Online Spring Programs - March 16th & April 20th

March April Mini-Series:  

A Growing Need to Observe, Protect and Contain

We’re all aware of how healthy ecosystems can be altered and harmed by invasive species, many of us already volunteer to remove buckthorn, garlic mustard and other threats to our natural areas.  

Today, a new threat is hitting us where it touches us personally, our own back yards. Jumping Worms, a highly destructive invasive species, have moved into Minnesota gardens and landscapes, especially urban settings. Wild Ones Twin Cities believes this is so important that we are using both March and April to share all we can about how to identify and contain Jumping Worms to protect not only our own gardens, but also our natural areas. We need to act as if Jumping Worms already exist in our home gardens as we transfer plants from one space to another. 

We will begin in March with Ryan Hueffmeier teaching us what to look for and how to identify Jumping Worms. In April, Julia Vanatta will demonstrate gardening practices that will help us protect our gardens. Changing our garden habits will not only help with this new threat, it will help us prevent more familiar invasive species from traveling from one garden to another.

Both programs will allow ample time for discussion during the question and answer period. They will also be recorded and added to Wild Ones Twin Cities YouTube channel for later review and sharing.

We are pleased to present our Spring programs online, however, we will be limited to 100 participants at each Zoom meeting.  


CLICK HERE to REGISTER for the April 20th program.  

Both programs will be available for viewing on our chapter's YouTube channel a few days afterward.  Thank you!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 7 pm

Jumping Worms, the Latest Threat to Our Gardens and Wild Areas.

An introductory level presentation on how to identify jumping worms, information about their life cycle, early detection and reporting. 

Presenter: Ryan Hueffmeier, University of MN Duluth

UW-Madison Arboretum
Jumping worms are the latest invasive worm to arrive in Minnesota. They live in the top few inches of soil and alter soil structure and chemistry through their feeding and burrowing behaviors. Found in garden beds, mulch and compost piles they represent a threat to the health of our managed and wild landscapes. This will be an introductory level presentation on how to identify jumping worms, information about their life cycle, early detection and reporting. Prevention will be covered more in April and May, but tips for early detection and primary sources of how these travel is important. Jumping worms are spread through composting, horticulture, landscaping and bait. The overall goal of this project is to characterize the status of the jumping worm invasion in Minnesota.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 7 pm

Tips and Techniques for Safe Transfer and Sharing of Native Plants

Presenter: Julia Vanatta


In 2020, just as we became aware of how quickly Jumping Worms were infesting our local gardens, Wild Ones Twin Cities considered canceling our popular donated plant sale, hosted by Julia at her garden in Minneapolis. While not wanting to unknowingly spread an invasive species, we believed we were thorough in our efforts to minimize any risk. As we continue to learn more, we can no longer make that assumption.

In fall 2020, Julia began to experiment transferring plants via bare roots. As this technique is new to many of us, testing will continue throughout 2021 with support from other members of Wild Ones Twin Cities. In her presentation, Julia will share what we have learned thus far along with other tips for managing our gardens to protect them from jumping worms and other unwanted guests. These best practices will hopefully become the new normal, protecting our gardens and natural areas from accidental introduction of invasive species. 

Ryan Hueffmeier is a research, outreach, and education specialist with active projects in forest and landscape ecology and invasive species. He is Program Director at Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center in Duluth,MN (, which runs programs for over 4,000 people and has over 10,500 visitors  annually. Ryan works toward the transfer of scientific knowledge from evidence based research to the public through creating accessible outreach programs which deliver experiential educational opportunities incorporating volunteer based public participatory projects. He works with diverse audiences such as teacher and natural resource professional development, preK-12 and the general public. For the past decade Ryan has been part of the Great Lakes Worm Watch program and has developed local projects looking at vernal pools, bird populations, invasive species and tree survival. Currently, he is heading the Worm Ranger Jumping Worm project.

Julia Vanatta has been a homeowner and active member of Longfellow Community in Minneapolis since the late '70s. Getting serious about gardening roughly 20 years ago, Julia has used her own gardens to experiment and learn all she can about native plants and the wildlife they support, especially insects. For the past 15 years, Julia has been active as a leader in various capacities for Wild Ones Twin Cities. 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..

Meet the designers who created our Minneapolis and St. Louis native garden designs!

This event featured Wild Ones Twin Cities member Carmen Simonet, who designed the beautiful ecoregion specific design for Minneapolis.  This webinar was recorded and now available to the public on Wild Ones' YouTube channel.  Learn more about this and other native garden designs here. 

Our 15th Annual Native Plant Sale!

This year's native plant sale offers 7 collections and a variety of habitat garden favorites in 3 convenient sizes available for pre-order.  All plants are grown by a local Minnesota native plant nursery without the use of neonics.  A portion of each sale is a donation to our Wild Ones Twin Cities chapter, supporting our free education programs and tours.



ORDER ON EVENTBRITE HERE! (sales begin Wednesday, April 14th)

ORDER DEADLINE: Wednesday, May 19, 2021

PICK UP YOUR ORDER : Friday June, 4th, Saturday June 5th or Sunday June 6th at Prairie Restorations, Inc (31646 128th Street, Princeton, MN 5537)


The Plant Your Milkweed Now — Winter Sowing Basics brought people to the Nokomis Naturescape on a sunny winter day in February.  We are encouraged to do this again next year.  We met a number of neighbors interested in doing what they can to help pollinators and bring nature home.  WOTC members Sandy Nussbaum, Leslie Pilgrim, Eren Sutherland and I enjoyed the time reaching out to people and spreading the news.  Felt right to get outside with a purpose.  Not difficult to do this even with Covid-19 protocol.  The gardens seedy interest had something to offer too.  
— Vicki Bonk, Nokomis Naturescape Stewardship and Volunteer Lead

In case you missed our February program, you can see it on our chapter's YouTube Channel here:
Connecting Community and Native Habitat
Growing a Sense of Place
Vicki Bonk, Nokomis Naturescape Stewardship and Outreach Lead