Wild Ones Chronology

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