Healing the earth, one yard at a time.
Wild Senna (Senna hebecarpa)


This will be the final e-News for 2020—we're taking a holiday break!
Resuming in late January or early February.

In this issue:
  • Letter from the President
  • Available NOW on YouTube - Liberty Hyde Bailey: New Agrarian Philosopher and “Patron Saint” of American Gardening presented by John Linstrom
  • November Annual Meeting/Potluck Cancelled
  • WORC Annual Election
  • 2021 WORC Program Schedule
  • WORC Board Positions Open for 2021
  • Ranger Steve's Nature Niche: Predictable Harvester
  • Wild Ones Kalamazoo Chapters Fall ZOOM Presentations
  • Natives to Know: Eastern Red Cedar - Junipers virginiana
  • Why You should Leave Your Leaves - Laura Tangley, National Wildlife Magazine
  • Wild Ones National Annual Report Link
  • Wild Ones River City Shop at CafePress

Wild Ones Members and Friends,

In January of 2020 the Wild Ones River City Board met for their first meeting of the year. We discussed our goals for the year and challenges that were important to address. We knew that the importance of our mission was more critical than ever as the climate changes, habitats shrink and many in the public do not know about the importance of native plants and the role they play in supporting insects, pollinators, butterflies, birds and life for all of us. 

In February we held our first Chapter meeting and program. The focus of the meeting was the importance of participating and involvement in WORC to help further our organization’s mission to be a source of education and support for our local communities. Following our meeting we enjoyed an informative program by Dr. Rufus Isaacs titled, Bring Back the Pollinators.

Our plan for our March chapter meeting was to have the Education Committee present a program  that would be educational  as well as inspiring. And then life changed in ways we could not have imagined. The potentially deadly virus, Covid-19, caused a lockdown that meant what we had planned was not going to happen in the way we had thought that it would. We held an emergency Board meeting and with no map to guide us, made the decision that we needed to do whatever we could to make sure that our members felt supported and connected in the important work of getting more native plants in more yards and gardens in our communities. We also wanted to make sure that to the best of our ability there would be a monthly program and a plant sale this year. 

What makes the Wild Ones River City Board so wonderful to work with is that everyone worked to make these programs successful. Program Committee Co-Chairs, Rebecca Marquardt and Ginny Wanty, worked with presenters about changes in program format that needed to be made  while at the same time creating the programs for 2021.  

Ruth Oldenburg, Communication Chair, spent so much time learning what we needed to do to connect virtually, advising presenters, setting up an online ordering website for our Native Plant Sale in July. Ruth also made sure that the monthly e-News was interesting, informative, attractive and complete with links to additional sources of information.

Education Chair, Marty MacCleery, wrote and created the original presentation, Birds, Insects and Native Plants for our March program. Marty and Ruth worked together to make it available to everyone on our new YouTube and Vimeo channels. In July, Marty and the Education Committee organized the information and seed packets that were given out with each plant order on the Native Plant Sale pickup day.

Marty Arnold, WORC Past President and Native Plant Sale Chair organized this year's event, pickup day details and pickup sign-up times. Keasha Palmer organized Volunteer sign-up times. Amy Heilman, Garden Committee Chair, was instrumental in connecting with growers and plant selection for the sale. Ruth Oldenburg monitored the online purchasing system and Ann Nowak, Treasurer, managed the PayPal account as well as the accounting for the entire sale. We had great support from the community for our sale, and we were happy to see many younger native plant enthusiasts arriving to pick up their orders.

Joyce Tuharsky did a marvelous job as Secretary and kept the record of the many discussions the board had working out the details of this new path we were navigating. Betsy Ford maintained our records of membership and even wrote personal reminders to members urging them to renew their memberships. As a result, our membership numbers have stayed steady even in this very unsettling time. The other members on the board, Linda Gary, Vice President, Barb Olson and Keasha Palmer, Members-at-Large, offered their insight and worked wherever they were needed. With the direction of Amy Heilman, they helped with maintaining the Native Plant and Education Garden at 920 Cherry St SE, helped organize plants for pick up, and were willing to step in with any task that needed to be done. We’re grateful to all of the members who helped us have a successful plant sale pickup day.

