The Lexington Chapter of Wild Ones holds a meeting with a presentation or other activity on the first Thursday of every month, or occasionally on another day of the month. The first four meetings of 2021 were held online. We are returning to in-person meetings with our Plant Exchange on May 6.
In addition, our chapter organizes hikes, outings and other events throughout the year. All meetings and events are open to chapter members and to the public, unless otherwise noted.
Chapter Events of 2021
Thursday, Feb. 4, at 7 pm. Online. Allison Lankford: A Presentation about the Emerging Town Branch Park in Lexington.
Town Branch Park promises to be an exciting new public gathering place and a green oasis in downtown Lexington. Located between the Convention Center and Oliver-Lewis Way, it will anchor Town Branch Commons, a winding park and trail system along a section of Town Branch Creek which is currently being freed from the culvert that has kept it hidden under Vine Street for more than a century. This project, in planning for over 10 years, is an enormous step forward for our community’s public space and will transform our city for decades to come.
Allison Lankford, the Director of Town Branch Park, will update us on the progress being made in planning and construction of the Park and the Commons. In particular, she will cue us in to the Park’s horticultural design.
The Zoom link will be in the February Newsletter sent to Chapter Members and Friends on Sunday, January 31.
Thursday, March 4, at 7 pm. Online. Linda Porter: Bringing Natives Back to Your Garden.
This is a presentation about the basics of Native Plant Gardening, the why and how. It emphasizes the relationships between a garden’s flora and fauna, between the trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses that are planted and the pollinators and birds that depend on them for food, shelter and the ability to reproduce. Linda Porter is an experienced native plant gardener, a lively speaker and a member of our Lexington Wild Ones chapter.
The Zoom link will be in the March Newsletter sent to Chapter Members and Friends on Sunday, February 28.
Thursday, April 1, at 7 pm. Online. Beverly James: The City Nature Challenge: A New Way to Discover Lexington.
The City Nature Challenge is a global 4-day community science project aimed at documenting nature in and around urban areas. Floracliff Nature Sanctuary is bringing the City Nature Challenge to Lexington for the first time in April. Learn more about the City Nature Challenge, how you can participate, and the value of finding and sharing observations of urban nature.
The Zoom link will be in the April Newsletter sent to Chapter Members and Friends on Sunday, March 28.
Saturday, April 10, 1 pm, Wildflower Hike at Lower Howard’s Creek Nature Preserve. Leaders: Lee Meyer and Beate Popkin.
A great many invasive plants have been removed at this preserve by a group of dedicated and energetic volunteers. And it shows: now that those honeysuckle bushes are gone, a stunning display of wildflowers covers much of the forest floor in spring. We will walk along one of the most beautiful creeks in the Bluegrass and admire the spectacular rock faces that form its banks. (Limit: 15 participants)
Thursday, May 6, at 6 pm (!). St. Michael’s Church, 2025 Bellefonte Drive, Lexington, upper parking lot. Plant Exchange.
Participants can bring their surplus plants in pots or, if dug up on or near the day of the exchange, wrapped in moist newspaper and plastic. All participants get to choose multiple plants to take home. Our plan is to meet in person for this popular event. We are hoping that vaccinations will have advanced enough for this event to be held in real time and in a physical space. We will set up the exchange in the upper parking lot of the church to have more room for spreading out, and we will follow instructions about face coverings as they seem appropriate at that time.
The plant exchange is also our chapter’s main fund raiser, and there will be a fee for participants: chapter members: $5, non-members: $7.
Thursday, June 3, at 6:30 pm, St. Michael’s Church. Nancy Grant: Hummingbirds as Pollinators.
We may not think that hummingbirds play a significant role as pollinators for the plants on which they feed. But actually, it makes sense: any creature that engages itself so intimately with its nectar sources, sticking its long beak deeply into tubular flowers is likely to fly off with pollen on its head. Nancy Grant, an enthusiastic birder and accomplished speaker, will talk about the life cycle, migration and gravity-defying stunts of these amazing birds.
Thursday, July 1, 6:30 pm. We are considering a visit to a prominent private garden in Lexington, but this event is still in the planning stages
Thursday, August 5, 6:30 pm. Unitarian Universalist Church, 3564 Clays Mill Road, Lexington. Picnic and visit of a new pollinator garden which was financed partially with a grant from the Lexington Wild Ones Chapter.
Not only is the Unitarian Church’s landscape committee installing a pollinator garden prominently visible from the street, but the 7 acre church property also contains an old woodland with a number of large and significant trees. In addition to visiting these features of interest to us, we hope that this picnic will finally allow us to be together again in person to chat, network, welcome new native plant enthusiasts and catch up with each other.
Saturday, Sept. 11, 10 am. Josephine Sculpture Park, Frankfort. Joyce Bender: Planting for Birds.
The Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort was founded on the grounds of a former farm that has been turned back to nature and is now managed with a combination of open prairies and emerging woodlands. In other words there is a diversity of habitat for birds, and a corresponding wide variety of bird species that inhabit the park. Joyce Bender will present a brief power point inside a barn illustrating what kinds of plants and plant combination are attractive to different species of birds. She will then lead a tour of the park to point out how it all comes together in a real and natural space. Bring binoculars if you have them.
Joyce has retired from the Kentucky Office of Nature Preserves where she worked in different capacities all her professional life.
Saturday, Oct. 16, 10-12, Hisle Park. Beate Popkin: Emerging Woodlands in the Bluegrass
As in years past, we will partner with Tree Week (Oct. 9-16) for this month’s event. We are planning a walk at Hisle Park where our Wild Ones chapter has conducted a volunteer effort to eradicate invasive plants. Located just outside the city of Lexington, Hisle Park was created on the site of former farmland turned over to natural regrowth. Not surprisingly, invasive species have established themselves with abundance and need to be managed. Hisle is the site of two “Reforest the Bluegrass” efforts, one about 15 years ago, and the other very recent. Our walk at the park will focus on the management challenges of these Reforest sites, but also point out other areas that have been improved through Wild Ones efforts.
Thursday, Nov. 4, 6:30 pm. St. Michael’s Church, 2025 Bellefonte Drive, Lexington. Propagating Native Plants from Seed.
This hands-on workshop will begin with some information about seed propagation and its application to native plants. Then participants can prepare seeds for overwintering and take home what they have prepared for germination.
December. This program has not yet been determined.