2014 begins the 107th year of the Garden, it having been founded on April 15, 1907. It would also be the 62nd year for the Friends and Susan Wilkins’ eleventh year as Garden Curator.
The first Friends board meeting of the year took place Feb. 10, 2014, at the home of President Pam Weiner. Entomologist Elaine Evans was present to report on the progress of the Bee study at the Garden that the Friends and MPRB were funding. In the first year of the survey she had catalogued 75 species of bees. More of her information and photos are on this page.
Garden Curator Susan Wilkins confirmed that the Florilegium Project would have another exhibition this year, this time at the Minneapolis Central Library, arranged by Friends board member Jim Proctor. Botanist Barb Delaney has bee hired to complete a new Garden census and a photographer was to take images of each species also. MS Delaney had previously done the 1986 and 2009 census. The Emerald Ash Borer Plan for the Garden was underway with some trees to be removed on a case-by-case basis but because the ash were dominating areas of the Fern Glen, 5 were removed during the Winter.
Below: Green Ash cut in the Fern Grove during the Winter of 2013/2014. Photo G D Bebeau.
Planning for the boardwalk in the wetland was ongoing. A final planning meeting was held on Feb. 13th and bidding documents are being prepared. One of the new ideas was to make the walking surface out of cut ash wood from the city parks. The wood would go through a heat treating process to make a durable surface.
Colin Bartol brought in a sample of the backpack to be used by children in the Garden Junior Nature Detective Backpack program. Funding of $300 was provided for two sets of backpacks. Melissa Hansen introduced her replacement as Volunteer Coordinator - Lauren Husting, and Lauren was elected to the board.
A date of August 3rd , Eloise Butler’s Birthday, was set for a fundraiser at the Wirth Pavilion for the Student Transportation Grant Program. This is same site where the previous fundraiser was held in 2012, but the facility is newly remodeled. A fundraiser for the boardwalk is in the planning stages. Anthony Waldera has arranged with the current owner for the use of the historic house at 2100 James Ave. in Minneapolis. The house was the home of Mendon and Clara Schutt. Clara was a friend of Eloise Butler and the Schutt’s daughter Elizabeth, created a family fund at the Minneapolis Foundation in 1999 and named the Friends as one of the beneficiaries. [details of the Schutt Family]
In mid-February 2014, Al Jueneman and his dog Jax found a downed injured Great Horned Owl who had some form of eye injury. It just outside the back fence of the Garden. It was taken to the Raptor Center to be fixed up and then was brought back in May to the same spot for release. Full story and details here.
The Garden opening was late again this year due to weather, opening on April 15. Snowfall in March was not bad but the first week in April brought a heavy snowfall. Weatherman Paul Douglas wrote: “It seems as if something gave Mother Nature a shot of caffeine here as of late. Until just recently, it seemed as if we were just muddling through March.”
The next board meeting of the Friends was held on April 7 at the Kenwood Community Center. Susan Wilkins made an extensive report which included a note that a motion censor had been installed in the back room of the Shelter where a break-in had occurred last Fall. She had program schedules prepared for Spring at the Garden; the boardwalk design group was finalizing the details and bids were to let shortly.
The Friends Invasive Plants Action Group had scheduled 5 Garlic Mustard removal events for May and early June. Pam Weiner had done extensive planning for the Aug. 3 fundraiser and presented the details. It was agreed that the invitation letter to members should reference the need for funds for both the Student Transportation Grant Program and for the boardwalk project. It was also agreed the the Friends would forego any funding for Garden plants this year into order to use funds for the boardwalk project.
Once the Garden opened in April, Gary Bebeau took videos and prepared a video on the Garden’s Opening and another video on the Boardwalk Project. Both were posted to the Friends Website and Facebook page.
Lauren Husting held her first volunteer orientation on April 22 with 20 attending. That was the same date that a crew came in to burn off the prairie area - a task that needed to be done every 2 to 5 years. Photos of before and after the burn.
In the Spring issue of The Fringed Gentian™ (Vol. 62, No. 1) President Pam Weiner updated the membership on the boardwalk project and announced the Garden Party to be held Aug. 3 in the Wirth Park Pavilion.
Susan Wilkins outlined planned highlights of the 2014 Garden season, including the return of the bees. Friends board member Melissa Hansen was interviewed by Donna Ahrens. Garden Naturalist Karen Katz wrote about the phenology program at the Garden. Recently retired Naturalist Donna Thottungal wrote about how plants cooperate in nature. Jim Proctor and Liz Anderson wrote an extensive summary of what the Friends Invasive Plant Action Group is accomplishing in the preservation zone around the Garden.
On Saturday May 3, Jayne Funk manned a Friends table at the Bryn Mawr Garage Sale event.
Next was the Friends annual meeting, at the Lyndale Farmstead, 3900 Bryant Ave. So, Minneapolis on May 4, a Sunday, that day of the week being tried for the second time. A guest was Mary Linden from the Minneapolis Central Library where the Florilegium exhibit would be held in late Summer.
