Mountain Ash Planting

History of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden
and The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Winter 1980/1981

Ken Avery begins his 23rd year as Gardener.

Marie Demler
Marie Demler in later years. Friends photo

Note: All issues of the Friend’s Newsletter, The Fringed Gentian™, were numbered out of sequence this year. The correct volume numbers are used in the text. The "as printed" numbers are shown at the bottom of this page.

In the winter issue of the Friend’s newsletter, (Vol. 29 No. 1 Winter 1981) it was announced that Marie Demler had taken over shelter volunteer coordinator duties from Dr. Marian Grimes.

One of the recipients of a Friends Study Grant, Mark Miller of Edison High School published his study of what makes a bog and how to create one.
Mary Maguire Lerman, Coordinator of Horticulture Programs for the Park Board wrote an article about Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) and her upcoming lectures were listed.

Spring 1981

On April 1st the Park Board announced that David Fisher had been appointed as the new Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) Superintendent of Parks, replacing Charles Spears. Mr Fisher had worked for the Parks system since 1970.

Harry Thorn
Harry Thorn. 1961 newspaper photo.

The death of Mr. Harry Thorn was published in The Fringed Gentian™ (Vol. 29 No. 2 Spring 1981). He had served on the Friends Board from 1969 to 1973. Also noted was the death of Hiram Livingston, the architect of the Martha Crone Shelter. Wilber Tusler had sent memorials for both men.

The 29th Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Wild Flower Garden was held in the Garden, on Saturday May 16th, 1981, in the Martha Crone Shelter, 43 persons attending including Naomi Loper, President of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), Mike Ryan MPRB Coordinator of Environmental Education, Mary Lerman MPRB Coordinator of Horticulture Programs, and Patricia Svendsen MPRB staff -- all in recognition of the start of the 30th year of The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden.

Naomi Loper expressed her enjoyment of the Garden during the past 20 years, her approval of the Friends small grant program, thanks for the work on the self-guided trail and brochure and for help with the printing costs.

There were 19 recipients of study grants, 6 to college students at $200 each and 13 to high school and Minneapolis Agri-Business Center students - 1 at $100, 2 at $50 and 10 at $30. In addition 2 teachers got $200 grants for National Audubon courses. All the names are in the Spring issue. The Friends had established two study grant programs in 1978: One would be to establish scholarships for a few high school students to pursue the natural sciences. The second was to make tuition grants for grade school teachers in the Minneapolis Public School system to take a Nature Study course or an Audubon camp each summer.

Marie Demler was introduced as the new Volunteer Coordinator as was Doris Larson as the co-editor of the newsletter.

Directors elected were: Cindy Berg (new), Betty Bryan (new), Robert Dassett Jr., Marie Demler (new), Lynn Deweese, Lynne Holman, Doris Larson (new), Janet O’Leary (new), Caroline Price., Susan Warde (new since Summer 1980), George Weiss (new).
Janet O’Leary had previously worked on some signage for the Garden.
Ex-officio member: Kenneth Avery. Martha Crone as honorary life member.

Leaving the board were Moana Beim, Jean Chamberlain, Walter Lehnert, John Murtfeldt.

Below: Opening the newly marked trails that correspond to the new Garden Guidebook are l to r: Lynn Deweese, Friends President; Lynne Holman, Friends Board Member, Naomi Loper, MPRB President. In the background, Moana Odell Beim. May 16, 1981. Friends photo.

ribbon cutting to open paths

Following the election the outdoor activities commenced. First the trail with the new markers to match stations in the new guidebook was opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony and dedicated with Lynne Holman, Naomi Loper and the other MPRB staff officiating. Lynne Holman had worked with the MPRB staff on the booklet since 1979. Then Mike Ryan lead a tour over the trail. There was a tree planting of a Mountain Ash and Moana Beim threw the first shovel of dirt for the “30th Anniversary Tree”.

Below: A group of The Friends and Garden staff planting a Mountain Ash on May 16, 1981 celebrating the 30 years since the of the founding of The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden. From l-to-r: Naomi Loper (MPRB commissioner), Pat Huntington (MPRB public relations head), Friends Board members Marie Demler and Moana Odell Beim, Mary Maguire Lerman (MPRB Coordinator of Horticultural Programs), Unidentified MPRB Naturalist, Unidentified Friends member, Gardener Ken Avery, Friends member Lynne Holman, Friends President O. Lynne Deweese, and Mike Ryan (MPRB environmentalist assigned to Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden). Photo courtesy Lynne Holman.

Tree Planing May 16, 1981

The new long awaited guide book had proved so popular that the first printing was already gone and more were being printed. At that time visitors could keep them.

