Our membership meetings take place on the first Thursday of each month, though occasionally on a different day. 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.
Chapter Events in 2020
Thursday, Feb. 6, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church. Laura Burford: Keeping Kentucky Wild.
Laura Burford is the Wildlife coordinator at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. In the summer of 2018 she and some kindred spirits launched Kentucky Wild, a group through which ordinary citizens can participate in the protection of wild animals in the state. While taxes and license fee money go to sustaining game animals like deer and certain fish, the much more numerous non-game animals, whose habitat is constantly under attack from development and pesticide use, are largely on their own. Here is where Kentucky Wild steps is, identifying threatened and endangered species and implementing plans for their protection. Of special concern are song birds, bats and amphibians because they have which significantly declined in recent decades.
Thursday, March 5, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church. Web Barney, entomologist: Raising Butterflies and Moths in the backyard.
Thursday, April 2, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church. Judy and Dan Dourson: The Wildflowers of the Red River Gorge.
In our woodlands and forests the wildflower season starts with spectacular displays of blooms in early spring. Many of these plants accomplish all their growth, flowering and seed production, while sunlight still reaches the forest floor. Once the trees leaf out, the plants of the ground-cover layer tend to go dormant. This presentation by Judy and Dan Dourson comes at a timely moment to help nature lovers hunt for spring-blooming wildflowers, identify them and learn about the ecological niches that they occupy. The Doursons will speak about the plants as well as the animals of the Red River watershed. They have published a book about the flowers and ferns of the Gorge, which will be for sale.
Thursday, May 7, 6:15 pm (!), at St. Michael’s Church. Plant Exchange.
Our annual plant exchange takes place in the lower parking lot off Libby Lane. We ask that participants unload their plants on Libby Lane, then park either on the street or in the upper church parking lot. Plants can be unloaded from 5:30 onward, and the exchange will start promptly at 6:30.
Items to be exchanged can be perennials, grasses and sedges, shrubs, trees, vines, and seeds. The plants must be native to the Eastern United States; cultivars of a native plant are acceptable. Potted plants are preferred, but 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 a food item or something good to drink for the evening’s social gathering, in exchange for plants. Finger foods, beer, wine and juices are particularly cherished. In addition to material contributions, we ask that Wild Ones members and those who join our organization on Thursday pay $5 for a ticket to select multiple plants; non-members pay $7.
Following the plant exchange there will be a raffle of garden related items including gift certificates from local garden centers, art work, books and much more. Proceeds from this fundraiser will support our general operating expenses including speaker honorariums and community outreach activities.
Thursday, June 4, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s church. Tammy Horn Potter: Flower Power: Seeing the Pollens in KY Honey
Pollen is the “fingerprint” of a flower. Using seasons as a guide, this presentation will include slides of pollens along with their respective host flowers. The presentation will conclude with discussion about the new Honey Testing Lab at Bluegrass Community and Technical College (Newtown Pike). Tammy will also discuss services offered for prospective or new beekeepers.
Tammy is the Kentucky State apiarist and also a Wild Ones member. Her presentation will make the subject of flowers, pollen and pollinators come alive.
Thursday, July 2, 6:30 pm, at Hisle Park, Briar Hill Road, Lexington. Andrew Bentley: The Historical Importance of Herbs.
Herbs are everywhere. In pre-industrial America native Americans and early settlers routinely used common plants for purposes that we no longer remember, for example as medicines and to flavor their foods, or to control pests and bad odors. This outdoor presentation will show us that there is much more to our common weeds and beloved wildflowers than we may suspect.
Thursday, August 6, 6:30 pm, at McConnel Springs Park, Lexington. Picnic and park visit, hopefully including some bat sightings.
This will be the day of our annual picnic. Participants should bring food and drink for themselves, and, if they wish, also something to share. We will look at the rain garden planting in front of the park building (to the left of the entrance path) which was funded through a grant awarded by our chapter in 2019. We will also visit the Blue Hole, a spring typical to the karst topography of west Lexington, where honeysuckle was cleared and some restoration work occurred in 2018 and 2019. Observing bats may require us to stay until it is quite dark, a little beyond our usual closing time.
Saturday, Sept. 12, 8:30 am to 5 pm, at Floracliff. Symposium: Bluegrass Land and Nature. (Registration required)
Our Wild Ones chapter is partnering with Floracliff Nature Preserve to present this all-day Symposium about the plants of the Bluegrass and some of the animals they sustain. Most sessions will take place outdoors. More information will be forthcoming as planning proceeds.
Thursday, Oct. 15 (!), 6:30 pm, at Wellington Park. Stacy Borden: Pruning Young Trees for Health and Good Structure – a Workshop.
Once again, our chapter is partnering with the Urban Forest Initiative for a program we are presenting during Tree Week (Oct. 10 – 17). Urban trees, unlike those in the forest, require pruning to assure their health and the safety of those of us who live among them. Much expensive care of mature trees can be avoided through judicious pruning when a tree is young. Stacy Borden will demonstrate how to prune young trees properly and will explain the reason for specific pruning cuts. Stacy has worked as an arborist in Lexington for many years. He is currently employed at UK and is responsible for the trees on the university’s campus.
Thursday, Nov. 5, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church. Jennifer Hubbard-Sanchez, Director of Raven Run: Training Volunteers to Manage Nature.
Jennifer will speak about Raven Run about the first Naturalist Training program at Raven Run through which the staff hope to build a corps of skilled volunteers dedicated to help manage this popular preserve. She will also address the long-term goals for Raven Run and the ever-present and ever pressing challenges it faces in light of its large visitor stream and its exposure to plant invasions resulting from its proximity to the city.
Thursday, Dec. 3, 6:30 pm, at Wild Birds Unlimited, 152 North Locust Hill Drive, Lexington. Joyce Bender: Caring for Backyard Birds in the Winter. Also: Seed and Book Exchange.
With the arrival of winter, plants and many animals go dormant. But our birds continue to enchant us and remind us that life goes on right outside our windows. This program provides an opportunity to learn about feeding wild birds and to look for holiday gifts at our book and seed exchanges or in the store.
We exchange native plant seeds, which must be labeled, and books about nature broadly conceived.