One of the lessons of this pandemic is that the work of many people who seemed invisible—because they just did their jobs and did not ask for praise—became THE reason we were all able to shop in a store, get our mail, or be taken care of when we were sick. As a society we recognized that these people were essential to our safety and survival. I feel that same way about the Wild Ones River City Board. Each of these wonderful, competent people volunteered their time and kept our organization functioning and in many ways changed it for the better.  

We aren’t having our traditional potluck and program to officially end the year and that is disappointing. Nevertheless, I believe we can say it was a challenging year of change but we have become better as a result. I know I speak for all of the board when I say that we miss seeing everyone and hope that in 2021 we are able to enjoy more time together. Our plants are now resting, the creatures are now in their winter sleep and we too should enjoy the rest that comes with Winter. When the temperatures warm, the plants and creatures awaken, hopefully, we too will be ready to take on the new challenges that await us. 

In the words of Gilda Radner,
Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” I believe that is what we tried to do. 

Marti MacArthur
President of WORC 2020

Editor's Note: The WORC Board would like to thank President Marti MacArthur for her wise leadership during this unprecedented year.



WORC members will be receiving a separate email on November 2nd with a link to vote in our 2020 election.
Slate of Officers:
  • President - Marti MacArthur
  • Vice President - Linda Gary
  • Secretary - Joyce Tuharsky
  • Treasurer - Ann Nowak

Ginny Wanty, Rebecca Marquardt and the Program Committee announce the 2021 lineup of programs:
  • February 15 - Prairies of Southwest Michigan: Flora & Fauna 
    Presented by Craig Elston, Naturalist, CDE Nature and President of the White Pine Chapter of the Michigan Botanical Club. 
    Location: TBA

  • March 15 - Improving Habitat to Help Birds 
    Presented by Curtis Dykstra, Parks Naturalist at Ottawa County Parks and Recreation, Expert Birder. 
    Location: TBA

  • April 19 - Understanding Site Conditions & Plant Selection: How a Landscape Designer Goes About Designing an Ecologically Focused Landscape 
    Presented by Landscape Designers:
    - Amy Heilman, Owner, The Living Garden
    - Rebecca Marquardt, Owner, Revery
    Location: TBA
  • May 17 - Got Soil: The Down and Dirty Details 
    Presented by Dr. Jerry Miller, Professor of Agronomy, Iowa State University Extension Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Board President of Kent Conservation District. 
    Location: TBA

  • June 21- Green Infrastructure (GIS) Bus Tour 
    Presented by the Lower Grand Rapids (LGROW) staff. GIS examples in Grand Rapids bus tour may include a green roof, a rain garden, a bioswale, pervious pavement, stormwater reuse as well as a living wall.
    Location: Meet and park at West Catholic High School

  • July 19 - WORC Annual Native Plant Sale 
    Location: TBA

  • August 16 - Invasive Species Action: Best Practices to Protect Michigan’s Native Flora & Fauna From Intruders 
    Presented by Jesse Schulte, Director, Kent Conservation District.
    Location: Greenwood Cemetery, 1401 Leonard St., Grand Rapids

  • September 20 - Stewardship, Community Engagement and Volunteerism 
    Presented by: 
    - Justin Helsinga, Stewardship Director, Land Conservancy of West Michigan
    - Ginny Sines, Volunteer Coordinator, Kent County Parks Department 
    - David Marquardt, Director, Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation
    - Ginny Wanty, MSU Extension Master Naturalist Coordinator (retired)
    Also involved: Jessie Schulte, Jason Goggins and Friends of GR Parks staff
    Locations: Indian Trails Golf Course Club House and Ken-O-Sha Park

  • October 18 - Connecting to Place Through Phenology Journaling 
    Presented by Sally Triant of Grow Wise Learning and Georgia Donovan, artist.
    Location: TBA

  • November 15 - WORC Annual Meeting/Potluck 
    Location: TBA
Programs start at 6:30 pm, with exception of the June 21 GIS Bus Tour which starts at 6:00 pm. Times and locations are subject to change. More program information will be forthcoming in 2021.
The WORC Board has adapted to ZOOM meetings. Photo taken in April by Secretary Joyce Tuharsky.

Interested in being on the Wild Ones River City Board?  