At the Board meeting following the annual meeting, officers elected were: Lynn Deweese, President; Lynne Holman, Vice President; Betty Bryan, Secretary; Caroline Price, Treasurer.
Doris Larson and Janet O’Leary assumed the duties of editors of The Fringed Gentian™.

Summer 1981

In the summer issue of The Fringed Gentian™ (Vol. 29 No. 3 Summer 1981) President Lynn Deweese wrote about Minneapolis’ urban forest and the destruction of two well known trees as the result of a tornado on June 14th. The large Ginkgo and large Ash near the Rose Gardens were both destroyed - both were Minneapolis Heritage Trees. Meanwhile near the Garden, the large elm beyond the back gate that the Friends had been injecting each year since 1976 to prevent Dutch Elm Disease was still standing while all elms around it had fallen.

Details of the annual meeting in May were reported. Mary Maguire Lerman wrote an article about Goldenrods.

Autumn 1981

In October the MPRB hosted the national convention of the National Recreation and Parks Association and some visitors toured the Garden on Oct. 26th. Included in the attendees were Conrad and Theodore Wirth, son and grandson of former Parks Superintendent Theodore Wirth.

memorial board
The dedication section of the Eliason Honor Roll Plaque in the Martha Crone Shelter.

This was the last year Ken Avery would have any extra help with Garden duties as the Park Board Budget was too tight.

31 volunteers staffed the visitors shelter this past year. To help with the costs of the second printing of the new garden guidebook, Prudential Insurance Company had agreed to make a contribution. The Friends mailed out new membership directories.

Mary Maguire Lerman wrote an article for The Fringed Gentian™, (Vol. 29 No. 4 Autumn 1981) about Common Plantain (Plantago major). Mike Ryan contributed an article about a cat family that had taken up residence in the Garden to the great disturbance of the local fauna.

Marian Eliason forwarded to the Friends memorials received from a number of friends of her mother, Lydia W. Eliason, who passed away on June 19. The Friends created an “Honor Roll Plaque” in her honor, which hangs on the inside wall of the Shelter and on which are placed engraved name plates of people for whom the Friends have received significant gifts and memorials.

The Eliasons provide the Friends with some entertaining moments. Minneapolis Star columnist Jim Klobuchar reported on Aug. 11, 1979 on the ladies trip to Finland to meet relatives and research their history - and the surprise of meeting 1,800 relatives. (pdf of article).

They also made the newspapers on June 24, 1956 when a group of fisherman from Ely met them up at Basswood Lake at the point in time when the Eliasons had decided to end their camping and fishing trip after a bear had made off with the backpack containing all their food, but the bear had ignited a box of matches in a pack and burned everything up. (24 June 1956, Minneapolis Tribune)

Photo top of page: Planting of a Mountain Ash on May 16, 1981. In foreground l to r: Naomi Loper, MPRB President; Friends Board member Lynne Holman; Friends President, Lynn Deweese; Mike Ryan, MPRB Coordinator of Environmental Education. Photo courtesy Lynne Holman.

To History of: Previous Year ----------- Subsequent Year

Year chart - all years

Garden History Archive

Friends History Archive

Printable PDF file of this page.

Links to related pages:
- Abbreviated Life of Eloise Butler

- Martha Crone - 2nd Garden Curator

- Ken Avery - 3rd Curator and Gardener

- Cary George - 4th Gardener

- Our Native Plant Reserve - Short document on the origins of the Garden.

- Eloise Butler's writings, a selection of essays written by Eloise Butler on the early Garden years.

- Geography of the Garden- an illustrated tour


Meeting Minutes and correspondence of Friends of the Wild Flower Garden.

Archive of the Friends Newsletter The Fringed Gentian™
Vol. 29, # 1, Winter 1981, Lynn Deweese, Doris Larson and Janet O’Leary, Editors [Mis-labeled as Vol. 31]
Vol. 29, # 2, Spring 1981, Lynn Deweese, Doris Larson and Janet O’Leary, Editors [Mis-labeled as Vol. 31]
Vol. 29, # 3, Summer, 1981, Lynn Deweese, Doris Larson and Janet O’Leary, Editors [Mis-labeled as Vol. 31]
Vol. 29, # 4, Autumn, 1981, Lynn Deweese, Doris Larson and Janet O’Leary, Editors [Mis-labeled as Vol. 31]

Historical Climatology of Minneapolis-St. Paul Area by Charles Fisk.

Friends Home Page

©2019 Friends of the Wild Flower Garden, Inc. Photos are as credited and are used with permission for educational purposes, for which the Friends thank them and the organization providing the photos. Text and research by Gary Bebeau. "" - 111920