Twin Cities Wild Ones

Native Plant Garden Tours 


Native Plant Rain Gardens

10:00 am - 11:00 am

Lutheran Church of Christ Redeemer
5440 Penn South Minneapolis, Mn. 55410 
click here for map

Guide: Laurie Bruno, Master Naturalist

This garden was planted in the fall of 2014. The garden is the capstone project for Master Water Stewards Joan Freese and Laurie Bruno. Costs for this rain garden were around $500.00 plus in kind labor by congregation members. The cash costs were reimbursed by a cost share grant from the Minnehaha  Creek Watershed District with in kind labor balancing the out of pocket costs.

The original plan listed 16 different native plants. Several additional natives have been added in subsequent years.
At the end of the first year a storm water credit was applied for.
This was eventually approved and is currently saving this congregation about $600 per year.

11:15 am - 12:00 pm

St Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church Linden Hills
2914 W 44th St Minneapolis, MN 55410 
click here for map

Guide: Dottie Dolezal

3 separate areas on the parish grounds-

1.Two rain gardens and a bioswale were installed in 2014 with assistance from Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (and many, many church bake sales!). It is planted predominately with native plants and maintained by the church’s garden club. These rain gardens manage storm water on the parish’s property, prevent erosion, capture runoff allowing it to seep slowly into the ground and protect Minnehaha Creek and Lake Harriet by filtering pollutants from the storm water. These gardens qualify for storm water abatement credits from Minneapolis and within the next two years, this monthly credit will have paid off the cost of the garden. Design work by Nature’s Edge Designs.

2.This summer, a nonnative hedge by the parking lot was removed and the church garden club planted an oak savanna with predominately native plants. Oak savanna was the original habitat in south Minneapolis. It is certified as a Monarch Waystation. 3 baby oak trees were planted by Wetland Habitat, Minneapolis’s partner in greening the city.

3.Formerly a thick thistle patch in the lower parking lot corner, became a small prairie garden, planted approximately 8 years ago. As the linden tree grows, the garden will gradually become a shade garden.

For more information on native plant garden tours, please call Jan Coleman (612) 804-2086 or Jim Coleman (612) 804-1307

FALL 2017 Wild Ones Twin Cities Meetings:

Click HERE for a printable Fall 2017 WOTC Program Calendar
Please note that beginning in Fall 2017 our meeting social time will begin at 6:45 rather than at 6:30 pm. Thank you!

All meetings are free and open to the public.

TUESDAY, September 19, 2017

Social 6:45-7:00 pm, Program 7:00-8:45 pm
Wood Lake Nature Center, 6710 Lake Shore Drive, Richfield, MN

Dr. Lee E. Frelich
Director, The University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology
Understory plant communities in Big Woods (maple, basswood and oak) forests were historically lush with high species richness. In recent decades, these plant communities have become highly degraded by high deer populations, invasive earthworms and invasive plants. Slow growth rates of native plants due to low light levels in even-aged forests and lack of seed sources are further complications. Although some species probably cannot tolerate the presence of European earthworms and may require special conservation strategies, restoration of lush native plant communities is possible and strategies for doing so will be discussed.

TUESDAY, October 17, 2017
Social 6:45-7:00 pm, Program 7:00-8:45 pm
Wood Lake Nature Center, 6710 Lake Shore Drive, Richfield, MN

Katy Chayka & Peter M. Dziuk 
For anyone who is interested in learning about Minnesota’s native or invasive plant species,  Katy Chayda and Peter Dziuk have developed one of the best online field guides of any state.  Find out how this online guide was started and how to search for plants, learn photography tips and view beautiful photos of rare/endangered and other plant species.

TUESDAY, November 21, 2017
Social 6:45-7:00 pm, Program 7:00-8:45 pm
Wood Lake Nature Center, 6710 Lake Shore Drive, Richfield, MN

Annual Member Meeting and Potluck
A partnership roundtable featuring WOTC members 
Join us for an in-depth introduction to some of the local programs and organizations that allign with Wild Ones’ mission to educate the public about the benefits of preserving and restoring biodiversity of our native plant communities, beginning in our own yards and gardens. WOTC members will share their experiences working with affiliate groups—such as Audubon, Great River Greening, Humming for Bees, MN Master Gardeners, Naturalists and Water Stewards, MN Native Plant Society, Monarch Joint Venture, and Xerces Society. Panelists will further share the special knowledge and perspective they bring as Wild Ones working in the wider community.



