Significant Dates in Wild Ones History
1977 Workshop at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Bayside, Wisconsin, features “Introduction to Landscaping with Native Plants,” Milt Ettenhelm and Art Lonergan are speakers. Neil Luepke shows Botany Department at Milwaukee Public Museum and Lorrie Otto gives yard tour.
June 29, 1977 Plant rescue on the Milwaukee River in Mequon, Wisconsin
July 1, 1977 Plant sale held at Rae Sweet’s Bayside home with plants provided by Trelin Wilson.
July 23, 1979 First meeting of “The Wild Ones Garden Club.” Ginny Lindow, President. Others members include Ann Hill, Theresa Kloehn, Carol Beger, Rae Sweet, Renee Gardner, Eileen Roeder, Sally Meyer and Rosemary Cowan. Dues $12 yr. Lorrie Otto is resident expert and responsible program.
Presidents thereafter through 1988 were James Brien, Margot Fuchs, Lu Ann Thompson and Rae Sweet.
May 17, 1980 Lorrie Otto leads first Wild Ones plant rescue
February 14, 1981 Wild Ones and Milwaukee Audubon Society sponsor first all-day natural landscaping workshop at Schlitz Audubon Center
March 1981 Individual dues $12 yr; family dues $18 yr
1983 Membership grows to 65
June 1988 Rae Sweet prints a four-page newsletter, The Outside Story, giving plant care tips for a very dry summer and announces field trip. Carol Chew becomes the Editor with the second issue in August.
1989 Deb Harwell begins an energetic term as President working to establish additional chapters and make the organization known. Lucy Schuman, Vice President; Sue Hurda, Secretary; Kristin Summerfield, Treasurer; Judy Crane, Membership; Lorrie Otto, Program
Fall 1989 Members plant 2,400 native plants on Julie Marks’ berms in Bayside because Julie is too ill to finish her natural landscaping project.
1990 Wild Ones develops a traveling display for use at home and garden shows, conference, etc
March 1990 Janice Stiefel begins a monthly plant column in the Wild Ones newsletter entitled “The Outside Story”
June 8, 1990 Organization incorporates in Wisconsin as Wild Ones Natural Landscapers Ltd. Board is comprised of all officers and committee chairs.
August 1, 1990 Recognized Partners-at-Large as members
May 1, 1991 First ad placed by Prairie Ridge Nursery in Vol 4 No 3 The Outside Story
October 1991 501(a) tax exempt status acquired
November 1991 Monthly programs repeat at Milwaukee’s Wehr Nature Center
December 1, 1991 Green Bay (WI) Chapter formed
January 1992 Dues $15 yr family
March 1, 1992 Milwaukee Wehr (WI) Chapter formed
April 16, 1992 Northern Illinois Chapter now known as Greater DuPage Chapter formed; first chapter chartered outside of state
Summer 1993 Barbara Glassel leads project to create demonstration woodland and prairie areas at DNR space at Wisconsin State Fair
June 1, 1994 Columbus Chapter formed; first in Ohio
July 1, 1994 Rock River Valley (IL) Chapter chartered
August 1994 Irena Masek, President; Judy Crane, Membership
November 1, 1994 Fox Valley Area (WI) Chapter chartered
1995 Lucy Schumann designs prairie plant and roots T-shirt. Guidelines available for chapters.
March 30, 1995 New Bylaws adopted reflecting a board consisting of all chapter presidents and nine at-large members.
August 2, 1995 Madison (WI) Chapter chartered
August 11, 1995 Granted 501c(3) tax exempt status. Annual meeting. Board members at large include Don Vorpahl, Mark Fieder, Lorrie Otto, Margot Fuchs, Judy Crane, Curt Crane, Rae Sweet, Rochelle Whiteman, Dorothoy Boyer. Elected national officers : Bret Rappaport, president; Mandy Ploch, Vice President/Editor in Chief, Dorothy Boyer, Treasuer; Pat Brust, secretary, Judy Crane, Membership, Mary Kedzie, Legislative Chair. Dues $20 Wild household yr; $30 Wilder; $50 Wildest
November 1, 1995 Joy Buslaff.becomes new Editor Vol 8, Nov 6 The Outside Story; Nancy Behnke and Ann Ploch take over membership.
March 1996 Newsletter gets new image – Wild Ones Journal. Honorary Directors named: Author Sara Stein; Landscape Architect Darrel Morrison, FASLD; Authors Sally & Andy Wasowski; Chief Naturalist, National Wildlife Federation Craig Tufts. Madison Chapter co-sponsors first natural landscaping conference with University of Wisconsin Arboretum.