Elected to the Friends Board for the coming year were: Candy Bartol (new), Colin Bartol, Gary Bebeau, Steve Benson, Sue Budd, Jayne Funk, Melissa Hansen, Lauren Husting (new), Vivian Mason, Meleah Maynard, Gloria Miller, Jennifer Olson , Jim Proctor, Sally Pundt, Steve Pundt, Barry Schade, Anthony Waldera, Phoebe Waugh, Pam Weiner and Susan Wilkins (ex-officio). Jeff Lee left the board.
Susan Wilkins reported that Spring weather had been beneficial to the plants. Wood shavings from the new supplier were being put down on the paths. The RFP for the boardwalk was to be ready for bidding in a week. The “in-honor-of” plaque for Cary George would be installed on the bridge portion of the new boardwalk.
Gary Bebeau pointed out that our meeting date was the 80th anniversary of the dedication of the Memorial Tablet for Eloise Butler, placed on the boulder that rests in front of the Garden Shelter. Lauren reported that some volunteer shifts were going unfilled as volunteers were not signing up so much as in the past for standing days when they would do a shift.
Jayne Funk reported on membership. She now had 124 members email addresses. Of those 102 opted for renewal notices by email and 32 for the Newsletter by email.
At the Board of Directors meeting following the annual meeting, the officers elected were: Pam Weiner, President; Vivian Mason, Vice-president; Secretary, Candy Bartol; Gary Bebeau, Treasurer.
Continuing in committee roles were: Gary Bebeau, Memorials and Website; Lauren Husting, Volunteers (new); Steve Benson, Money Management; Meleah Maynerd Newsletter Editor; Phoebe Waugh, Historian; Jayne Funk, membership; Jim Proctor, Invasive Plant Action Group (Liz Anderson co-chair).
On July 4th a fundraising letter was mailed to the membership about the Garden Party and the boardwalk funding, [pdf copy] The planning committee for the Garden Party met at Pam Weiner’s house on July 14 to finalize the event.
On August 3 the Friends Garden Party got underway at the Wirth Park Pavilion. Tickets were sold in advance on the website and at the door. There was a raffle, a silent auction of 62 items, food, beverages, a jazz trio and Eloise Butler visited. Tours could be taken of the Garden, a bird-spotting scope was set up. $4,200 was raised, including 3 new memberships.
Below: The set-up for a silent auction in the Wirth Park Pavilion - Garden Party, Aug. 3, 2014. Photo G D Bebeau
In the Summer issue of Friends Newsletter, The Fringed Gentian™ (Vol.62 No. 2) Naturalist Tammy Mercer wrote an article on Great Horned Owls, concentrating of the wounded owl found in February. Colin Bartol described his Junior Nature Detective Backpack program. Gary Bebeau wrote on creating the Upland Garden. Liz Anderson of the Friends Invasive Plant Action Group explains why Garlic Mustard is such a horrific adversary. New Volunteer Coordinator Lauren Husting is introduced.
The MPRB received an award from the Trust for Public Land, which named Minneapolis the top city parks system in the nation for the second consecutive year.
Below: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Superintendent Jayne Miller stopped by the Garden in June to show off the award that the MPRB received from The Trust for Public Land, which named the Minneapolis the top city parks system in the nation for the second consecutive year. Superintendent Miller (back row, second from the right), surrounded by students at the Garden and Shelter volunteer Donna Ahrens. EBWG Education Program Coordinator Lauren Borer, center, holds the award. Photo Lauren Borer.
The next event was the exhibition opening of the Eloise Butler Garden Florilegium at the Minneapolis Central Library on August 14. Forty-five paintings of native plants from the Wild Flower Garden were exhibited. Susan Wilkins and Marilyn Garber (head of the School for Botanical Art) spoke about the history of the wildflower Garden and the history of the botanical art. MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller also spoke. The Friends paid $300 for some of the refreshments provided, the Friends of the Library paid for the remainder. Pam Weiner manned a Friends Table and a number of other board members were present.
In August, the Friends were able to announce that we had met the fundraising match offered last Fall by People for Parks - that brought in $12,500 from them. Several other large donations came in during the Summer and are summarized below in the Autumn section.
During the Summer 18 school classes came to the Garden with bus transportation subsidized by the Student Transportation Grant Program - 752 students, cost to Friends: $2,816. The majority of kids were 4th grade, some 3rd grade and one high school group.
Below: The entrance to the Florilegium Exhibiton on August 14th.
The Friends held a Board Meeting on Sept. 29 at the Kenwood Park Community Center. MPRB Planner for Wirth Park, Andrea Weber, was present and gave an update on the boardwalk project. The RFP was released in August. Contractors were so busy that only one bid was received on the project and at $234,000, it was too far above Cuningham Group's estimate to be accepted. The project was to be re-bid in November. The board did agree that we would add another $50,000 to the project.
Susan Wilkins reported that some new trenching to prevent oak wilt was done this summer, the first since 2008. Barb Delaney was continuing the plant census and Elaine Evens was finishing the bee survey.
Below: The bee-keeper tending hives on May 21st in the Upland Garden.