7/11 & 25/Tue ~ NN Gardening 6-8pm 
7/5/Wed ~ NN Gardening 6-8pm 
7/20/Thu ~ Wells Fargo Volunteers at NN 1-4pm, 2 + NN gardeners help requested 
TBA ~ MPRB Pollinator Party at Lyndale Gardens. 

8/1, 8, 22, 29/Tue ~ NN Gardening 6-8pm 
8/17/Thu ~ Wells Fargo Volunteers at NN 1-4pm, 2 + NN gardeners help requested. 

9/5, 12 & 26/Tue ~ NN Gardening -- Time change! 5-7pm.
The Minneapolis Monarch Festival 9/9/Sat 10am - 4pm
(Wild Ones Meeting on the 9/19/Tue).

10/10 & 24/Tue ~ NN Gardening 5-7pm 
(Wild Ones Meeting on the 10/17/Tue). 


Related Events in and around the Twin Cities Metro:

JULY 2017

Got Milkweed? FREE Summer Workshop For Educators

St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN. July 11-13, 2017.
Monarch caterpillars only eat one kind of plant--milkweed. As monarch butterfly populations are declining and more people are planting milkweed, what is important to understand about this food source? This workshop introduces participants to a distributed research project designed to help students understand evolution and ecology through inquiry about milkweed plants while simultaneously gathering data to answer important scientific questions, such as: "What should we do to slow the decline of the monarch butterfly populations?" and  "Does the origin of milkweed seeds affect their growth?"
Participating institutions will plant milkweed seeds from local and non-local populations and gather data on milkweed growth annually in spring and fall to determine whether milkweed populations are locally adapted, meaning it would be beneficial to plant locally sourced milkweed genotypes, or whether there are certain superior milkweed genotypes that perform better in all locations.  Learning opportunities align well with Life Science Next Generation Science Standards at both middle and high school levels. The project requires a one-time collection of common milkweed seeds from a naturally occurring (not planted) local population, space and time to plant 20 or more milkweed plants, and a commitment to work with students annually to follow specific protocols for data collection in the spring and fall for multiple years.
We offer a $300 stipend for attendance. Additional funds are available to support travel and lodging, or virtual attendance is an option. More details available here.  Apply Now!


TOUR: Gardening for Pollinators, bus tour of Redwing MN
WO member tour of their public and home gardens, followed by a stop at Sogn Valley farm for a plant and vegetable sale.
Thursday, July 13, 2017 | 2:00-7:00 pm
Cost: $25, payment due March 1st
contact Arlene Kjar, President of the Northfields Prairie Partners at

East Metro

Learn about plants in a variety of ecosystems
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | 6:30-8:30 pm
Plant ecologists Jason Husveth and Doug Mensing will be leading a Tamarack Nature Preserve Tour on July 19 from 6:30-8:30 PM at Tamarack Nature Preserve at 1825 Tower Drive in Woodbury. It’s a great opportunity to learn how to identify plants in an area with a very unique blend of ecosystems. This tour is cosponsored by the City of Woodbury and Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District. Please pre-register by July 12 by calling Deb at 651-7959 or email her at


WO PRAIRIE EDGE (Southwest Metro)

Sunday, August 13, 2017 | 11:00 am-4:00 pm
Visit 5 native plant gardens located in the Minnesota River Valley. One of the sites is a neighborhood installation of 18 curb-cutout rain gardens and a vegetated bioswale behind 8 homes.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

