Spring has sprung!

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Believe it or not, spring has sprung, and that means we?re gearing up for the growing season! Keep reading to see what we have planned for the next few months.
April 6 & 7
The Siouxland Garden Show is 10a-8p Friday, April 6, and 10a-6p Saturday, April 7, at the Hilton Garden Inn on the Sioux City Riverfront, at 1132 Larsen Road. Be sure to stop by our booth or let us know ASAP if you?d like to help us for a couple of hours. We will promote the use of native plants, encourage membership, and take plant orders.

Several speakers/topics will be of interest, including Jim Kessler?s ?The Green Yard makeover? at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Speaker Room A. This is a plan for home landscaping that includes native wildflowers, grasses, and shrubs to protect the environment and create habitat for native species, but includes garden space for producing fresh food. See the speaker schedule at siouxlandgardenshow.org/speakers.

Jim currently teaches Environmental Biology and Introductory Biology at Iowa Valley Community College in Grinnell, and taught Biology at Newton High School. Jim and Kathy Kessler restored 30 acres to native habitat south of Grinnell and recently donated 27 acres of their restored habitats to the Bur Oak Land Trust in Iowa City for perpetual preservation and management. He has shared presentations almost 90 times during the last five years about the importance of native plantings to pollinators, songbirds, and people. He has spoken at Iowa State University, Blank Park Zoo, the Loess Hills Prairie Seminar, the Bur Oak Land Trust’s Prairie Preview in Iowa City, University of Iowa, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and to many community, conservation, and school groups in Iowa and other states.

April 8
Jim Kessler will join us at the Loess Hills Wild Ones meeting on Sunday, April 8 at 1:30 p.m. at Western Iowa Tech Community College?s Gaylord Smith building to discuss ?Designing a Butterfly Garden that Supports Monarchs and Other Pollinators.? Rod Tondreau will also treat us to a visit to the greenhouse. Park in Lot #3.

April 16
All plant orders must be received or postmarked by April 16. Visit our Facebook page for photos and information on the plants, and download an order form with more details at our website.

May 12
Loess Hills Wild Ones will meet at 10 a.m. on May 12 at the Fowler Forest Preserve to celebrate Iowa Wildflower Month. Member Dawn Snyder, Woodbury County Conservation Education Programs Director, will lead a walk along the trail to show us the diversity of woodland wildflowers in their natural habitat. Fowler Forest is known for its display of spring ephemerals. Wear sturdy walking shoes. Please bring your own lunch and join us for a picnic following the walk!

Fowler Forest is located 1/2 mile west of Smithland on Hwy 141. The walk is sponsored by Woodbury County Conservation, Loess Hills Wild Ones, and the Iowa Native Plant Society. For more information, please call 712-258-0838. Visit the Woodbury County Parks page for a map of the preserve. If you?re interested in carpooling from Sioux City, please let us know by May 5 to make arrangements.

June 1-3
The Loess Hills Prairie Seminar‘s outdoor sessions at the Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area northeast of Onawa, offered on Saturday and on Sunday morning, allow participants to see many native plants in both prairie and woodland. Evening programs at West Monona High School in Onawa on Friday and Saturday feature speakers on a wide range of topics related to natural history. LHWO will likely have an exhibit among the other very informative exhibits at the high school.

July 7
Road trip! Join LHWO on a field trip to tour member Becky Leach?s gardens in Aurelia and visit The Prairie Flower, a native plant nursery near Spencer. Carpooling will be organized one week before the tour, so let us know by June 30 if you?d like to ride along. Reserve your lunch (at The Prairie Flower) by June 30, too. Lunch is $10 for members and $15 for non-members.

Becky has been adding natives to her landscape for 14 years. She still has ?ornamental perennials? in other gardens but finds their finicky nature less appealing as the years go by. Her front yard faces due south and gets ferocious winds. The only plants truly thriving out front are natives.

An hour north of Aurelia is The Prairie Flower, a native seed and plant nursery and dealer just west of Spencer, owned by Bev and Dwight Rutter. They provide local ecotype native prairie and wetland plants and seeds, as well as native cultivar seed, and pasture and hay seed. Their services include tree planting, seeding, ecological consulting and planning, providing tours of their plantings and natural areas, and hosting events in addition to their bed and breakfast.

The Prairie Flower is situated on a square mile along the Little Sioux River. Don?t worry about the having to walk it all; we will be pulled along seated on a large wagon. We’ll enjoy Bev’s home cooking indoors.

Tentatively, we will start the day 8:30 a.m. and return to Sioux City by 5 pm. Further details will be shared as they are known.

Late July or early August
Member Mary Siepker will share her extensive experience in rearing and nurturing monarchs. We think we?ll meet at Adams Homestead (272 Westshore Dr, North Sioux City, SD) for this program, and will get to see their native plantings and maybe release a monarch!

 

You can see we have a lot planned! Membership shows you appreciate these programs and helps us pay for them. Please become a member of Loess Hills Wild Ones today!

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