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February 2020


Bring Back the Pollinators: Strategies to Promote Pollinators in Your Yard

This event has ended
Monday, February 17th, 2020
to (Eastern Time)

Bring Back the Pollinators: Strategies to Promote Pollinators in Your Yard
Presented by Dr. Rufus Isaacs, Professor of Entomology and Extension Specialist at MSU

Dr. Isaacs will update the group on our ongoing research at MSU to understand the identity, status, and trends of wild bees in Michigan. This will be partnered with a discussion of the benefit of small local actions that can magnify to support pollinators at the county and state levels. 

BIO: Rufus Isaacs is a professor and extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University, where he directs the Berry Crops Entomology program. Dr. Isaacs received his BS and Ph.D. from Imperial College at the University of London. He has worked as an agricultural entomologist for twenty years conducting research in vegetable, field crop, and fruit agriculture, studying various aspects of insect behavior, ecology, and management. Pollinator conservation and pollination of fruit crops is the current focus of his lab, where he works with students and postdoctoral researchers to develop strategies for sustainable pollination. Their recent studies have identified the native bee community in blueberry farms, examined bee-pesticide interactions, and quantified the contribution of native bees to crop pollination. Current research projects are exploring the role of farmland conservation practices in supporting beneficial insects, including bees, at fruit farms. Dr. Isaacs is the director of the SCRI Integrated Crop Pollination Project.

Photos by Valerie Lindeman

March 2020


Birds, Insects, Native Plants and Much More: Inviting the Web of Life into Your Yard

This event has ended
Monday, March 16th, 2020
to (Eastern Time)

Important Wild Ones River City Chapter Update:

March 12, 2020

Dear Wild Ones Members,

The board has been in a discussion of the unique and uncertain situation the highly contagious Coronavirus has presented to us in terms of whether or not to have a meeting this Monday, March 16th. Many of the members in our Chapter are in the at-risk group of people over 60 years of age who may also have additional health and immune conditions that would put them at higher risk of contracting the Coronavirus and possibly becoming extremely ill.

After discussion, with the members of our Wild Ones River City Board, and in particular, with the Education Committee who had planned to present a wonderful program that they have been preparing for the past six months, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the March 16th Chapter meeting.

Our hope is that after this crisis has passed, we will be able to reschedule this highly anticipated program so that the good information it contains can be shared with a large audience in attendance.

We apologize for the disappointment this may have caused, but hopefully, we will all stay safe and healthy. We will look forward to the time when the virus is no longer a threat, and we can return to our monthly meetings without the stress and worry of being in a potentially contagious situation.


Marti MacArthur,
President of Wild Ones River City, Grand Rapids Chapter

Birds, Insects, Native Plants and Much More:
Inviting the Web of Life into Your Yard
This program is a result of the collaborative work of the Education Committee of Wild Ones River City Chapter (WORC).

At the conclusion of the program, Education Committee members will individually highlight their favorite native plant book and explain why it’s their favorite! 

Presented by Martha MacCleery, WORC Education Chair

The program will offer wonderful nuggets of information for beginners, veterans, and everyone in between!

What is our cultural history of large lawns and choosing exotic plants for our landscapes? 
How do native plants increase insects in our yard and thus help birds? 
How to transform your yard into a nourishing “foraging hub” that provides ecosystem services such as food, shelter, and nesting sites for wildlife? 
Should your yard be all native plants? Not necessarily.  
Are there differences in ecosystem services provided by native plants? Yes! 
What are some of the native plants and shrubs that will be available this Spring and what are their requirements?

The program will include insights from the book, Bringing Nature Home, by Douglas Tallamy

"Juicy caterpillars like the spin oak slug (Euclea delphinii) provide valuable nutrients and energy for birds and other animals."  —Douglas Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home

Native trees that produce berries are an essential food source for birds.

Marty MacCleery pictured with her educational display.

Speaker Bio:
Martha (Marty) MacCleery became reawakened to her love of gardening while spending a decade in Wilmington, DE. Marty and her son, Beau, became enthralled with Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA, as well as, Mt Cuba Center and Winterthur in Wilmington, DE.  She was inspired to apply what she’d learned at these wonderful institutions to her own yard, and thus began a life-long passion.