3804 Cedar Lake Place, Minneapolis click here for map
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Guide: Douglas Owens Pike,
Guest Peter Original Designer of Cedar Meadows Restoration
Come be inspired!
Here’s an opportunity to see early stage of entry transformation from standard, non-native invasive shrubs to all native shrubs, forbs, and grasses. A client of Douglas Owens-Pike, whom he’s worked with since 1997 at another site (2324 Oliver), the back yard of this new site was graded for lawn inside the fence.  Outside are rough piles of fill, including exposed chunks of concrete, colonized by boxelder.  Yet, there are gems like a clump of wahoo that survived the fill and a drainway dug next to it.  We’ve been working to restore native diversity into this industrial waste for the past several years. 
Hoping to stop at nearby wetland restoration between France Ave. and Cedar Lake.  An area that had been mowed lawn is now filtering street runoff that had been polluting the Minneapolis chain of lakes.  Water clarity dramatically improved in just a few years following the installation of the wetland natural filtration system in 1996.
“Public education campaigns have seen an over 50 percent reduction in pesticides in stormwater runoff from the contributing watershed. Alum treatments have locked up the accumulated historical phosphorus in lake sediments and treatment ponds have resulted in the reduction of new phosphorus loading into the system. Stormwater treatment ponds range from a 25 percent removal rate to a 66 percent removal rate and measurable changes have been seen in a relatively short period of time.” 
See more about this project at the Minnesota Stormwater Manual.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

4:00-5:00 pm   
Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
2522 Marshall Street NE, Minneapolis
We will learn about the living laboratory on the Mississippi cooled by geothermal and powered by solar.    

Meet at 3:45 in learning center 5-8 free canoe rides on river. 

Saturday, JUNE 17, 2017

Donna’s House, Front and back
10:00 am 
4341 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis 

Cabin retreat in the city, includes patio, woods, sunny meadow, food production in containers integrating into sunny meadow..
DESIGN BY TRUE NATURE DESIGN ROXANNE STUHRRoxanne is a certified member of the Minnesota Landscape and Nursery Association, member of Wild Ones / Sierra club

Sandra’s House, Front and Back
11:15 am 
4604 Aldrich Ave S, Minneapolis
click here for map

Sandra will talk about her native yard in transistion. She has native trees and shrubs in a tiny back yard (river birch, pagoda dogwood, white snowberry, glossy black chokeberry and bush honeysuckle.) Two rain gardens and boulevard garden in front.  Sandra is a member of Twin Cities Wild Ones and Master Naturalist. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016 

Crex Meadows Member Only Tour

9:30 am - 11:30 am
Saturday August 13, 2016 | 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Twin Cities Chapter has arranged for a tour, guided by Kim Wheeler, of Crex Meadows Wildlife Area near Grantsburg, WI. Carpools will be arranged for transportation to and from Crex Meadows visitor center, where we will board a school bus to travel to various sites within the large, natural area. Cost for this tour is $15 (covers bus and guide) plus shared cost for transportation per person ($10 for each passenger in carpool). Carpools will leave Minneapolis around 7:30 am, return time may vary, depending on driver and lunch option. Lunch is not included, but there are several options in Grantsburg or you can bring a lunch. If you have questions, please contact Jan Coleman.

Limited number of seats available, reservations are required.
Tickets for the tour can be purchased here.

Must be a current member of Wild Ones. If you are not sure if your membership is current, contact the membership chair for your chapter. You may also purchase or renew a Wild Level ($37) Household Membership with your ticket. All those living in household are admitted as members. If you would like to join or renew at a higher level, visit

Note: Total cost to process your ticket via Eventbrite includes a processing fee. To avoid this fee, please reserve your ticket online and bring a check payable to Wild Ones day of the event.

Saturday, August 6, 2016   

South Minneapolis, Seward, Longfellow, Corcoran

The tour is free, pick up a tour map from
Mon Petit Cheri Cafe
2401 E Franklin Ave
beginning Friday afternoon until 7:00 pm.
Notice the Cafe boulevard plantings. Planted by WOTC members, they are salt, bike and pedestrian tolerant, yet have slowed traffic on Franklin Ave. when they attract swarms of monarchs that come to feed.

Tour 1 : Marilyn Jones’ Garden (co-chair TC Chapter)

10:00 am to 11:00 am
As a Mother's Day gift in 2008,  Marilyn's children removed the turf from the front yard, made a rain garden, and planted almost her entire yard in native plants.Then 5 years ago, the yard was declared an EPA superfund site (part of the arsenic triangle of South Minneapolis), and the EPA removed the natives, trees, and soil down 20 inches. Most of the yard has been replanted with natives.  Half the roof drains into a rain garden and half into rain barrels watering the new plants.Come see the rebirth of the yard!

