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.