Although her working career was science-based (medical records administration, pharmaceutical research & development, including sales), gardening satisfies both her love of science and the arts. She joyfully shares her love of insects, plants, and animals with young children in 4-H, leads public tours as a volunteer docent at Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, and serves as chair of the Education Committee at Wild Ones River City Chapter. She is also an Advanced Master Gardener and Master Naturalist through MSU Extension.

Banner photo -  Cedar Waxwing © Valerie Lindeman

April 2020


Monarch Butterflies, Migration and Human Impact

This event has ended
Monday, April 20th, 2020
to (Eastern Time)


Monarch Butterflies, Migration and Human Impact
Presented by Stephen B. Malcolm, Chemical Ecologist and Professor, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Western Michigan University

Program Description
The monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus (L.), is a familiar, milkweed-feeding insect that exploits a high diversity of approximately 130 species of native milkweed in the genus Asclepiasacross North America. The butterfly has a complex migratory life history that enables them to exploit Asclepias milkweeds over the entire distribution of these plants in North America. These annual movements bring the insects into contact with a series of human technologies that pose both threats and solutions to their viability. I explore how and why monarchs migrate to find these larval host plants and the impact of the threats they face as they negotiate ecosystems dominated by human activities.

Photo by Rob Routledge, Sault College,

Stephen Malcolm is a chemical ecologist interested in chemically mediated interactions among plants, herbivores, and natural enemies. He is particularly interested in how cardiac-active steroids vary in milkweeds in response to insect herbivore attack, how these steroids are handled by the herbivores and how they impact parasitoids and predators. In addition, he works on ways to measure the ecological risks associated with widespread agricultural use of genetically modified plants. These interests merged with a controversy over the effects of Bt corn pollen on monarch butterfly larvae feeding on milkweeds.

Malcolm has:

Edited the interdisciplinary journal Chemoecology.
Presented research papers at Gordon Research Conferences and at international meetings and universities in the U.S., Europe and Australia.
Published extensively in refereed journals and books including Biology and Conservation of the Monarch Butterfly.

Stephen Malcolm's personal website.

May 2020


Plants and Ecology of Aman Park: A Tour Led by Botanists With Over 50 Years of Experience

This event has ended
Monday, May 18th, 2020
to (Eastern Time)

Note from the Program Committee:
Since this spring is different for us, we wanted to find a new (and safe) way to learn about the unique ecosystems that are found at Aman Park. Members of the Program Committee and botanist Bill Martinus did a walking tour of a portion of Aman Park and here are their notes on the Ecology and Spring Wildflowers. Additionally, to supplement the cancelled guided hike and wildflower tour that was scheduled for May 18, 2020, we wanted to add historical context for Aman Park. Many thanks to Kayne Ferrier for doing this research and for writing this piece.

Enjoy learning about Aman Park through reading these notes and accompanying photos. We are hopeful that some of our members will be encouraged to head to the park on their own, using the information found in these pages to go on a self-guided tour. As all parks are experiencing an increase in visitation, Aman Park has traditionally been busy when the Trillium and Virginia Bluebells are in bloom. You may want to consider going in the morning or when it is raining, when fewer people will be there. 

Aman Park's address is 0-1859 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids 49534

If a visit to Aman Park is not possible, we are delighted to direct you to a video series, created by Craig Elston, of CDE Nature and the Hudsonville Nature Center. Craig also furnished the photographs of some of the plants that can be found in Aman Park. Craig Elston's Video Series on Spring Wildflowers 

May the sharing and/or finding of these different Spring wildflowers, bring you inspiration, encouragement, and joy during these uncertain times.
Click here to see our virtual May program. We hope you enjoy it!

Group Hike CANCELED*
due to social distancing guidelines
Plants and Ecology of Aman Park: A Tour Led by Botanists With Over 50 Years of Experience*

Presented by William (Bill) Martinus and Leon (Chip) Schaddelee, Botanists

Program Description 

The program will include a one-mile hike through the floristically rich Sand Creek floodplain forest and oak-forest upland.  The talk will focus on descriptions of the different plant communities of Aman Park, how the landscape was shaped by geology and history. We will see numerous plant species including ferns, grasses, sedges, trees, shrubs, and wildflowers and learn the stories they tell.

White Trillium

Virginia Bluebells



William (Bill) Martinus holds a B.A. in Art, Education, Natural Sciences, from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI. He taught in public and private schools for 30 years. Bill formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Botanical Society. He conducts Natural Features Inventories of National Parks and numerous local parks and preserves.

