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. 1, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church:
“For the Birds: Ways You Can Help” – Presented by Tony Brusate, Central Kentucky Audubon Society
Tony Brusate, president of the Central Kentucky Audubon Society, will discuss how easily everyone can (and should) get involved in watching birds and counting birds for citizen science. He will also cover how Audubon’s new Native Plants for Native Birds initiative overlaps with Wild Ones’ mission. Expect a crash course in binocular basics, bird ID tips, e-bird reporting, and choosing native bird-friendly plants to attract your favorite birds to your yard.
Thursday, March 1, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church:
Lexington’s Urban Forestry Programs – Presented by Heather Wilson, LFUCG Arborist
Increasingly, cities across the world, embrace the value of trees and see them as important assets to the urban environment. Lexington is one of the cities that has taken steps toward a greener future for all of us. Heather Wilson will explain how Lexington has moved toward garnering support for our trees and natural areas and how these resources are currently managed. She will also address some of the road blocks in the way of a better tree canopy and opportunities for citizens to support and influence the city’s path.
Thursday, April 5, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church: Shari Dutton, UK Department of Horticulture will present the Horticulture Club’s Native Plant Program.
When Shooting Star Nursery closed last year, our region lost a major source to buy plants for gardens and landscaping. At the same time the demand for natives is growing, and the student- based Horticulture Club at UK is stepping into the breach. Shari Dutton, Hort Club advisor will speak to us about the challenges of growing native plants from seed and making them ready for sale.
Shari comes toward natives with a long background in teaching the techniques of nursery production to students seeking a career in landscaping or horticulture. In turning to natives, she sees a niche market for future horticulturalists that she hopes will expand into the mainstream. Some of her students will come to this meeting with her and speak about their own experience growing natives. The Hort Club has produced an informative catalog of the plants they are growing and will provide information about their sale.
Sunday, April 29, 2 pm, at the Farish Theatre of the downtown library: Together with the Sierra Club we are sponsoring the play “Sisters of the Mother Forest” about the work and struggles of Lucy Braun, the Cincinnati-based botanist and conservationist who spent her life exploring and describing the forests of eastern north America, especially in the Appalachian region. This play was written and will be performed by Dr. Alice Jones of EKU.
Thursday, May 3, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church: 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 7, 6:30 pm, at the Kentucky Horsepark: We will see the extensive native plantings on the Horsepark grounds. Wild Ones members Judy Johnson and Vicki Reed, as well as Betsy Lang will be our guides. Directions will be posted closer to the meeting date.
Saturday, July 14, 10 am, at Oakland Tree Farm outside of Paris: We will visit this fairly new tree nursery on Route 627 and meet the owner Laura Greenfield. There will be an opportunity to buy small container-grown trees. Please stay for a picnic around noon at the neighboring farm of Wild Ones members Berle and Brenda Clay where we can see the trees Laura sells in their mature splendor.
Thursday, August 2, 6:30 pm, at Hisle Park on Briar Hill Road, Lexington: Hisle Park was an inner Bluegrass Farm until just a few years ago, when the property passed into the ownership of the city of Lexington. After farming had come to an end, this open space was quickly covered with early succession plants (or weeds, if you like) both native and non-native. The city maintains wide paths for walking, running and horseback riding, but how the area will be landscaped and managed in the future is still somewhat uncertain. During our visit we will reflect on the vegetation of the Inner Bluegrass before European settlement, it’s loss through agriculture, and the possibilities for restoration in a parkland that serves an urban population. We will get to know some of those early succession plants and learn about the plans for this area.
Thursday, September 6, 6:30 pm, at the Lexington Arboretum: Emily Ellingson, the Curator and Native Plants Collection Manager, will guide us along the mulched trails in the 80 acres of native plants known as ‘The Walk Across Kentucky’. These trails aim to lure visitors away from the paved path and into extensive plantings that highlight Kentucky’s ecoregions. Maintained by native plants volunteers and staff, the mulched trails wind through wetlands, woodlands and cane-breaks and provide plenty of opportunity to investigate the woody and herbaceous flora of Kentucky.
Saturday, October 6: Instead of holding a regular membership meeting on the first Thursday of this month, we are offering our Sustainable Urban Landscape Symposium two days later, on Saturday October 8. Please check out the conference plans on this website, as they develop.
Thursday, November 1, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church: Ellen Crocker, University of Kentucky, will present a program about mushrooms.
Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church: Seed exchange.