Jayne Funk summed up the membership at this point: 245 members, 175 annual renewing, 33 life and 37 courtesy members. FIPAG (Friends Invasive Plants Action Group) reported that one buckthorn pull happened on Sept. 28 and two more were scheduled in October. Susan Wilkins was able to extend the Garden preservation zone beyond to the SE of the path that leads from the front gate to the eastern fence. FIPAG would be working in this maple forest area now.
Minneapolis Audubon had requested help in funding a video about the need for bird-sale glass on the new Vikings Stadium being built downtown. $500 was donated to the project. [The glass was never installed].
In planning for 2015, the Friends needed to update the bylaws and plan the fund raiser to be held at the home of Mark Addicks at 2100 James Ave - the old Mendon and Clara Schutt house.
The annual volunteer appreciation event was held on October 26th at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in South Minneapolis, our third year at that facility. The Friends provided beverages, food, door prizes and the Park Board providing desserts and a EBWG water bottle for everyone.
Below: The Volunteer Appreciation Event on Oct. 26.
In the Fall issue of The Fringed Gentian™ (Vol. 62, No.3) Pam Weiner reviewed the full years events. Newsletter editor Meleah Maynard interviewed Eloise Butler, who participated in the Summer Garden Party (in the form of Anna Anderhagen - historical character actor). Susan Wilkins reviewed all the Garden happenings. Naturalist Wes Hugteren wrote about assisting 42 baby turtle hatchlings find their way safely to water in Birch Pond from the Garden entrance area. Jim Proctor and Liz Anderson summed up the years work for his group and wrote about the new area to be worked on.
“So what’s next for the invasives group? Thanks to a recently adopted cooperative arrangement between the Park Board and the Friends of the Wild Flower Garden, FIPAG will be involved in a truly beautiful and extraordinary project. Outside the Garden, at its eastern edge, a wide gravel path runs from the driveway/parking area to the Garden. A tall impenetrable buckthorn hedge has bordered the gravel path, obscuring the deep ravine of maples, oaks and hemlocks that lies behind it. Earlier this summer, the Park Board agreed to work with FIPAG to remove invasives there. The goal is to remove the invasives that encircle the ravine.”
Below: The impenetrable buckthorn hedge that Jim Proctor writes about.
The Friends ended the year with assets of $76,000. Revenue in this fundraising year was $73,600 of which membership revenue was $7,600, memorials were $1,450, special donations were $59,400. Expenses were $7,300 of which $3,700 for newsletter and other printing, $50,000 to the Park Board as additional deposit on the boardwalk, $3,750 to the Park Board for year two of the bee survey, $2,850 was spent on Student Transportation Grants, $300 to Colin Bartol for the Junior Naturalist Backpacks, $300 to the Florilegium Exhibit, and $500 to Minneapolis Audubon for the video.
Engraved name plates were placed on the Eliason Honor Board in the Shelter for Sharon Quast, Joseph O’Donnell and William Toivonen.
Several significant donations this year were: $5,000 from The Steven Leuthold Foundation; $10,500 from the Dorothy Pawlcyn Family Foundation [more info below] ; $12,500 from People for Parks as a matching grant to the Friends fundraising; $5,000 from Judy McKim, daughter of Moana Odell Beim; $12,500 from Mark Addicks. Mr. Addicks would be hosting the Friends 2015 fundraising event at his house.
Pawlcyn Family Background: Dorothy and Stephen Pawlcyn built a house in 1949, just across Wirth Parkway from the Garden and near the Quaking Bog, in what would become the city of Golden Valley. The parents loved the Garden and were frequent visitors, as are the daughters, Mary and Cindy today. Both remember playing in the Garden and the bog when young. They remember coming to the Garden and finding no one there - gates locked that day. [That would have been a Wednesday during Martha Crones's tenure - her one day off per week.] The parents would have probably met or at least seen Martha Crone, Ken Avery and Cary George. Stephen passed away 15 year ago and Dorothy would in February 2015. The daughters have not met Susan Wilkins until now, so now, only Eloise Butler is missing from this story. Their daughter, Mary, made the contribution for the estate.
Below: The Pawlcyn Family visiting the new Boardwalk on Aug. 17, 2015: l to r Cindy, husband John Watanabe, Mary, son Byrnes.
Weather: The Garden opened late again due to piles of snow melting slowly, but the rest of the year was uneventful. The Summer was wet. Total precipitation was above average; snowfall in the Winter of 2013/14 was above average with snow depth reaching 24 inches on February 21st, but the coming Winter of 2014/15 would be below average with no major snowfalls.
Photo top of page: The Upland Garden on August 27, 2014 Photo ©G D Bebeau
Meeting Minutes and correspondence of The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden.
Archive of the Friends Newsletter The Fringed Gentian™
Vol. 62, # 1 (mis-labeled Vol. 62-2) Spring 2014, Meleah Maynard, Editor
Vol. 62, # 2, (mis-labeled Vol. 63-2) Summer 2014, Meleah Maynard, Editor
Vol. 62, # 3, (mis-labeled Vol. 63-3) Fall 2014, Meleah Maynard, Editor
Historical Climatology of Minneapolis-St. Paul Area by Charles Fisk.