Leon (Chip) Schaddelee holds a B.A. in English from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI. He taught in public and private schools for 30 years. In the 1980-90s he was a field worker for Michigan Natural Features Inventory—traveling around the state of Michigan, tracking down historical records for rare plant species and inventorying. He also was a field worker for The Nature Conservancy—inventorying preserves and potential preserves. In 1989 he was a field worker for Michigan Natural Features Inventory conducting plant inventories for Allegan State Game Area.

William Martinus botanizing in the new Ottawa Sands property, Ottawa County Parks

Shirley Martinus, wife of William, finding a curious tree in Van Buren Street Dunes, Ottawa County Parks

Leon (Chip) Schaddelee exploring in the middle of nowhere.

June 2020


Green Stormwater Infrastructure 101 and Raingarden Installation Online Program

This event has ended
Monday, June 15th, 2020
to (Eastern Time)

Due to COVID 19 concerns, our June program will be presented online. Speakers Kelly Goward and Jamie Vaughn have kindly agreed to record their presentations as an online videos. Available on Wild Ones River City YouTube Channel  on June 15. 

Green Stormwater Infrastructure 101:
How Your Yard Can Benefit the Greater Watershed Community

Presented by Kelly Goward, Environmental Program Manager, Macatawa Area Coordinating Council

The water cycle is one of the most basic functions that support life, yet humans have done so much to alter it, and not in a good way. We will explore the ways that humans have altered the water cycle, and how this has impacted the environment. We will learn how green stormwater infrastructure can be used to mitigate and in some cases reverse that impact. We will also discuss the role that native plants play in green stormwater infrastructure.

Kelly Goward holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from Ball State University. Kelly has been the Macatawa Watershed Project Manager at the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council since August 2012. There she works with local stakeholders to improve the water quality of Lake Macatawa through public education, improved stormwater management and implementing best management practices. Kelly previously worked for the Ottawa and Allegan Conservation Districts for 8 years assisting landowners with forest and wildlife management, critical dunes issues, water quality, using native plants, and controlling invasive species.

Rain Garden Installation
Presented by Jamie Vaughn, Trout Unlimited

Jamie will present a short video about the beautiful rain garden installation at Parkside Elementary School in Rockford. Trout Unlimited is "devoted to the conservation, protection and restoration of Michigan's coldwater fish and their watersheds." Jamie also will give an overview about what Trout Unlimited does in Michigan.

Animated video about Green Infrastructure:

Ever wondered where the rain goes? Sustainable drainage animation

CIRI's susdrain project has launched an exciting new animation on Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) that provides an engaging and digestible overview of SuDS. The short animation called "Ever wondered where the rain goes?" demonstrates how changes to the natural water cycle caused by development can be positively managed, and, how SuDS turns ...


We hope to reschedule in the Fall.


July 2020


Fundraiser at Brewery Vivant

This event has ended
Monday, July 20th, 2020
to (Eastern Time)

Fundraiser for
Wild Ones River City Chapter
Brewery Vivant, located at 925 Cherry St. SE, will donate $1 for every beer sold during pub hours on 7/20/20 from 3 pm to 11 pm. 

Enjoy a brew and help Wild Ones!


Native Plant Sale

This event has ended
Monday, July 20th, 2020
to (Eastern Time)

Wild Ones River City Chapter
Pre-order Online • Pickup Only
Pre-order June 22 through July 13
Pickup on July 20 by appointment 

920 Cherry Street SE, GR
In the parking lot behind Green Well Restaurant

Order at:

Pay by Paypal/Credit Card/Check

Please write check to: “Wild Ones River City”
Mail to:
Wild Ones River City Chapter
1033 San Lucia Drive SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Check must be received no later than July 15, 2020.

After you make your purchase, choose your pickup appointment time on Signup Genius.

Spread the word! Download the Plant Sale Advertising Flyer and share with your friends.

12 species of perennials
$7 - quart size pots

5 species of shrubs
$13 - gallon size pots

Minimum purchase 3 items
Species may vary due to availability.

