Maryann Whitman

Thank You Maryann Whitman, WILD ONES JOURNAL Editor

BY DONNA VANBUECKEN, CHARTER PRESIDENT FOX VALLEY AREA CHAPTER.

As the first paid staff person, I have had the privilege of working with all six Wild Ones newsletter editors. It has been a wonderful opportunity to meet some very passionate women and I know I’m a better person for it. I suspect all Wild Ones members can say the same thing although they may not have been touched by as many Wild Ones editors. Even though Carol Chew, Joy Buslaff, Babette Kis, Merry Whipple and Fran Gustman went before, Maryann has been the longest tenured editor and the one whose passion for the science behind the natural landscaping movement has helped drive Wild Ones to its current status.

Maryann has been a member of Wild Ones since 1995. In 1999 she began the Wild Ones Oakland Chapter. She became a member of the national board in 2002 and served for 12 years, participating as Vice President, communications Committee Chair and on various other national committees. Under Merry Whipple and then Fran Gustman, she served as Features Editor for the WILD ONES JOURNAL, even then bringing us the scientific element that has been so important to the success of our cause today.

Taking over the reins of Wild Ones Journal Editor in 2004 she continued to bring the science to Wild Ones members not only through her own written word, but that of her many friends and colleagues. Of all the articles which have appeared in the JOURNAL over the ensuing years, I think you will agree with me that the “mysteries” series have been the most awe inspiring.

The twelve articles she presented about the intricate system of connections between native plants and the soil, and with insects and the food web, with mycorrhizae, with secondary metabolites, and plant sex life have not only been enlightening, but awesome. You’ll find these articles on the Wild Ones website at Mysteries Explored and under the 18 top articles on the Members Only webpages.

I know I will miss my collaboration with Maryann. She was able to bring a higher sense of importance to my work as Wild Ones Executive Director because of her all-encompassing knowledge about native plants. But I know that the next editor will establish the same collaborative rapport with your new Executive Director Gail Gerhardt.

Thank you, Maryann, for helping move us into the 21st Century and for your never-ending search for the science behind our passion.

Donna is the Past Wild Ones Executive Director.