Tour 2 : Common Ground Meditation Center 
10:30 am to 11:30 am
In keeping with Buddhist philosophy of non-harming, Common Ground is committed to minimizing their footprint on the earth. The site renovation removed most of the impervious surfaces, and included plantings of primarily native species. The extensive rain garden system contains runoff and provides on-site storm water infiltration.

Tour 3 : Liz and Bill Blood’s Garden
11:15 am to 12:30 pm
Bill and Liz have co-partnered a sunny yard with 100 prairie plants and 2 rain gardens. A curvilinear path thru the lush side yard leads to a labyrinth and water feature in the back yard.

Tour 4 : Julia Vanatta’s Yard (co-chair TC Chapter)
12:15 pm to 2:00 pm
Over the past 25 years, Julia’s small city lot has gradually changed from lawn and ornamental plants to paths, terraces and a diverse selection of native plants. The boulevard is nearly 100% native transitioning from part sun to full shade. Chilton rock terrace in front has a secret rain garden and shady back yard is a mostly naturalized woodland with two rain gardens. Side yard is still a work in progress, all gardens have remnant ornamentals.

Refreshments will be served for those who wish to linger, enjoy the peaceful back yard or look for visiting pollinators, including Rusty-Patched and Northern Yellow Bumblebees. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016 | Southwest Area Garden Tours

Jeremy Mayberg, May 2016
Tour 1 : Jeremy & Amy Mayberg’s Garden
10 am to 11:30 | 4501 Lakeview Dr, Edina MN 
Architect-designed as a series of circles, the well-established back
yard is 85% native and provides amazing displays in the home’s
natural landscape. Each year is recorded in a unique calendar. 

Tour 2 : Meleah Maynard’s Garden
12 Noon to 1:00 pm   | 4453 Washburn Ave S, Minneapolis MN 
This beautiful organic garden of a long-time Master Gardener is
half natives. Meleah co-wrote Decoding Gardening Advice with 
Jeff Gillman, and blogs at

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Douglas Owens-Pike's of EnergyScapes Private Residence
Come learn about natives in the shade and those wonderful sedges! 
Professional designer committed to nurturing native landscapes.

Saturday, June 25, 2016  |  South Minneapolis Garden Tours

Tour 1 : Vicki Bonk, Grow Monarch Habitat Coach's Garden
10:00 am to 11:00 am    
5629 45th Ave, Minneapolis MN 

A Monarch Waystation in this National Wildlife Federation-certified Back Yard Habitat!  New: the Mandala Mirror sculpture by Richard,  featured at the MN Arboretum and at Silverwood. 

Tour 2 : Local Roots Landscapers Client Garden
11:15 am to 12:15 pm  |  3660 44th Ave S, Minneapolis MN 
Imagine a very shady yard, subject to soil erosion, transformed into areas of woodland and savanna, with rain gardens and over 500 natives among clusters of Montana boulders and rock cairns. 

Tour 3 : Nokomis East Gateway Garden Project
12:30 pm to 1:30 pm |  East 50th St & Hiawatha Ave
In 2010, land from the LRT was planted with natives, indigenous to 
this very region, including a Bur Oak to represent the Oak Savanna 
found here centuries ago. Gateway Gardens provides important host, 
nectar and habitat plants for Monarchs and a wide variety of two-legged, four-legged and winged guests!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016   

Tour of Patty's Garden at Energy Savers Insulation
Over 15 years the business owners have planted a variety of 
natives to transform the adjoining corner lot into a haven for bees, 
birds and other wildlife.


TUESDAY, MAY 16, 2017

Phenology and Citizen Science in Minnesota with Rebecca Montgomery
Dr. Montgomery, professor in the University of Minnesota's Forest Resources department, explores how nature's calendar tells us about changes in the environment due to climate change. Her field research on phenology of midwest trees and herbs will be shared, inviting participation in observing phenology as part of a new art/science collaborative.


***new date, time & location of this meeting only
Diamond Lake Lutheran Church • 5760 Portland Ave S, Minneapolis
Social 6:00-6:30 pm | Program 6:30-8:3- pm
5th Annual Table Topics with local experts on everything you want to know about gardening with native plants!