Orange Milkweed Asclepias tuberosa
Wild Petunia Ruellia humilis
Golden Alexanders Zizea aurea

Heart Leaved Aster Symphyotrichum cordifolia  
Solomon’s Seal Polygonatum biflorum
Twinleaf Jeffersonia diphylla

Rose Milkweed Asclepias incarnata
Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis
Turtlehead Chelone glabra 

Foam Flower Tiarella cordifolia
Woodland PhloxPhlox divaricata
Pussy Toes Antennaria parlinii  

Spicebush Lindera benzoin
Red Elderberry Sambucus racemosa
Highbush Cranberry Viburnum trilobum
Pagoda Dogwood Cornus alternifolia
New Jersey Tea Ceanothus americanus

Wake Up, Woods Children’s Book
Hardcover $15 (suggested retail $18.95)
By Michael Homoya and Shane Gibson. Illustrations by Gillian Harris.

Questions? E-mail: 
[email protected]

August 2020


Invasive Species Action

This event has ended
Monday, August 17th, 2020
to (Eastern Time)

This program has been reschedule for August 16, 2021.
Invasive Species Action:
Best Practices to Protect Michigan’s Native Flora & Fauna from Intruders
Presented by Jessie Schulte, District Manager, Kent Conservation District

Invasive Exotic Plants are in our backyards! Come take a walk with Jessie Schulte behind Greenwood Cemetery and see the large extent and diversity of early detection invasive species. Many of the graves have been decorated with floral arrangements from landowners yards, spreading highly aggressive invasive species like wisteria. Learn how to identify several early detection species such as chocolate vine and black jetbead. Jessie will explain the many services the local Invasive Strike Team provides, keeping the team busy protecting our precious natural resources. What escapes from our yards can make a huge impact on our natural areas.

Jetbead (Rhodotypos scandens) Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

Jetbead fruit Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

Chocolate Vine Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University,

Chocolate Vine fruit Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

Banner photo: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

September 2020


Treasures of the Edible and Ecological Gardens

This event has ended
Monday, September 21st, 2020
to (Eastern Time)

Treasures of the Edible & Ecological Gardens and their Connections with our Native Ecosystem
Presented by Courtney Cheers, Director, Wittenbach Wege Center (WWC)

The program will be held outdoors. Social distancing will be practiced. PLEASE wear a mask to protect yourself and others.

Courtney will provide a brief history of the Wittenbach Wege Center, the role of native plants and food production, the importance of healthy ecosystems and biodiversity, and the role of native perennial crops in the future of sustainable and regenerative agriculture.

Courtney Cheers loves helping people explore, discover, and get their hands in the soil—OUTSIDE! And she has been educating students and the community about the natural world and agriculture for nearly 20 years. Courtney has been involved in programming at the WWC since 2001 and has held the position of Director since 2014.  She studied at Iowa State University and the University of Montana.

Some of the bounty from WWC Victory Garden that was donated to a food pantry in July.

Wittenbach Wege Center

October 2020


Liberty Hyde Bailey: New Agrarian Philosopher and "Patron Saint" of American Gardening

This event has ended
Monday, October 19th, 2020
to (Eastern Time)

Liberty Hyde Bailey:
New Agrarian Philosopher and “Patron Saint” of American Gardening

Online presentation by John Linstrom, Series Editor of The Liberty Hyde Bailey Library for Cornell University Press
October 19 (and after) the video will available on our YouTube channel.

One hundred years ago, naturist and horticultural botanist Liberty Hyde Bailey was sending the future both a warning and an invitation—a warning about ecological exploitation, and an invitation to a fuller way of living as stewards of the land. John Linstrom will discuss Bailey's prescient "earth philosophy" in relation to our current moment and the call to good stewardship that we still need today.

John Linstrom is Series Editor of The Liberty Hyde Bailey Library for Cornell University Press and an NYU Public Humanities Fellow at the Museum of the City of New York. He coedited The Liberty Hyde Bailey Gardener's Companion: Essential Writings (Comstock-Cornell UP, 2019) and prepared the centennial edition of Bailey's book The Holy Earth (Counterpoint, 2015). His poetry and nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals, and he lives with his wife in Queens, NY.

Direct questions to John Linstrom at [email protected] 

Check out the online exhibit at

Follow @LHBaileyLibrary on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

John Linstrom

Linstrom impersonates Bailey

November 2020


Annual Meeting/Sweet and Savory Potluck

This event has ended
Monday, November 16th, 2020
to (Eastern Time)

Annual Meeting/Sweet & Savory Potluck
CANCELLED due to COVID-19 restrictions