April 27, 1996 Appreciation-Celebration Dinner for Lorrie Otto held at Milwaukee Yacht Club. Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education (SFE) Endowment with the Milwaukee Foundation established.
July 2, 1996 Ann Arbor (MI) Chapter chartered
August 10, 1996 Second Annual Meeting held at Prairie Ridge Nursery, Mt Horeb, WI. Liberty Prairie Foundation grant awarded to Journal ($2,500 for 3 years). Membership at 1,042. Wild Ones SFE Program including Lorrie Otto SFE Grant Program established. Nancy Aten becomes SFE Director. Edmond & Alice Opler Foundation grant awarded to SFE ($2,500 for 3 years)
November 1, 1996 Lake-To-Prairie (IL) Chapter chartered
November/Dececember 1996 SFE receives 15 applications from three states and awards grants totaling $750 in 1997. Organization included on EPA website. Membership 1,200+ households. Wild Ones weatherproof yard sign designed by Dean Klingbeil and Lynn Schoennecker available for sale.
January 1997 First Wild Ones Handbook distributed. First “Toward Harmony with Nature” Conference sponsored by Fox Valley Area Chapter. Folksinger Steve Hazell (Fox Valley Area Chapter) dedicates his CD entitled “for the wild ones” to Wild Ones and Lorrie Otto which includes songs “For the Wild Ones” and “This Land’s in Harmony” written specifically for Wild Ones.
March 1, 1997 Babette Kis becomes new Editor, Vol 10, No 1 of the Wild Ones Journal; Kerry Thomas,Layout.
August 9, 1997 Third Annual National Meeting held at Wehr Nature Center, Franklin, WI. Pat Armstrong (Greater DuPage Chapter) becomes board member. Membership now at 1,503
1997 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) crew tapes Wild Ones segment for their 13-part series on American gardening. British garden designer Helen Shaw, on Winston Churchill Traveling Fellowship, visits Wild Ones members’ yards. Wild Ones registered as a U.S. Service Mark.
September 17, 1997 Menomonee River Area (WI) chartered
November, 1997 SFE receives 16 applications and awards six grants totaling $1,600 in 1998
January, 1998 Joy Buslaff again becomes Editor, Vol 11, No 1 Wild Ones Journal
January 13, 1998 North Park Village Nature Center (IL) Chapter chartered
March 12, 1998 Otter Tail Chapter chartered, first in Minnesota
April 1, 1998 Louisville Metro and Frankfort Chapters formed, first in Kentucky
June 1, 1998 Donna VanBuecken (Fox Valley Area Chapter) becomes Executive Director for Wild Ones
August, 1998 Fourth Annual Meeting at Prairie Crossing, Grayslake, IL held. Joe Powelka (Madison Chapter) becomes Secretary and Klaus Wisiol (Lake-to-Prairie Chapter), Treasurer.
August 7, 1998 St Cloud (MN) Chapter chartered
October 18, 1998 St Louis Chapter chartered, first in Missouri
November, 1998 Wild Ones website http://www.for-wild.org announced. SFE receives 10 application and awards $2,000 in 1999.
July 1, 1999 Michigan chapters Oakland and Flint chartered
August 14, 1999 Fifth Wild Ones Annual Meeting at McKay Center at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum. 2,365 household memberships. Chris Taliga (partner at large from Iowa), Lynn White (Fox Valley Area Chapter) and Kit Woessner (Green Bay Chapter) become new at-large board members.
November, 1999 SFE receives 25 applications and awards 12 grants totaling $3,600 in 2000. First Wild Ones New Member Handbook published and distributed to members.
December 18, 1999 Kalamazoo Area (MI) Chapter chartered
February 23, 2000 By-Laws updated reflecting a reduction in board members to 15 at large. Implemented conference calling to allow all board members to participate in person.
May 19, 2000 Michigan chapters Detroit Metro and Calhoun County chartered
July 17, 2000 Gibson Woods Chapter chartered, first in Indiana
August 10, 2000 Arrowhead (MN) chartered
August, 2000 First Annual Meeting/Conference held in Ann Arbor, MI. Pat Armstrong (Greater DuPage Chapter), Portia Brown (Louisville Metro Chapter), Mark Charles (Ann Arbor Chapter), Lorraine Johnson, Christine Taliga and Craig Tufts(partners-at-large from Canada, Iowa and Virgina), Steve Maassen and Lynn White (Fox Valley Area Chapter), Mariette Nowak (Milwaukee-SW/Wehr Chapter), Mandy Ploch and Lynn Schoenecker(Milwaukee-North Chapter), Diane and Joe Powelka (Madison Chapter), Bret Rappaport and Klaus Wisiol (Lake-to-Prairie Chapter) are newly elected board members. Steve Maaseen becomes SFE Director. National memberships at 2,282. All officers remain the same. Lorrie Otto becomes honorary Board Member.
