Chapter Meetings

In response to the covid-19 crisis, our chapter board has made the following decisions about our 2020 program and meetings:

1.) We did not hold our plant exchange in May, but we have set up an online plant exchange instead. For details, please see the tab in the menu bar of this website.

 2.) We offered our June program through Zoom.

3.) We offered our July program as planned but had to cancel our August program due to the governor’s restricting public meetings to 10 persons.

4.) The Symposium on September 12 at Floracliff has been rescheduled for September 2021.

5.) On September 26, our chapter visited the Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort to view the native plants installed with the help of  a grant we gave to the Sculpture Park in 2019. This was an exciting excursion for everybody who attended.

6.) Our October program, a tree pruning workshop, was part of Tree Week and we offered it as planned.

7.) In November we offered a webinar about Lexington’s natural areas under the administration of the Department of Parks and Recreation. Out of this meeting grew an invasive plant removal effort at Hisle Park, sponsored by our Wild Ones chapter.



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.

Did you know that some of the biggest and most beautiful insects in the world might be living in your own backyard? Species of native giant silkmoths including the Cecropia and Luna moths often live undetected in our trees. Find out about their amazing biology and threats to their survival.  Not to be outdone by the moths are the beauties we see during the day; the butterflies. Web Barney will discuss the host plants of multiple species of swallowtail butterflies as well as the amazing monarch. You will learn how to encourage all life stages into your yard and maybe how to raise them in your own kitchen.

Thursday, April 2, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church. Judy and Dan Dourson: The Wildflowers of the Red River Gorge. (This presentation will be offered online on Dec. 3)
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. 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) 

This event has been rescheduled for September 2021

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 (!), 5:30 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, 7 pm, online. Jennifer Hubbard-Sanchez: Lexington Parks and Recreation’s Natural Areas: Growth and Opportunities

Jennifer was recently appointed as director for the Natural Areas in Fayette County managed by the city’s Division of Parks and Recreation, above all Raven Run, McConnell Springs and Hisle Park. These are popular sites for those who seek recreation in a natural environment or who want to learn about the plants and animals of the Bluegrass. But they also require a vision of how the balance between people and nature can best be sustained. Join this online talk to learn about the changes taking place in Natural Areas throughout Lexington. Jennifer will discuss stewardship opportunities and will solicit your ideas for engagement. So come prepared!


Thursday, Dec. 3, 7 pm, online. Dan and Judy Dourson: Wildflowers and Ferns of Red River Gorge and the Greater Red River Gorge Basin.

The authors will discuss their book about the rich biodiversity of this area. It is suitable as a plant identification guide for casual hikers as well as seasoned naturalists, and also includes a geological background to the gorge and its cultural history.