscape professionals and Wild Ones members. They will utilize a typical residential garden design to discuss considerations when planning, implementing and maintaining a garden composed of native plant species. Participants will have ample opportunity to ask questions or state problems/issues they may have on their own properties. Presenters will use these inputs to provide answers and discuss solutions.

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May 2023

May
15

Spring Wildflowers and Flower Photography

Monday, May 15th, 2023
to (Eastern Time)
Aman Park, 1859 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI, 49504 Map

Public Welcome Family Friendly Free Event Chapter Meeting Nature Walk/Hike Public Restroom Free Public Parking Lots of Physical Activity

Presented by Craig Elston, Naturalist/Photographer, CDE Nature

Address is actually 0-1859 Lake Michigan Dr. NW as it is in Ottawa County.

This program will be a combination wildflower hike and flower photography lesson. We will look at and learn about the flowers in bloom and receive tips and instruction on taking better flower photos. The first half will cover the shorter, upper loop trail that is mostly level ground. For those interested in going further, we will proceed to where the Virginia bluebells and trillium are growing and will practice photographing them.

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June 2023

Jun
19

Michigan Wildflower Farm Tour

Monday, June 19th, 2023
to (Eastern Time)
Michigan Wildflower Farm, 11770 Cutler Rd, Portland, MI, 48875 Map

Public Welcome Free Event Chapter Meeting Group Tour Lots of Physical Activity

Learn all about the operation of a wildflower seed farm while walking the seed production fields. We'll frequently stop to discuss farm operations and  how our seeds are used in landscapes.

Dress for the weather and for walking. Bring camera and notepad/pen if desired.

Carpooling recommended.

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July 2023

Jul
19

Annual Native Plant Sale

Wednesday, July 19th, 2023
to (Eastern Time)
Fulton Street Farmers Market, 1145 Fulton St E, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503 Map

Public Welcome Family Friendly Free Event Seed/Plant Sale Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking

Annual Native Plant Sale (Pickup and Browse & Buy)

Order online on our website July 1-15. Wild Ones members receive early access. More info to come!

August 2023

Aug
21

Supporting Native Bees in Your Backyard!

Monday, August 21st, 2023
to (Eastern Time)
Bunker Interpretive Center, Calvin University, 1750 E Beltline Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49546 Map

Public Welcome Free Event Chapter Meeting Program/Speaker Presentation Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

Presented by Jenna Walters, PhD Candidate, Michigan State University

Michigan is home to over 467 species of wild bees, making our state an incredible oasis of diversity and wildlife. However, many of these bees need our help in order to persist and thrive for years to come. Join us as we take a look at some of the native bees you might find in your own backyard and explore the ways you can help save the bees!

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September 2023

Sep
18

Native Prairie Restoration at Kent County Parks

Monday, September 18th, 2023
to (Eastern Time)
Millennium Park, 1415 Maynard Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI, 49534 Map

Public Welcome Free Event Chapter Meeting Program/Speaker Presentation Nature Walk/Hike Public Restroom Free Public Parking Lots of Physical Activity

Presented by Ginny Sines, Volunteer Services Coordinator, Kent County Parks

This program will include a short history of native prairie habitats, why they are an important part of a ecosystem and how Kent County Parks Department is supporting Native Prairie areas at multiple County park sites. The program will also include a prairie species ID walk and native prairie seed harvesting workshop. Attendees will learn to ID some of the common native prairie grasses and forbs and will have the opportunity to participate in a seed harvesting activity. We will be collecting seeds to bring home and will hear a short presentation at one of the pavillions about how to overwinter seeds.

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October 2023

Oct
16

Medicinal Botany: Exploring traditional ecological knowledge and western laboratory science

Monday, October 16th, 2023
to (Eastern Time)
Bunker Interpretive Center, Calvin University, 1750 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49525 Map

Public Welcome Free Event Chapter Meeting Program/Speaker Presentation Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

Presented by Madison (Maisie) Wiler

Four out of five FDA-approved medicines are derived from plant compounds. Even so, scientists believe that nature's pharmaceutical value is largely unexplored—but many scientists seeking to develop new medicines fail to consult with indigenous nations, whose traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) encompasses medicines unknown or unused in western pharmacology. This presentation will explore traditional medicines, their uses, and will provide an evidentiary basis for their efficacy with comparisons to western laboratory science. Additionally, we will discuss the issue of exploitation of Indigenous nations by pharmaceutical companies.

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November 2023

Nov
13

Annual Meeting/Seed Swap

Monday, November 13th, 2023
to (Eastern Time)
Bunker Interpretive Center at Calvin University, 1750 E Beltline Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49546 Map

Public Welcome Free Event Chapter Social Seed/Plant Swap Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

Join us for fun evening to connect with your fellow Wild Ones and to meet newcomers! 

We will be celebrating the end of our 16th year as a chapter and our accomplishments this year. The River City 2024 officers and board members will be introduced. Refreshments will be served.

Attendees are encouraged to bring native seeds from their garden to share.

Bring native seeds to share if you have them. Please follow these instructions for the seeds:

Separate dry seeds from plant material
Enclose in an envelope no larger than letter size (one species per envelope)
Write on the envelope:
o   Common name
o   Latin name
o   Sun/Shade
o   Soil type Wet/Dry
o   Your name

If you are new to native plants and don’t have seeds to share, no worries, you can still take home some seeds.