Chapter Events

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June 2018


Tour of Plaster Creek Stewards' Work

This event has ended
Monday, June 18th, 2018
to (Eastern Time)

Presenter: Deanna Geelhoed, Program Coordinator, Plaster Creek Stewards

1700 28th Street SE Grand Rapids

Description: On the tour we will visit a sample of work done by Plaster Creek Stewards (PCS) including a rain garden, bioswale, etc. Learn how PCS is transforming urban spaces into stormwater-capturing biodiversity hot spots. Meet at 6:30 pm at the Christian Reformed Church parking lot - 1700 28th Street SE Grand Rapids, MI 49508.
Deanna will provide information on other locations around town where the Stewards have been working, so people can stop to see them when they have time.

Please wear comfy walking shoes and dress to be outside!

Biography: Deanna Geelhoed graduated from Calvin College with a degree in Biology and Spanish. As the Program Coodinator of Plaster Creek Stewards you will most often find her working with students at rain gardens in the community, growing plants in the greenhouse or educating about Plaster Creek.

About Plaster Creek Stewards
Plaster Creek Stewards works to restore the health and beauty of the Plaster Creek watershed through community education, research, and on-the-ground restoration projects.

The Plaster Creek Watershed is a 58 square mile area that drains into the Grand River near Market and I-196 in downtown Grand Rapids. In addition to the 14 miles of stream that make up Plaster Creek, the watershed includes 5 different townships (Gaines, Caledonia, Cascade, Ada, and Grand Rapids Twp.) and 4 municipalities (Kentwood, Wyoming, Grand Rapids and East Grand Rapids).

Plaster Creek is labeled "unfit for partial body contact" by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The stream routinely tests positive for high rates of E. coli bacteria, and it has also been shown to be contaminated with toxic substances and excess nutrients from fertilizers. Erosion, sedimentation, and thermal pollution are constant problems in the stream that are exacerbated by high rates of storm water run-off.


July 2018


Fifth Annual Native Plant and Pollinator Garden Tour, Native Plant Sale and Fundraiser at Brewery Vivant

This event has ended
Monday, July 16th, 2018
to (Eastern Time)

Fifth Annual River City Wild Ones Native Plant
and Pollinator Garden Tour, Native Plant Sale
and Fundraiser at Brewery Vivant
See Michigan?s native plants in a city garden setting, and learn how you can plant your own!

The garden is located in front of the Inner City Christian Federation Building

Aralia racemes, American Spikenard Photo: Robert Routledge, Sault College,

Native Plant and Shrub Sale
(5 species of shrubs, 10 species of perennials)
Native Garden Experts
Native Plant Education

New this year?native shrubs!
Aronia melanocarpa- Red Chokeberry
Diervilla lonicera
- Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle
Potentilla fruticosa - Shrubby Cinquefoil
Spiraea alba
- Meadowsweet
Spiraea tomentosa- Steeplebush

Rudbeckia triloba - Brown-eyed Susan

10 native perennials that will be offered:
Asclepius tuberosa - Butterfly Milkweed
Aralia racemosa - American Spikenard
Liatris pycnostachya - Prairie Blazing Star
Mitella diphylla - Bishop's Cap
Parthenium integrifolium - Wild Quinine
Penstemon digitalis - Foxglove Beardtongue
Rudbeckia triloba - Brown-eyed Susan 
Ruellia humilis - Wild Petunia
Solidago cassia - Blue Stemmed Goldenrod
Symphyotrichum cordifolium - Heart-Leaved Aster

Download the NPEG Event flyer 2018

Fundraiser for River City Wild Ones at Brewery Vivant 
925 Cherry St  SE. 
The Brewery will donate $1 to RCWO for every beer sold
during pub hours on 7/16/18 from 3 pm to 11 pm.


