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In this issue:

August 10 Walkabout 1–3 pm
Keasha Palmer's home 
6346 Woodwater, Belmont

August 19 Program 
Restoring Habitat in an Urban Setting 
Presented by Justin Heslinga, Stewardship Director,
Land Conservancy of West Michigan

Learn and Serve August Schedule

Native Plant Sale and Fundraiser Report
Ann L. Nowak, Treasurer

Garden Chair's Comments
Amy Heilman

Wild Ones Volunteers Made the Event a Success! 
Thank you from Marti MacArthur, Vice President and NPEG Event Chairperson

Wild Ones National & Chapter Forum - July 2019

Wild Ones River City Shop online at CafePress

Please scroll down for details.

 If you lose your Wild Ones River City Chapter email communications, you can find a link on our website home page in the right sidebar that directs you to the e-news archives.

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WALKABOUT August 10 • 1–3 pm
at member Keasha Palmer's home
6346 Woodwater Drive NE, Belmont, MI 49306

When Keasha and her husband Art bought their house (pictured at right) in Belmont in 2014, the huge backyard was almost a deal-killer. “I looked at this giant sea of green and thought, ‘How are we ever going to take care of it?’” Then she started reading about people who were replacing their lawns with native plants. “I decided to give it a try,” she says. 

And now their landscape is dotted with yellows, reds, whites, pinks, and purples in the three meadows she’s put in—so far. “It’s one of the most satisfying endeavors I’ve ever taken on,” she says.

Come see her work in progress on August 10. 

If you are interested in hosting a Walkabout, download the form hereReturn your completed form to any board member at a general meeting, or mail to Marty Arnold, 2319 Lake Michigan Dr. NW 49504. If you have questions, please contact Marty, or call 616.791.4534.

Wild Ones member, Keasha Palmer in her beautiful native garden in Belmont.
August 19 Program 
Restoring Habitat in an Urban Setting

Presented by Justin Heslinga, Stewardship Director, Land Conservancy of West Michigan

The Highlands
2715 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids (Adjacent to Blandford Nature Center)

Join us for a mile-long tour of an exceptional local example of restoration at the Highlands, a former golf course on it’s way back to nature. Justin Heslinga, from the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, will share how to reimagine city spaces as the habitat they were meant to be and ways you can participate in their transformation.

Justin is the Stewardship Director at the Land Conservancy of West Michigan.

The Highlands is a collaborative project between the Land Conservancy and Blandford Nature Center. For over a century, the land has been extensively watered and fertilized. The restoration of this landscape will bring about substantial improvements to water and air quality in the city and will help in the city’s goal to increase forest canopy. The project also offers educational opportunities and will be a model for large-scale urban restoration in the region.

Check out our list of 2019 Programs online or download the 2019 Programs pdf.
2019 Program Schedule

Mark your Calendar for August Volunteer 

Learn and Serve in our Native Plant Education Garden
920 Cherry Street, GR  
In front of the beautiful Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF) building.
Park in the large lot on the east side of ICCF.

August 1, Wednesday • 10 am–Noon
Questions? Contact Amy Heilman, Garden Chair

Learn and Serve at the Prairie Habitat at Marywood
2025 E. Fulton at the NW Corner of Fulton and Lakeside Dr
Park next to
the site at the Marywood Health Center lot.
August 28, Wednesday • 9:30–11:30 am
Questions? Contact Sr. Lucille Janowiak,

Native Plant Sales and Fundraiser Report
July 15, 2019

Wild Ones River City Chapter held its annual native plant sale and fundraiser on July 15, 2019 at the Native Plant Education Garden, located in Grand Rapids, in front of the Inner City Christian Federation building on Cherry Street. This event was an amazing success, in spite of the 90 degree weather, and easily outpaced the prior year in every category.

Due to the dedicated work of our board members and volunteers, our total receipts increased by about 40% this year, and our profit increased by nearly 70% over last year. All told, our customers, neighbors, friends and members took home 396 new native plants and shrubs, as well as over $700 of educational books, pamphlets, plant guides, and various merchandise related to our organization.

Donations to Wild Ones River City Chapter increased this year as well. Brewery Vivant’s “Buck a Beer” night resulted in $691.00 of beers drunk and dollars donated, for which we are continuously grateful. The next time you are looking for a European style brewpub with great food, or a fun night out with family and friends, please keep Brewery Vivant in mind. They have been an ongoing source of support and enthusiastic encouragement to our cause.

Respectfully submitted,
Ann L. Nowak, Treasurer

"[The success of our Garden Tour & Plant Sale] confirms that our chapter's many years of "seeding" the community with education, along with the efforts of our wonderful partners, is reaping a "harvest" of interest and desire for native plants...let us continue on with the sowing so that our local landscapes may reap the benefits...the roots are becoming established!

We have much to be proud of...thank you to all of our members, past and present—you are making an impact and creating the change we seek!"
—Amy Heilman, WORC Garden Chair
Wild Ones Volunteers Made the Event a Success! 
A thank you note from Marti MacArthur, Vice President and chairperson for the NPEG Garden Tour & Plant Sale. 

Although the temperatures were high and the winds at times gusty, the sixth annual Wild Ones River City Chapter Garden Tour & Plant Sale was a fun evening and a successful fundraiser for our organization. This success was a direct result of all the willing efforts of those who volunteered their time, knowledge and stamina to make sure that people felt welcome and could avail themselves of plants, books, and Wild Ones “swag.” Attendees were also able to ask questions and pick up resources and information about native plants. They were able to see 75 different species of plants in the gardens and get answers to questions they might have about their own gardens. 