September 10, 2000 Central Wisconsin (WI) chartered
November, 2000 SFE receives 47 applications and awards 10 grants for $3,200 in 2001. Wild About Wildflowers CD produced with cooperation of Oakland Chapter.
November 19, 2000 Mid-Missouri (MO) chartered
2001 Dues increase to $30 per household for Wild level; $50 Wilder; $75+ Wildest. Board implements a limited income membership level. A Tapestry of Learning: Creating School Natural Areas video produced through efforts of Fox Valley Area Chapter.
February 17, 2001 Root River Area (WI) chartered
March 10, 2001 Cadillac (MI) Chapter chartered
April 14, 2001 Twin Cities (MN) Chapter chartered
July 13, 2001 Door County (WI) chartered
August 11, 2001 Second Annual Meeting/Conference held in Louisville, KY. Joe Powelka becomes President, and Portia Brown, Secretary
August 26, 2001 Central Upper Peninsula (MI) Chapter chartered
October 18, 2001 Greater Cincinnati (OH) Chapter chartered
November, 2001 SFE receives 28 applicatoins and awards 12 grants totaling #2,995 in 2002
November 15, 2001 First national fund drive; funds to be used to update website
March 1, 2002 Merry Whipple becomes new Editor, Vol 15, No 2 Wild Ones Journal
March 30, 2002 Red Cedar (MI) Chapter chartered
April-May 2002 Guidelines for Selecting Native Plants: The Importance of Local Ecotype developed and presented to membership
July 12-14, 2002 Third Annual Meeting/Conference held in Columbus, OHO. Household memberships at 2,985. 1st Annual Photo Contest. Carol Andrews (Arrowhead Chapter), Jerry Brown (Louisville Metro Chapter), Maryann Whitman (Oakland Chapter) and Marilyn Wyzga (partner- at- large from New Hampshire) become newest board members. Communications Committee established, Mariette Nowak, Chair. Mariette Nowak becomes Vice President/Editor in Chief.
September 1 2002 Membership database goes live on secure pages of website
September 13, 2002 Lexington (KY) Chapter chartered
September 23, 2002 Erin (WI) Chapter chartered
November, 2002 SFE receives 25 applications and awards 10 grants in 2003
March 1, 2003 Bylaws revised to accommodate organization name change to Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes and adopts updated mission statement, and to provide more definitive membership guidelines and chapter relationship. Board authorizes three business membership levels beginning at $200.
March 1, 2003 Fran Gustman becomes new Editor, Vol 16, No 2 Wild Ones Journal
February 1, 2003 Chapter Guidebook goes live on website
April 1, 2003 Website gets a new face. Peter Chen, Greater DuPage Chapter, becomes webmaster.
June 17, 2003 Wisconsin Northwoods (WI) Chapter chartered
September 13-14, 2003 Fourth Annual Meeting/Conference held at Shaw Nature Reserve, St Louis, MO. Memberships at 2,649. First Annual Photo Contest. Maryann Whitman becomes Vice President/Editor in Chief; Bret Rappaport, Communications Committee Chair. First Wild Ones Photo Contest.
September 30, 2003 Coulee Region (WI) Chapter chartered
November, 2003 SFE receives 28 applications and awards nine grants in 2004
November 10, 2003 St Croix Oak Savanna (MN) Chapter chartered
November 26, 2003 Susquehanna Valley Chapter chartered, first in Pennsylvania
January, 2004 Maryann Whitman becomes new Editor, Vol 17, No 1 Wild Ones Journal; Christian Nelson, Associate Editor/Creative Director
August, 2004 Publication and distribution of 25 Year Wild Ones History Book. Carol Chew, Editor
August 6-8, 2004 25th Anniversary Celebration Annual Meeting/Conference held in Madison, WI. First Silent Auction. Nancy Aten (Milwaukee-North Chapter), Tim Lewis (Rock River Valley Chapter), and Kathy McDonald (Greater Cincinnati Chapter) become newest board members.
April 19, 2004 Wolf River (WI) Chapter chartered
June 8, 2004 Lake Woods (WI) Chapter chartered
July 12, 2004 Habitat Gardening Club in Central New York, only chapter in New York currently chartered and Western Reserve (OH) Chapter chartered