The Board is seeking to fill three non-elected positions:

Program Committee Co-Chair
  • Share leadership duties with new 2021 Program Chair, Linda Gary.
  • Work with existing program committee members to set up programs for 2022. 
  • Enjoys learning about native plants and willing to make contacts for monthly program presentations.
  • Willing to assist with organizing and turning an idea into reality.
Apprentice to the Treasurer
  • Background in bookkeeping, accounting or financial recordkeeping.
  • Willing to assist Ann Nowak with running the Square app at plant sales or fund raising
  • Willing to fill in if Ann is on vacation. 
Assistant to the Communication Chair
  • Background in graphic design, journalism, or writing.
  • Enjoys creating attractive articles and newsletters. 
  • Knowledge of, or willing to learn to use MailChimp for communication with members and friends of WORC.
  • Willing to share tasks with Communication Chair Ruth Oldenburg so that tasks can still take place when Ruth is on vacation.
Board meetings are held once a month, January–November and at present are via Zoom. Everyone on the Board is supportive and helpful and you would be welcomed and appreciated for your participation. You would also be helping to keep our organization strong and resilient with the talents, skills and professional experiences that you have to share. 

If you are interested or know of someone who might be interested in joining the board, or if you have questions, please contact Marti MacArthur at
Available NOW on our YouTube Channel

Liberty Hyde Bailey: New Agrarian Philosopher and “Patron Saint” of American Gardening
Presented by John Linstrom

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

Check out the online exhibit at 
Follow @LHBaileyLibrary on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Harvester butterfly, photo by Steve Mueller

Predictable Harvester
By Ranger Steve Mueller
Animals have mysterious routines we know little about to keep their bodies and minds fit. From early to late afternoon the Harvester visits selected roosting locations In warm seasons. It is a small butterfly with brown and tan undersides of wings that are visible when it stands on a leaf with wings folded upward over its back. A number of irregular silver lines or circles loop on the wing outlining brown speckles.
The top of wings can be viewed when the butterfly partially opens them. The upper wing has large patches of orange bordered in black. How color patterns aid survival is mostly unknown to me. Colors help with mate or rival recognition. For now the Harvest is selected for the winter.
Observations indicate predictable activity periods. I do not see the Harvester in the roosting area until afternoon and it continues a presence into late afternoon. The butterflies perch on shrub leaves about five feet above the ground along the north side of a forest clearing where sun glistens on leaves. There it stands patiently waiting. Later on a summer day it perches at the east border of the clearing when sun rays brighten leaf landing pads.
Apparently the butterfly has business elsewhere in the morning. Perhaps it travels to speckled alders and ash trees on the floodplain where wooly aphids suck juices from tender stems. Harvesters lay eggs among the white wooly wax covering aphids create and use it to cover their bodies. When the caterpillar hatches, it covers its body with the waxy fluff and begins eating aphids. It is concealed and camouflaged from its predators by the wax and eats peacefully controlling aphid numbers. 
The caterpillar develops quickly in a chrysalis in summer months to emerge as an adult butterfly. It overwinters for an extended period in a chrysalis.
I visit the butterfly’s afternoon roosting site daily on walks. When a second one flies near, it darts toward it. It could possibly be a suitable mate or rival male. 
Last year there were three broods. Spring, summer, and fall broods were present. The spring brood flew May 31 through June 21. The summer brood flew from July 19 through August and the fall brood began in August and overlapped with the summer brood. Harvesters were present through September 26. This year the spring brood began flight on May 31 and was only noticed until June 6. A long gap occurred until the summer (or fall?) brood began on Aug 5. That brood continues at this writing in late August. 
The Harvester is the only predatory caterpillar found in the United States and that behavior aids rapid development. Others are vegetarians and mature more slowly. Every species has something uniquely special.
Keep in mind we open Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary to others and our mission is “biodiversity enhancement”. Wild Ones are welcome to walk the trails. A neighbor assisting with habitat management was opening parts of the Old Fallow Field near the powerline in September. He was removing trees to creating more area for herbaceous plants. Near the powerline he saw a Bald Eagle on the ground feeding on something. The eagle looked three-feet tall to him. I saw a Black-throated Green Warbler feeding on insects at the creek midmonth.
Plants and animals abound. I added a new plant species to the sanctuary list this fall. How I missed it previous years baffles me. Several Bottle Gentians (Gentian andrewsii) are present. We have 329 plant species listed and more await listing. Come enjoy and learn about biodiversity enhancement. The sanctuary is closed to walking the east half from October 1 through December 31, but welcome on the Big Field Succession loops, the west floodplain, and Pond Loop during that time. We saw a Green Heron at the Ponds during summer and into fall. 

