43 members have supported us for 20 years or more.
25 of the 43 have been members for 30 years or more,
6 of the 25 for 40 years or more,
3 of the 6 for 50 years or more.
20 members served as newsletter editor
22 members served as president
118 names are on the shelter memorial board
137 members served on the Board of Directors
250 Fringed Gentian™ newsletters were created
5,446 Children visited with our Transportation Grant
$47,000 was provided for Garden plants
$98,000 was provided for our educational program
$335,000 was invested in other Garden support.
Seventy Years of the Friends is a new book that documents the activities of Friends of the Wild Flower Garden and the events happening in the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden from the founding of the Friends in 1952 until 2022. Details on the website Available in pdf format and a limited number of printed copies
President Jennifer Olson in April began a display case presentation about the Wildflower Garden at the Minneapolis Sumner Library Branch. The exhibit changes seasonally and is maintained by Jennifer and several Friends members. The first display this spring featured some history about Eloise Butler, spring wildflowers and a display of Judy Remington’s glass tiles on spring wildflowers. Judy, a former editor of our Fringed Gentian™, is pictured here next to the display case. The Library is located at 611 Van White Memorial Blvd, (at Olson Highway), Minneapolis.
On January 31, the Friends Board of Directors approved budgeting over $17,000 in 2022 for our mission program of educational activities, volunteer support, student transportation grants to visit the Garden and funding for plants, habitat and infrastructure at the Garden. The largest part of this will be direct funding for needs in the Garden. Review the “Plants in the Garden” section below. Due to Covid-19, student visits have been off limits. We expect they can resume in summer 2023. More details about how our funding is being used will be on our website as the year progresses, and also included in our monthly newsletter.
It has been 13 years since we increased our basic membership rates. As announced at the Annual Meeting in September and in the Fall Fringed Gentian™, our support rates change on January 1, 2022.
The current basic rates of “Individual” and “Family/Duo” will be combined into a “Basic Membership” rate of $25 per year. “Sponsor” rate will be $100 per year, “Benefactor” rate (formerly “Sustainer”) will be $250 per year and the “Life Member” rate will be a one-time payment of $750. This is the first change to the Benefactor and Life rate since the Friends were founded in 1952. The “Sponsor” rate remains unchanged since 1952. Thank you all for your past support and we welcome your renewed support as we finish our 70th year in 2022.
Over the past two years, the addition of new plants continued while visitation to the Garden was in a more restricted mode. All the way back to Eloise Butler’s time, the majority of planting effort in the Garden consisted of the addition and replacement of existing plant species. Unlike long-lived trees, most herbaceous plants die out more quickly (except, it seems, for Trout-lilies which seem to last forever) and need to be replaced to keep the collection in tact. The Garden has its own plant budget that is frequently supplemented by funds from the Friends. Our budget for 2022 allocates up to $7,500 for plants for the Garden. Your contributions have funded over $50,000 for plants and plant habitat in the 21st century..
Below: New plants being planted by Garden Staff at Eloise Butler.
An improvement project for the Martha Crone Shelter was announced back in late 2019, with the Park Board allocating funds for the addition of staff space to the shelter. The Friends were asked to provide funding assistance for a welcome center. Since the original proposal, Covid-19 put a hold on moving forward but now construction documentation is being finalized. There are still difficulties to be resolved, especially the current high cost of lumber, scarceness of other building materials and importantly, the extra costs of access to a site which is in a protected area and far from heavy vehicle access. We will know later this year if funds allocated by the MPRB for the project will match construction bids allowing the project to proceed. The Friends Board has begun reserving funds for this project..
Below: The tool shed and current staff headquarters at Eloise Butler.
You should know that your support contributions to the Friends are entirely used for these Garden projects and our other mission programs. Our administrative expenses are small, 5% of revenue or less, and these expenses are funded from non-contribution revenue.
If you want to read more about the historical aspects of the Garden and the things the Friends membership has accomplished over the last 70 years visit the "garden history tab" and the "Friends history tab." Links at page bottom.