For sale at the event:
Michigan Shrubs and Vines (Book)
A Guide to Species of the Great Lakes Region

University of Michigan Press, 2016

By Burton V. Barnes, Christopher W. Dick, and Melanie E. Gunn

Price $25.00

The essential reference for identifying shrubs and woody vines in Michigan and the Great Lakes Region

Shrubs and vines are some of the most diverse and widespread plants in the Great Lakes Region. Michigan Shrubs and Vines is the must-have book for anyone who wishes to identify and learn about these fascinating plants. Presented in the same attractive, easy-to-use format as the classic Michigan Trees, the book gives detailed descriptions of 132 species, providing concise information on key characters, habitat, distribution, and growth pattern. Precise line drawings accompany each species description and illustrate arrangement and characteristics of leaves, flowers, and fruits in addition to stem structure to assist with reliable year-round identification. A thorough introduction covers the features and forms of shrubs and vines as well as their natural history, their role in landscape ecosystems, and their occurrence in regional ecosystems of North America and plant communities of the Great Lakes. This long awaited companion to Michigan Trees will appeal to botanists, ecologists, students, and amateur naturalists alike.

?Burton V. Barnes was Stephen H. Spurr Professor Emeritus of Forestry in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. He is best known for his love of field teaching and his research and publications in forest and landscape ecology.
?Christopher W. Dick is Director of the Edwin S. George Reserve at the University of Michigan and Associate Curator of the UM Herbarium.
?Melanie E. Gunn is Outreach Coordinator at Point Reyes National Seashore in California.

Also River City Wild Ones logo items will be for sale!

Photos from the 2017 event below.



August 2018


Guided Hike and Update on the Health of Michigan's Trees

This event has ended
Monday, August 20th, 2018
to (Eastern Time)

Guided Hike and Update on the Health of Michigan?s Trees
Emerald Ash Borer Photo: Eric R. Day, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,

Description: Emerald ash borer, oak wilt, hemlock wooly adelgid?how serious are these threats to our beloved Michigan forests and what can we do about it? Join us as we hike through an oak wilt infestation and learn about tree health.

Meet in the parking lot of the Wittenbach Wege Center.

Presenter: Nick Sanchez, Kent Conservation District Forester

Nick Sanchez with his insect trap

Biography: Nick Sanchez is the Conservation District Forester covering Montcalm, Kent and Ionia Counties. He received his bachelor's degree in Forestry from MSU. He lives in Grand Rapids and enjoys hiking and camping.

Hemlock Wooly Adelgid Photo: Elizabeth Willhite, USDA Forest Service,

About Wege Foundation Natural Area: Located just outside of Lowell, adjacent to Lowell High School and the Wittenbach/Wege Environmental Center, this preserve is often used as an outdoor classroom by Lowell-area students and nature enthusiasts. Hiking trails wind through mixed hardwood forests, cross over a trout stream, and wander through old farm pastures.

A well-established system of trails leads hikers through diverse habitats, including mature hardwood forests, young mixed woodlands, and old fields undergoing restoration.

The Wege Natural Area protects high-quality natural land in an area dominated by suburban and agricultural land uses. The hardwood swamp and shrub-carr wetlands on the property are particularly diverse, together supporting more than 100 native plant species and an abundance of wildlife. Those areas also protect water quality along a half-mile of Lee Creek, a groundwater-fed trout stream that flows into the Grand River. The Land Conservancy?with the help of many volunteers?is also working to limit the impacts of invasive species on the highest quality forests and wetlands on the preserve.

Banner photo: Oak Wilt, Paul A. Mistretta, USDA Forest Service,

September 2018


Restoring Biodiversity to Home Landscapes

This event has ended
Monday, September 17th, 2018
to (Eastern Time)

Description: Anyone who has visited Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary knows it is a haven for flora and fauna alike. Come learn from our own Ranger Steve how you can manage your backyard ecosystem to turn it into a sanctuary.

Presenter: Ranger Steve Mueller

Biography: Ranger Steve is ecosystem ecologist at Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary that is managed to enhance biodiversity. His research focus is with butterflies and moths. He is retired director of the Wittenbach/Wege Agri-science and Environmental Education Center, and Howard Christensen Nature Center. Ranger Steve?s Nature Niche column appears weekly in newspapers and in various local, state, and national conservation organization publications. His columns are archived and found online by Googling Cedar Springs Post, click outdoors, and click nature niche.
Above banner photo by Charlie Lemmink

October 2018


Native Plants and Our Changing Planet

This event has ended
Monday, October 15th, 2018
to (Eastern Time)

Description: Learn about the latest research from the Lau Lab on how plant populations respond to human-caused environmental change, the ecology and evolution of species interactions, and natural selection in the wild.