Table Topics is an opportunity to gather information and discuss a variety of topics--from site and soil preparation, plant selection, garden maintenance, creating wildlife habitat, and managing invasive species. Tables are hosted by local landscaping professionals or Wild Ones members with a depth of experience.

Selecting Native Trees and Shrubs that Support Birds and Bees with Heather Holm 
Local author and pollinator expert Heather Holm discusses the habitat and food requirements of birds and bees, and which of the native trees and shrubs provide flowers for bees, and insects, seeds, or fruit for birds. She will also describe natural communities related to those native woody plants, and cover the range of influences that cue pollinator visits--flower structure, resources and phenology.

Are "Alien" Plants Bad?
Doug Tallamy, University of Delaware, Entomology & Wildlife Ecology, author of Bringing Nature Home
What id the Value of Biodiversity?
Forest Bell, UMN Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
The Nuts and Bolts of Selecting and Planting Trees
Nathalie Shanstrom, Pasque Ecological Consulting & Design
See the DWN website for more details and registration.

Native Plant Winter Sowing and Seed Exchange
Join us for a workshop led by Carmen Simonet of Carmen Simonet Design, and learn how to start your own native plants over the winter.

Annual Board Meeting and Potluck
Where the Wild Ones Have Gone: A Potluck Travelogue
Come tour spectacular native landscapes from the Midwest to Hawaii with Wild Ones members who will share beautiful photographs and experiences from their recent travels!


Grow Native: Bringing Natural Beauty to Your Garden
Learn from author Lynn Steiner, whose latest book shows how to transform your yard into a beautiful landscape using native plants!


A Walk through the Trespasser's Garden
Join us for an evening with award winning artist Emily Gray Koehler, who will share her work on The Trespasser's Garden, exploring the history and consequences of natural landscapes compromised by introduced invasive plants and animals!

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2016
Growing and Gathering Native Edible Plants
Wesley Nugteren, Seeking the Wild Naturalist
Come learn all about edible native plants you can grow, gather, and enjoy!

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016

4th Annual Native Landscaping Table Topics and Plant Sale Kickoff
Table Topics is an opportunity for new and returning native plant gardeners
to gather information and take part in discussions on a variety of topics.
Tables are hosted by landscaping professionals or WO members with a
depth of experience.

TUESDAY, March 15, 2016

Home Is Where the Habitat Is
DNR Plant Ecologist Hannah Texler described how she converted the turf grass in her St. Paul yard to a diverse mix of gardens that include native prairie and woodland gardens, rain gardens, and fruit and vegetable gardens.  Vera Ming Wong talked about creating watercolor paintings of those gardens and her work as a botanical artist, and we were treated to a viewing of her original artwork.


2016 Design With Nature Conference
Good Design Matters 
Anderson Student Center
St. Thomas University
2115Summit Ave, St. Paul, MN
Speakers included: 
Heather Holm, author of Pollinators of Native Plants, sharing her latest research on pollinators
Benjamin Vogt, eastern Nebraska prairie garden designer and owner of Monarch Gardens.
Chris Behringer, Behringer Designs, and Arlys Freeman, Midwest Floating Islands, who introduce their designs for innovative floating islands to create natural island landscapes.


Native Plant Winter Sowing and Seed Exchange
Our third annual native plant seed exchange and winter seed sowing project! Carmen Simonet, landscape architect and native plant enthusiast started the evening off with a presentation on growing native plants from seed. 


Annual Board Meeting & Potluck
Youth and Native Planting Project
Kris Martinka, Seed for Change grant coordinator, a parent, and students from
Clara Barton Open School shared their experience working on a S4C project.
Also, a Minneapolis Girl Scout troop leader and Girl Scouts members gave a presentation about their experience in seeding native plants and planting these in their gardens.


A Conservation Biologist Ponders Moving Beyond the Documentation of Declines

Karen S. Oberhauser, Ph.D., 
Professor in the Dept. of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota

Karen described the amazing biology of migratory monarch populations, and the work of citizens and scientists in documenting monarch numbers at all stages of their migratory cycle. She then discussed threats to monarchs, and potential responses to these threats. Because conservation biology must be, at its essence, a science of hope, her focus was on positive changes as well as on the challenges.