Fall Programs at Wood Lake Nature Center Featuring Stephen Saupe and Heather Holm

September 19, 2023

Social and Set up | 6:30 pm

Meeting and Program | 7:00 to 8:30 pm

Deciduous Trees & Shrubs of Minnesota, Identification and Natural History

Stephen Saupe

Professor emeritus, joint biology department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University. 

In May 2023, members of St Cloud and Twin Cities chapters learned a lot about our prairie and woodlands at a guided tour of St John's Arboretum led by Stephen Saupe. We are delighted to welcome him to Wood Lake Nature Center to kick off our fall winter and spring program season. 

Stephen will talk about the natural history of trees and shrubs, including stories about some of his favorite trees, such as honey locust, catalpa, cherries and walnut/butternut. His presentation will also focus on how to identify common woody plants and with descriptions of some of our the most common street trees.


Stephen Saupe is a professor emeritus from the joint Biology Department of the College of St. Benedict and Saint John's University, where he taught for more than 40 years. A broadly trained botanist, Stephen wrote a monthly column on popular botanical topics for the St. Cloud Times and is one of the maple syrup makers at Saint John's.

Photo by Julia Vanatta • Canopy of oldest black locust in Hennepin County

October 17, 2023

In Person at Wood Lake Nature Center • Please register for free ticket HERE

Social and Set up | 6:30 pm

Meeting and Program | 7:00 to 8:30 pm

Co-hosts | Wild Ones Arrowhead, Wild Ones St Croix Oak Savanna and Wild Ones Big River Big Woods

Oaks, Fire, and Climate Change 

Heather Holm

Natural landscapes in the US and Canada have been drastically altered by human activities such as infrastructure development, logging, overgrazing, introduction of invasive species, and fire suppression. However, prior to Euro-American settlement, highly functional and biodiverse oak and/or pine grassland systems dominated throughou much of the continent. With the current threat of climate change, it is crucial to understand the past and present ecological conditions of these landscapes to inform future restoration efforts.

The presentation will look into the past to understand grassland systems at the time of Euro-American settlement and discuss how Native Americans managed and influenced the composition of these grassland systems with their regular use of fire. Heather will also discuss the impacts of fire as a strong selective pressure on keystone plants and bees. Pivoting to look into the future using projected climate modeling, Heather will address the ecological conditions today, focusing on oak ecosystems and grasslands, then paint a picture of what a functional, biodiverse, and resilient landscape may look like in the future, and what actions are needed to achieve these outcomes.


Heather Holm is a biologist, pollinator conservationist, and award-winning author. She passionately informs and educates audiences nationwide, through her writing and many presentations, about the fascinating world of native pollinators and beneficial insects, and the native plant communities that support them.

Heather is the author of four books: Pollinators of Native Plants (2014), Bees (2017), Wasps (2021), and Common Native Bees of the Eastern United States (2022). Both Bees and Wasps have won multiple book awards including the American Horticultural Society Book Award (2018 and 2022 respectively). Heather’s expertise includes the interactions between native pollinators and native plants, and the natural history and biology of native bees and predatory wasps. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and many local publications. Heather is also an accomplished photographer and her pollinator photos are frequently featured in print and electronic publications.

September Festivals in Minneapolis and Bloomington

Minneapolis Monarch Festival

Saturday September 9, 2023 | 10:00 am to 4:00 pm 

Nokomis Community Center 

(park area near intersection of Woodlawn and Minnehaha Parkway)

Visit Wild Ones Twin Cities in the Habitat Tent at Minneapolis Monarch Festival. Our organization has been a part of this very successful festival from the beginning 15 years ago. Also, under the canopy is the Nokomis Naturescape, Grow Monarch Habitat (with WOTC winter sowing info and free milkweed seeds), Jumping Worm Education, Re-Wild Native Gardens, the Prairie Plant Root Pull activity, WOTC Flower Faces photo Op, and Soft Landings plant display. 

Be prepared for lots of happy people of all ages and back grounds, with many dressed as butterflies! (you too, can come as a butterfly or a caterpillar or….).

More info 

If you can help us Friday (set up only) or Saturday, please sign up HERE

Buzz Fest

Saturday September 16, 2023 | 10:00 am to 1:00 pm 

Moir Park,10320 Morgan Ave S, Bloomington

Hosted by our partner, Alt Lawns' of Richfield and Bloomington, the Buzz Fest is another opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and learn from community groups about sustainable practices in managing our landscapes. Wild Ones will have an educational table, stop by and say hello. 

Also, if you are planning to add native plants this fall, check out the Prairie Restoration link and pre order plants for pick up at Buzz Fest. 