Presenters: Meredith Zettlemoyer and Susan Magnoli, Graduate Students, Michigan State University, Kellogg Biological Station.

Entry and parking instructions for October 15th program
Click here for map
Bunker Interpretive Center’s main entrance at 1750 East Beltline Ave. SE is still under construction; for your safety do not enter this way. Instead, please use the directions below:
From the south:  Drive north on East Beltline past Burton Street. When you pass under the overhead walkway, watch for an exit lane on the right. Exit the Beltline, turn right at the stop sign and follow East Campus Drive around to parking lot 16 and Prince Conference Center.
From the north:  Drive south on East Beltline past Lake Drive, and exit at the first opportunity to the right. Make a left onto a campus road, and left again at the next two stop signs. Go under the Beltline, then right at the fork. Follow East Campus Drive around to parking lot 16 and Prince Conference Center.
To reach our building: enter Prince Conference Center through the east door, go straight through the hallway and out the rear door to the trail leading to the Bunker Interpretive Center. We appreciate Prince Conference Center staff accommodating us during our construction; please be respectful of their hotel guests as you pass through the building.

November 2018


Annual Meeting and Potluck

This event has ended
Monday, November 19th, 2018
to (Eastern Time)

Join Wild Ones River City Chapter for an eventful evening of great food, friendly conversation and a sneak peak at 2019. We’ll share in a potluck, elect officers, learn what’s in store next year, plus introduce some brand new projects. 

LOCATION Note: this is a change in venue from previously advertised. 
The Dominican Center at Marywood - Rooms 1,2, 3
2025 Fulton Street East, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Use Lakeside Drive entrance
(Directions below.)
Please bring an appetizer or a dessert to share.
Beverages will be provided. To reduce waste, please bring your own table service. 
Don’t forget to sent in a garden selfie for our slideshow to be shown during our potluck.
Send to [email protected]. Deadline: November 10)
Members will elect officers for 2019. All candidates are incumbent:
Marty Arnold, President
Marti MacArthur, Vice-President
Treasurer, Ann Nowak
Secretary, Joyce Turharsky
Our guest and planning consultant, Todd Johnson, of River City Consultants, will review an “organizational scan” completed by Board of Directors in October. The Board has identified focus areas for itself and its standing committees, but will also introduce several member-led initiatives. Come see how you can make new things happen at Wild Ones! 

Free event. No registration necessary.

We’re saving you a place at the table.



Driving West on Fulton Street: turn right (north) on Lakeside Drive (it comes immediately after traffic light at Lakeside Dr.) Go to the second driveway on the left of Lakeside Dr.  (Do not turn into the first driveway which is for the Marywood Health Center)  Park in the large parking lot to your left.

Driving East on Fulton Street: Go just beyond driveway marked Dominican Sisters on Fulton St. and turn left (north) on Lakeside Drive. Go to the second driveway on Lakeside on left. (The first driveway is for the Marywood Health Center). Park in the large parking lot to your left.

Driving West on Michigan Street: Turn left (south) on Lakeside Dr. (Third Reformed Church is on corner).  Pass Romence Nursery and a few houses. Take the first driveway marked Dominican Sisters, Aquinata Hall, etc. and park in the larger lot on your left.

Driving East on Michigan Street: Turn right on Lakeside Dr. (Third Reformed Church is on corner).  Pass Romence Nursery and a few of houses. Take driveway marked Dominican Sisters, Aquinata Hall, etc., and park in the larger lot on your left.

From the Parking Lot: Walk through the Breezeway under the sign that says, Dominican Center at Marywood. Proceed down the ramp to the main door (green awning).  Potluck will be in Rooms 1,2,3.  The receptionist will give directions if needed.

Entrance from Lakeside Drive

Breezeway to Dominican Center entrance