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The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden
P. O. Box 3793
Minneapolis MN 55403

The Friends 50th Anniversary Celebration

On Mother's Day, May 12, 2002, The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden celebrated their 50th anniversary at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary. Open house activities that afternoon included a book signing by Martha Hellander, author of The Wild Gardener, a book about Eloise Butler; a special tree planting ceremony with Minneapolis mayor R. T. Rybak participating. Several descendants of Friends founder Clinton Odell were present. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the owner and manager of the garden, issued a proclamation honoring The Friends for their fifty years of assistance to the Parks Board. Here are photos from the event.

Friends President Steve Pundt, Park Commissioner Vivian Mason and Friends Membership Chair Joy Davis greeted Garden visitors at the 50th Anniversary event at the Garden on Mother's Day, May 12, 2002. 2nd photo - President Steve Pundt spoke about the Friends' 50 years of dedication to the Garden and our continued commitment to secure its future.

Steve Pundt Vivian Mason Joy Davis Steve Pundt

Below: Guest, Mayor R. T Rybak, described the Garden as a unique and treasured resource. From the left, Martha Hellander, Rybak family member, the Mayor, Lorraine Rybak-Mesken, Park Commissioner Vivian Mason, and Friends President Steve Pundt. Commissioner Mason highlighted this anniversary as a historical marker of the cooperative relationship between the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and The Friends.

Mayor Rybak speaking to group tree plant

ABOVE AND BELOW: In honor of the Friends' 50th anniversary, a burr oak tree was planted near the clearing by the Martha Crone Shelter. From the left, Mayor Rybak, Gardener Cary George, Commissioner Mason, Clinton Odell III, Steve Pundt, and Martha Hellander. Below: Preparation work.

Tree planting preparation Tree planting preparation

Below: Friends (back row) Gloria Miller, Otis Godfrey, Steve Pundt, Pam Weiner, Constance Pepin; (front row) Betty Bryan, Ann Godfrey, Lisa Locken

Friends members
Clinton Odell
Clinton Odell III with the painting of his grandfather ("the First Friend") on display in the Martha Crone Shelter
Lynda and Nick Wander
Nick and Lynda Wander with the photograph of Martha Crone and her great grandson (their son), as it appeared in the Flanagan column of the Minneapolis Star. In honor of the Friends' anniversary, the photo was donated to the Friends and hangs in the Martha Crone Shelter.
Martha Hellander
Martha Hellander, author of The Wild Gardener, a biography of Eloise Butler, signed copies of her book in the Martha Crone Shelter.

Below: Jack and Shirley Schultz, long time Friends and Board members. Shirley was co-chair of the Volunteer Committee until 2006.

jack and shirley schultz

Below: Lynda Wander, granddaughter of Martha Crone, with her family.

Lynda Wander Family

Below: Mayor Rybak with his family.

Mayor Rybak and family
Cary and Janet George
Above: Gardener Cary George and Janet George.
Above: Friends members John and Joan Haldeman with Board member Joy Davis
Clinton Odell and Lynda Wander
Above: Two special guests were Clinton Odell III, grandson of Friends founder Clinton Odell, and Lynda Wander, granddaughter of Martha Crone, protégé of Eloise Butler and herself a Friends founder. Here they are holding images of their esteemed grandparents.