This evening was a success because Wild Ones River City members and volunteers give willingly of their time and energy to make this organization a strong proponent and source of education about the importance of native plants in our gardens and landscapes. When people were asked to volunteer they did and most worked the entire evening, many without a break. 

The response of willing volunteers was so impressive. I would like to thank each of you for your willingness to help in any way you could. I would like to thank, Eric Piehl, Tom MacArthur, Linda Gary, Marty Arnold, Marty MacCleery, Amy Heilman, Lea Sevigny, Ann Nowak, Tammy Lundeen, Deb Montgomery, Ruth and Mark Oldenburg, Diane Lange, Keith Edwards, John and Jeanne Van Kammen, Mindy and Jon Miner and everyone else who helped with setting up and taking down the event. 

I would also like to thank Betsy Ford, Linda Dodge, Alan Bedell and Sister Lucille Janowiak for welcoming each visitor as they arrived. At the Education Committee table where the sun’s heat was intense, Chris Muldoon, Marty MacCleery, Nancy Bedell, and Denise Coykendall graciously answered questions and provided information and resources for those who stopped by wanting to learn more about native plants and their importance in our landscapes. The Education Committee made the label stakes for many of the plants and on Monday, before the event started, Barb Olson and Barb Zvirzdinis also worked on this task. 

Barb Zvirzdinis 
was an amazing salesperson at the CaféPress and book sales table. All but one of the featured books sold along with other items that help support our Wild Ones Chapter. Keasha Palmer, Diane Lange, and kept an eye on the auction items as well as encouraged people to participate in the auction. 



Many thanks to our growers, She is Growing Wild / Tammy Lundeen, Go Grow Natives / Deb Montgomery, and Designs By Nature / Vern Stephens. Deb and Tammy not only raised many of the beautiful plants and shrubs, but they also offered their expert advice to people with their plant choices. Camilla Voelker, John and Patti Wojtowicz, Linda Gary, Linda Ortman, Diana Ruel, and Lea Sevigny assisted customers choosing plants and helped bring the plants to their cars. Jack Pruit was also offering help and advice to customers near the plant sale tables. 

Kim and Cathy Evanzo
, formerly of Creekside Garden Center donated 36 large size perennials to our sale. Thank you so much for your support of Wild Ones! Kim still has many native and non-native shrubs and trees he wants to sell at very good prices. They have perennials too...all for very discounted prices. Give them a call at 616-443-8916 if you want to shop or ask about species! 

Our Garden Chair, Amy Heilman, not only directed the redesign of the gardens, she was instrumental in organizing the Serve and Learn sessions, cataloging all of the species and making sure that the plants were accurately labeled so that visitors could see the beauty of native plants in a garden. At the event, she answered questions from visitors about native plants.

We are grateful to artist, Barbara McConnell who donated her two beautiful, original oil paintings for our Silent Auction and for her generous monetary donation. A BIG THANK YOU to Barbara!


Many thanks to our Program Chair, Gabrielle Tremblay Sullivan
, who donated the beeBOX™ an ecologically beneficial home for native pollinators, from her company the Friendly Bees. Lucky member Diane Lange’s bid won the beeBOX™.

Ruth Oldenburg designed and printed all of the signs, posters and the postcard that publicized the event. Her husband, Mark
, worked as a cashier at the checkout table along with Ruth, Mindy MinerLinda Gary, and our treasurer, Ann Nowak. Ann's husband Chip Chamberlain made wooden stakes to sell with our garden signs.  

I am grateful for Mindy
Miner and her husband Jon, who not only rented, hauled, loaded and unloaded the heavy tables and chairs, and then returned them, but also for helping with setting up the tables and chairs as well as providing extra support at a critical time. 

Joyce Tuharsky captured the event as our photographer.

Arnold was so helpful by picking up the canopies and returning them. She also took some photos.

Linda Ortman and Diana Ruel volunteered to help where they could, and that was appreciated. I apologize to any person who worked and I missed mentioning their name. 

Jesse Schulte, from Kent Conservation District, offered visitors helpful information on invasive plants.

Thank you to the Inner City Christian
Federation for allowing us to have a native garden and hold the event on their property.

There was another group who helped make the evening a success, and that was all of the members and friends along with many new visitors, who came, enjoyed the plants and people and who purchased plants and shrubs. 

Events don’t just happen; they involve the effort of many people working together towards a goal. On Monday, July 15, 2019, Wild 
Ones River City members demonstrated their commitment to making the organization a valuable resource in the community while having a lot of fun and possibly making some new friends.

Editor’s note: Thank you to our wonderful Vice President and Event Chairperson, Marti MacArthur who coordinated the event for the second year in a row. Her good organizational skills made all aspects of the event run smoothly. Kudos to Marti!






Wild Ones National & Chapter Forum


Much of July has focused on technology and communication to help us reach more people and teach them about the importance of native plants. By working together, Membership Chairs and other chapter officers, members, and staff have enabled Wild Ones to reach a great milestone: 


This is an amazing accomplishment, especially since we had 3316 paying members on August 1, 2018! Take time to celebrate, and keep spreading the word about native plants. We are making a difference, one landscape at a time! 

In this Forum, see: 

1. Lapsed Member Survey Summary 
2. Using Social Media to Connect 
3. New Membership System 
4. Native Plant Resources 
5. Reforestation 
6. Save the Date – September 9th 
7. Quick reminders 

Read/download the Wild Ones National & Chapter Forum

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. 

Copyright © 2019 Wild Ones River City-Grand Rapids Area Chapter, All rights reserved.

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