Our membership meetings take place on the first Thursday of each month, except in January and July. They are held at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 2025 Bellefonte Drive, Lexington, unless otherwise noted. Our meetings begin at 6:30 pm with refreshments and social time. Programs begin at 7 pm. Visitors are welcome.
Thursday, Feb. 7, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church:
“Building a Better Monarch Waystation” – Presented by Adam Baker, PHD candidate in the UK Department of Entomology
This presentation will discuss the environmental pressures faced by the monarch butterfly, and explain why their conservation matters, and what initiatives may be taken to offset their decline. It will address how applying sustainable agriculture theory to conservation gardens can influence their findability, usage, and overall ecological success for monarch butterflies and other pollinators. In addition, Adam will discuss the viability of eight species of native milkweeds as monarch host plants and their potential use in conservation plantings. He will also address the impact of invasive species and the use of milkweed cultivars in the garden.
Thursday, March 7, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church:
“Who’s That Nesting in My Plant? (And Other Questions About Birds in Spring)” – Presented by Dr. Becky Fox, Transylvania University
Spring is right around the corner, and that means a whole lot of changes are coming to your birdfeeder and your backyard. Join Dr. Becky Fox for a sneak preview: who’s looking for love, who’s leaving, who’s just passing through on their way up north, and who keeps laying eggs in that potted plant on your porch. Find out how you can help out hard-working parent birds, and what to do if you find a baby bird out of the nest.
Thursday, April 4, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church:
“Butterfly ID for Beginners” – Presented by Beverly James, Floracliff Nature Sanctuary
Lexington’s urban greenspaces and natural areas provide important habitat for our native butterflies. Learn which butterflies are using these areas and how to identify over 40 of our most common species. Information on how to participate in the Central Bluegrass Summer Butterfly Count will also be provided.
Thursday, May 2, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church:
Annual Plant Exchange and Fundraiser
We will have our annual plant exchange and fundraiser. We will meet in the lower parking lot of the church which is accessed from Libby Lane. Items to be exchanged can be seeds, perennials, grasses and sedges, shrubs, trees or vines.
Plants brought for exchange must be native to the Eastern United States (cultivars of a native plant are acceptable). They should be potted if dug up several weeks before the exchange. If they are dug on the day of the exchange, their roots may be kept moist in wet newspaper surrounded by a plastic bag. Each plant must be labeled.
Participants who have no plants to offer may contribute something good to eat or drink for the evening’s social gathering, in exchange for plants. Finger foods, beer, wine and juices are particularly cherished. Our plant exchange is also a fundraiser and supports our programs. We ask that Wild Ones members pay $5 for a ticket to select multiple plants, and that non-members pay $7. It’s great fun and everybody gets to go home with new plants.
Thursday, June 6, 6:30 pm, Summer Potluck and Tour at Merrick Park:
After the potluck, we will see the Merrick Park Stream Restoration. The small stream that flows through Merrick Park in the Lansdown-Merrick Subdivision does not have a name but, as part of the Hickman Creek Watershed, plays a key role in flood control on Tates Creek Road in the vicinity of the New Circle interchange. In the early 1990’s, LFUCG built a retention basin and ceased mowing the creek embankments to create a riparian zone. Neighbors bordering the creek were encouraged to do the same. While there are numerous mature, native trees along the creek, this zone became infested with a variety of invasive plants. In 2018, botanist Julian Campbell led an effort to convince the neighborhood association and LFUCG Parks to remove the invasives and plant natives using volunteer labor.
Saturday, June 29, 1 pm, A Visit to Dave Leonard’s Farm in Stamping Ground:
Dave will show us the trees on his property, and Alicia Bosela of Ironweed Nursery will talk about the flowers and grasses. This is a meeting planned in addition to our regular (mostly) Thursday get-togethers and programs.
Saturday, July 20, 10:00 am, Urban Micro-Forest and Backyard Tour in Frankfort
First site: Fantasy Forest
Created 6 years ago by community members, Fantasy Forest is an urban micro-forest planted with 100+ species of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. This tour will highlight landscape worthy species that benefit birds and butterflies as well as rare species. The forest was designed by Wild Ones member Connie May and made possible by a grant from Alliance for Trees and Frankfort Parks and Recreation Department.
Second site: Big, Bold, and Beautiful Tour
When it comes to plants, Debra Parrish thinks the bigger the better…as long as it is native and it provides for birds and butterflies. She has created a beautiful, bio-diverse backyard habitat with huge plants like prairie dock and ironweed. It is thrilling, but neat and tidy — quite a feat!
Thursday, August 1, 6:30 pm, at at St. Michael’s Church:
“Beneficial Insects” –
Presented by Dr. Ric Bessin, Extension Professor, UK Entomology
Of the estimated 10,000 species of insects in Kentucky, only a small fraction are considered pests. This presentation will cover the beneficial roles of insects and help people recognize the common groups in Kentucky. These roles include herbivores of noxious weeds, food for wildlife, pollination, natural enemies of pests, carrion and dung management, and entomophagy.
Thursday, September 5, 6:30 pm, at Cove Springs Park in Midway
Community volunteers restored this park along a stream that runs through the center of Midway. The native plants are just now reaching some maturity. This is a good example of what can be achieved through civic commitment.
Thursday, October 3, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church:
“How to Maximize the Fall Beauty in Your Landscape” –
Presented by Beate Popkin, Wild Ones
We are scheduling this presentation for the moment when fall flowers are fading and the colors of trees and shrubs are ready to burst forth creating the spectacular natural scenes that are characteristic of eastern North America. The talk discusses the herbaceous and woody plants that help maximize this autumn show while also working well in gardens. October is the month to observe what stands out during the fall and to make plans for spring planting with those observations in mind.
Thursday, November 7, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church:
“Lexington’s Streams and Watersheds – An Opportunity for Bringing Nature to the City” – Presented by Dr. Amanda Gumbert
Watersheds are everywhere since rain water that cannot be absorbed by the ground runs down slopes and gathers in valleys. City planners have typically been at war with watersheds considering them as obstacles to their efforts of shaping the urban landscape. On the other hand, good management of storm water run off is especially needed in cities due to the huge amount of surface area that gets paved and no longer absorbs water. In recent years, awareness has grown that urban creeks function much better for city residents, if trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers line their banks, rather than turf grass or – worse – solid concrete. As a consequence LFUCG promotes neighborhood efforts to renaturalize our stream banks.
Amanda Gumbert, Water Quality Specialist for UK Extension, will introduce our group to Lexington’s watersheds. We will learn where they are, what the names of the creeks are that form them, what they look like before and after restoration efforts, and what is involved in naturalizing them.
Thursday, Dec. 5, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church: We will gather for our annual seed exchange and a holiday party. Please bring seeds to exchange and/or a holiday snack or something to drink.