Spring landscape with shelter

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

Winter 1997/1998

This is the 12th year with Gardener Cary George in charge of the Garden.

Note: The 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.

The Friends held a Board meeting on January 26th at Golden Valley City Hall. Most items were review. New items covered were:
1) Placement of a bike rack near the Garden front gate.
2) The need for a one-page flyer for Garden visitors that did not want to use the regular Garden guide book.
3) Suggestions for a memorial of some type for Ken Avery, who passed away in November last year.
4) The need for a web site - this is the first mention of the idea. Reality would occur in 2007.

Gardener's shed
The Gardener's shed, after re-hab, shown here in 2008. (Photo G D Bebeau).

Another Board meeting was held on March 30th at Golden Valley City Hall. The money management committee formed of Steve Benson, Steve Pundt and Jack Schultz had met with Merrill Lynch and some accounts were re-arranged. Jack Renner of Renner Well submitted a bid of $10,600 for a well and pump at the Great Medicine Spring. The Board voted to approve the project with a limit of $15,000. Two bike racks were approved, one for the parking lot and one for near the front gate. Jeff Lee, Manager of Environmental Operations for the Park Board, was to order them and have the park maintenance people install them. The Friends would pay for the racks - cost was $578. Cary George noted the Garden would open April 1st as the trails were clear of snow and wildflowers were emerging - quite different from 1997. There was more discussion about a Ken Avery memorial and a web page.

In the spring issue of The Fringed Gentian™ Cary George reported that another 4 Red Oaks were removed due to oak wilt. These were the last oaks located on the north Prairie Garden hillside which had been the epicenter of the disease. [photos] The remodeled Gardener’s shed was much appreciated. (Work done in the fall of 1997). He also noted that this was the first spring when Ken Avery did not greet him in the Garden with “And how is Mr. George today?”

Below: Photos of the prairie hillside after removal of the Red Oaks affected with oak wilt. Some of the brush was burned on site. 1st photo - looking up towards the prairie. 2nd photo looking down toward the woodland. (Photos G D Bebeau)

oak wilt trees removed Oak wilt trees removed

Spring 1998

Mothers Day was celebrated in the Shelter with a birthday cake provided by the Friends.

The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden held their annual meeting on Saturday May 16, at the Martha Crone Shelter in the Garden.

Bench and bike rack
One of two steel bike racks funded by the Friends in 1998. This one by the Schaar Bench near the front gate to the Garden. (Photo G D Bebeau)

Directors elected were: Steve Benson, Harriet Betzold, Joy Davis, Mel Duoos, Marguerite Harbison, Juanita Lussenhop, Jack Lynch, Gloria Miller, Lon Miller, Barbara Milligan (new), Steve & Sally Pundt, Shirley & Jack Schultz.

Elected to their offices at the Board of Directors meeting: Gloria Miller, President; Jack Lynch, Vice-President; Juanita Lussenhop, Secretary; and Jack Schultz, Treasurer.

In committees, Shirley Schultz was Volunteer coordinator, Joy Davis, membership chair; Gloria Miller, Historian; newsletter editor, Barb Milligan; Liaison to the Park Board, Steve Pundt; and Marguerite Harbison was memorials chair.

51 volunteers were on the active list. 257 persons on the membership list.

Jeff Lee, Manager of Environmental Operations for the Park Board was present and reported that the new cost estimate for the well and pump at the Great Medicine Spring was $11,145 and that work would begin in late fall.

There were only 600 Garden guides left, so from now on guides would not be left in bulk at the entrance kiosk but would need to be picked up at the shelter, but guides could be returned to a box at the entrance. The shelter got a new computer and a microwave, the microwave furnished by The Friends for $75. The first computer arrived in 1990, donated by Walker Art Center to the Park Board.

At the Friends Board meeting following the annual meeting Joy Davis reported that her query of members about a membership roster resulted in the majority saying don’t spend the money. Thus the 1998-99 roster already prepared would be the last mailed. Shirley Schultz ordered and donated a clock for the shelter that Cary George had requested.

Summer 1998

In the summer issue of The Fringed Gentian™ an article told how to create a butterfly garden. It was announced that the Friends would provide a birthday cake and refreshments on August 2nd at the Shelter in honor of Eloise Butler’s Birthday (August 3, 1851) Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson declared August 3, 1998 as Eloise Butler Day. The text is in the Winter issue of The Fringed Gentian™.

An an August meeting of the Friends Board, Lisa Locken and Lyle Johnson were added to the Board.

During the year planning was done for the memorial for Ken Avery. The attempt was to establish a "Ken Avery Research Fund" at the University of Minnesota that would support student research in the Department of Horticultural Science. The University estimated that about 5% of a fund could be expended each year for student research.

Friends President Gloria Miller received a ready to sign agreement from the University but the minimum funding required was $10,000 and the Board decided not to pursue it. In 2005 a memorial in the form of the Ken Avery Birding Terrace would come into being.

Autumn 1998

Shelter Woodpile
The simple firewood lean-to constructed by Park Board Carpenters in the summer of 1998 (Photo G D Bebeau)

In the winter issue of The Fringed Gentian™ Cary George thanked the Friends for purchasing a new log splitter (cost $947). He reported that 12 clumps of Showy Lady’s-slipper (Cypripedium reginae) were rescued from a road project in northern Minnesota and planted in the wetland. In addition he listed the following as some of the other plants he put in during the year [Link on name goes to full information sheet]:

Sharp-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica aculiloba)
Flowering Spurge (Euphorbia corollata)
American Spikenard (Aralia racemosa)
Canada Anemone (Anemone canadensis)
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
Bottle Gentian (Genlian andrewsii)
Wild Quinine (Pathenium integrifolium)
Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum)
Speckled Alder (Alnus rugosa)
Yellow Birch (Betula allegheniensis)
Allegheny Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis)

Shirley Schultz listed the 1998 volunteers and two poems by local poet and Friends member Betty Bridgman were published. The Garden naturalists wrote an article about the rescue of an injured hawk at the Garden.

The park board carpenters finished the firewood rack near the Shelter.

At the end of 1998 the Friends had financial statement assets of $61,300.

Weather: 1998 was a mild year without wild temperature swings, adequate precipitation, but the fall was dry with very little snow. Most of the snow for the winter of 1998/99 fell after the first of the year.

Photo top of page: Panoramic view of the Garden Shelter from the front gate. ©G D Bebeau

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. 46 No.1 Spring 1998, Barbara Milligan, Editor (all 1998 issues mislabeled Vol. 49)

- Vol. 46 No. 2 Summer 1998, Barbara Milligan, Editor

- Vol. 46 No. 3 Winter 1998, Barbara Milligan, Editor

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. "https://www.friendsofthewildflowergarden.org" - 020621