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at - Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.
Wednesday, November 18
You Planned and Planted: Now What? 
Presented by David Mindell, Plantwise, Ann Arbor MI

Information on how to join this ZOOM presentation will be announced on the Kalamazoo Chapter's Programs Web page
Eastern Red Cedar - photo by Paul Wray, Iowa State University,

Eastern Red Cedar - Juniperus virginiana

Compiled by Joyce Tuharsky

The Eastern Red Cedar is not a true cedar. It is a juniper, and the most widely distributed native conifer east of the U.S. Rockies. It also occurs in Oregon. Other common names for this tree include: Virginia juniper, Eastern juniper or simply Red cedar. 

Rarely exceeding 50 feet in height, this tree has a single trunk and is the only native juniper that is upright and columnar. The bark is reddish-brown, fibrous, and peels off in narrow strips. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs or occasionally in whorls of three. The leaves are of two types: sharp, spreading needle-like juvenile leaves (up to 1/2 inch), and tightly pressed scale-like adult leaves (1/8 inch). The seed cones are berry-like, dark purple-blue, with a white wax cover. Red cedars are usually dioecious with pollen and seed cones on separate trees. The tiny pollencones shed pollen in late winter or early spring. 

The Eastern red cedar is very well adapted to dry areas and is considered a “pioneer species.” Often, they are the first trees to grow in cleared areas where the seeds are spread by cedar waxwings and other birds that enjoy the fleshy seed cones. In fact, the fruit is an important winter food for many birds and mammals, both large and small. The twigs and foliage are browsed extensively by hoofed mammals. Red cedars are also a favorite nesting and roosting site for robins, juncos, warblers, and various sparrows. The tree provides especially valuable wildlife shelter in the winter because of its dense foliage. 

In some areas, red cedars are considered invasive, even if native. They will overtake grasslands or prairies if left unchecked. Fire intolerant, red cedars are often eliminated by prescribed burning. They can burn very quickly. The low branches near the ground catch fire and provide a ladder that allows fire to engulf the entire tree. Dense stands of red cedar have been blamed for the rapid spread of wildfires in drought stricken areas. 

The Eastern red cedar was important to many Native American tribes. Various parts of the tree were used in purification rites and for medicinal uses. The durable wood was used for lance shafts, bows, flutes, and canoes parts. Cedar boughs were used for bedding; and the bark was woven into mats for roofing, flooring, or wrappings. In the south, cedar poles were used to mark out hunting territories. In fact, “Baton Rouge” is French for “red stick”—named after the reddish color of these poles. 

Today, the close-grained wood of the Eastern red cedar is used for furniture and interior paneling. Because the wood is rot resistant even in contact with soil, it is often used for fence posts. The aromatic oil from the cedar fruits and young branches is used in medicines. Cedar closets and chests protect clothing from moths. Because cedars can be planted in tightly spaced rows and still grow to full height, they create good windbreaks in a short time. 

Generally propagated by cuttings, this hardy tree thrives in both drought and cold conditions; and grows well in rocky, sandy, and clay soils. Long-lived, the oldest red cedar was reported in West Virginia at 940 years old! 

For more information:

The marbled salamander is among many bird, mammal, reptile, invertebrate and other species that rely on leaf litter for food and shelter.

Savvy gardeners know that keeping fallen leaves on their property benefits wildlife and the environment. Read the article Why You Should Leave Your Leaves by Laura Tangley, National Wildlife Magazine, October 2015.


Download the 2020 Annual Report

Link was not working in the October e-News.

   Wild Ones River City Shop at CafePress

Visit to purchase our logo merchandise such as men's and women's apparel, hats, aprons, mugs, totes, and more! Proceeds help further our mission of promoting the use of native plants in the landscape. 
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