More info

Summer Tour, Workshops & Fall Programs

August 16th-November 14th

Loss of tree canopy is the most recent hurdle in back yard.

Mother Nature at Work, A Guided Tour and On Site Workshop

Instructors | Julia Vanatta and Susan Van Baerle


Wednesday, August 16, 6:30 to 7:45 pm

Thursday, August 17, 2:00 to 3:15 pm

Friday, August 18, 9:30  to 10:45 am

Complete redesign of Chilton rock
terrace in progress.
As much as we would like to control her, Mother Nature usually wins. Successional plants will stay around for a few years, then suddenly disappear. Some plants haphazardly move around, either reseeding or spreading by rhizome, and other plants mature and become much larger than we anticipated. Trees grow and trees die, changing the light and conditions. 

This guided tour and workshop is at the Minneapolis home of Wild Ones member,  Julia Vanatta. Her garden is a 20 plus year experiment and laboratory of gardening with native plants, incorporating rain and ground water into the designs. We'll review the garden as it is today and discuss how it has evolved over the years. 

Julia will be joined by retired landscape designer, Susan Van Baerle. While the host garden is clay, Susan's garden in East Bloomington is sandy loam mix. Her experience with a different ecosystem will add another perspective. 

Following each 30 minute tour there will be an open discussion based on the participant questions. We'll share tips about planning a garden that has room to evolve and how to work with Mother Nature.  


Class is open to newcomers and experienced gardeners, along with landscape designers who are new to gardening with native plants. Workshop is free and open to the public. Address will be provided in reminder email 2 days before the event. 

Offering three dates and times to choose from. Limit of 20 participants per session. Severe weather makeup date will be on Monday, August 21, time TBD. 

Click here to attend on Wednesday, August 16, 6:30 to 7:45 pm

Click here to attend on Thursday, August 17, 2:00 to 3:15 pm

Click here to attend on Friday, August 18, 9:30  to 10:45 am


Julia Vanatta has been a homeowner in Minneapolis since late 1970s. Getting serious about gardening over 20 years ago, she uses her own gardens to experiment and learn all she can about native plants and the wildlife they support, especially insects. Julia has been active as a leader in various capacities for Wild Ones Twin Cities for many years. More recently she started the Facebook group, Native Plant Gardens in the Upper Midwest, a discussion group where members engage in an exchange of ideas and practices for local ecosystem gardening.

Susan Van Bearle is a retired landscape designer. Her recent work includes working to help restore and maintain the land managed by Bush Lake Chapter of Izaak Walton Leagure. She has also written a blog about her own garden, read more here.

Guided tour will follow of map, showcasing history of gardens.

Wild Ones Outreach Training Workshop
Saturday, August 19, 2023
10:00 am to 11:15 am
Epworth UMC Sonshine Room
3207 37th Ave S, Minneapolis

Wild Ones is an educational non-profit with a mission to inform community members about the value of native plants, whether in our gardens, local parks or natural areas.

Minnesota Wild Ones chapters receive many requests to set up and staff educational tables at local and regional events. Next up on the calendar is the Minnesota State Fair (Aug 30-31) and Monarch Festival (Sept 9). We would also like members to staff educational outreach tables at each of our chapter events.

This workshop is to help Wild Ones members become more comfortable sharing Wild Ones mission. We'll review all the resources we offer and provide suggestions on how to answer frequently asked questions. The goal is for Wild Ones Twin Cities to have a pool of members we can call on to staff educational outreach tables throughout the year.

Workshop is free. RSVP via email to info@wildonestwincities.org.


Check back mid August for more information and to register and/or volunteer. 

Outreach Education Events

Wild Ones Twin Cities and Wild Ones Minnesota will be participating in the following events. If you would like to learn more about volunteering, email info@wildonetwincities.org. Your email will be forwarded to the coordinator. 

August 30-31, 2023 

Minnesota State Fair

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Minneapolis Monarch Festival

Sign up HERE to volunteer at the Monarch Festival!

Saturday, September 16

Alt Lawns Richfield and Bloomington Buzz Fest

Fall 2023 Programs at Wood Lake Nature Center

We kick off our fall program with history lessons on Minnesota trees, shrubs and the use of fire to manage our prairies. 

September 19, 2023

Identification and Natural History of Deciduous Trees & Shrubs

Stephen Saupe, professor emeritus, joint biology department of the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University. 

October 17, 2023 

Oaks, Fire, and Climate Change

Heather Holm

Co hosted by Wild Ones St Croix Oak Savanna

November 14, 2023

Wild Ones Twin Cities Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition