Programs

Chapter Programs and Events: We typically host free programs January to April, usually at 2 p.m. on the second Sunday of the month, about gardening with native plants and the benefits of natural landscapes. During the warmer months, we host outdoor events such as garden tours and native seed harvests.  Programs are free and open to the public.

Upcoming Programs:

Loess Hills Prairie Wildflowers – Western Plants found in Iowa
2 p.m. on Sunday, April 10, 2022
Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center (4500 Sioux River Rd, Sioux City, IA 51109)

This program includes an overview of the Loess Hills landform and its unique features. The dry land characteristics of the Loess Hills have provided suitable habitat for western prairie plants which are found nowhere else in Iowa. We’ll see great photos and hear fun stories about these plants that adapted to allow them to survive in these dry conditions.

Rod has been a Biology instructor at Western Iowa Tech Community College since 1989 and earned an M.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Iowa in 1979.

We encourage you to attend in person at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center (4500 Sioux River Rd, Sioux City, IA 51109) if you can, however we will attempt to livestream and record this on Zoom. Registration is required only if you plan to attend on Zoom: https://bit.ly/RodApril2022 .

 

Wildflower Walk at Fowler Forest Preserve
1 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, 2022
Fowler Forest (3176 IA-141, Smithland, IA)

Celebrate Iowa Wildflower Month by joining us for a walk through this woodland to view the diversity of spring wildflowers. Wear sturdy walking shoes. The trail is easy and well-maintained, and we will slowly walk up the hill, admiring the blooms along the way. Dawn Snyder, LHWO co-president and Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center’s Education Programs Director, will lead the walk.  Learn about the plants you might see at https://youtu.be/Yux76xYTTLk .

DIRECTIONS: Fowler Forest is located 1/2 mile west of Smithland on Hwy 141, (address: 3176 IA-141, Smithland).

Co-sponsored by Iowa Native Plant Society and the Woodbury County Conservation Board.



Past Programs

(click on the program title to see the recording if one is available!)

Trail Tails at Adams Homestead
2 p.m. on Sunday, March 13, 2022
Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center (4500 Sioux River Rd, Sioux City, IA 51109)
Randy Williams (Loess Hills Audubon Society leader) will share his “Trail Tails” program, a photographic exploration of the sights and wildlife along the trail system of Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, in person at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center (4500 Sioux River Rd, Sioux City, IA 51109).

Spring 2022 Native Plant Sale Roll-out (zoom)
2 p.m. on Sunday, February 13, 2022
It’s time to start thinking about adding plants to your space this spring! We’ll share information about the native species available for purchase through our spring plant sale. Native plants purchased through this sale MUST be picked up in Sioux City, Iowa. Sale details will be available on our website when they are finalized.

Iowa’s Flora~ Natural & Cultural History
2 p.m. on Sunday, February 20, 2022
We’re pleased to co-sponsor a presentation by Deborah Q. Lewis, curator of the Ada Hayden Herbarium at Iowa State University at 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 20, for the Woodbury County Conservation Foundation.

Deb Lewis will provide an overview and history of ISU’s Ada Hayden Herbarium and how its holdings inform us about Iowa’s plants. She will spotlight the contributions of Iowa’s botanists of the past, explore the diversity of Iowa’s vascular plants, show how humans have impacted the state’s flora, examine how botanists (including citizen scientists) do “floristics” work today, and share future goals. This program is part of the Annual Meeting of the Woodbury County Conservation Foundation (WCCF) which begins at 1:30 p.m.

Conserving Species in Urban Spaces | Bumblebees in the City
2 p.m. on Sunday, January 9, 2022

Rusty-Patched Bumblebee

Photo of a Rusty-Patched Bumblebee on burdock is courtesy of Stephanie Shepherd.

Stephanie Shepherd
Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Conservation has often dismissed or completely overlooked urban spaces, but there are some species for which urban and suburban habitat might mean salvation. For example, the Rusty-patched Bumblebee has been listed as an endangered species and with further survey work has been found to frequently inhabit urban environments. This session will foster discussion about how through environmental education we can start viewing our cities as conservation landscapes and will also provide a foundation for identifying and working with Bombus species.

Stephanie Shepherd has been a biologist with the Iowa DNR’s Wildlife Diversity Program for 16 years. She works on all species classified as non-game in all parts of Iowa but her special interest is in pollinators and prairies.


Fall 2021 EVENTS:

November 14, 2021, at 2 p.m.
Sioux City Public Library (529 Pierce Street)
Enjoy Pat James‘ “Wildflower Prayers: Plants along the Missouri National Recreational River

As people go about their daily lives, they often ignore the plants, land formations, and other aspects of the natural world that surround them. If they don’t see them, how can they care about them? The arts are a valuable way to connect people to their natural world. This awareness enriches their lives, and it can also help them care about conservation issues.

As a landowner and artist, Pat James has been using photographs to document, understand, and interpret the 600 acres she lives on along the Missouri River in Boyd County, Nebraska. Her recent work, which focuses on plants, combines visual language, research, and personal experience. She has photographed and identified over 200 different native, introduced, and noxious plants that live on her family’s acreage. Using digital methods to refine the photographs and layer the images on photographs of sky, she transforms these plants into individual portraits that express their individual beauty and “personalities.”

In this presentation, Pat will talk about how art “works,” both visually and emotionally, and will also discuss what she has learned from the plants over time. Each plant tells its own story about survival, abundance, or decline on this land. These 200 plants also connect us to stories about history, culture, and the larger ecology.

 


October 1 & October 2, 2021

from 1pm to 5pm:

Seed Harvest at Prairie Hills

Join us at Prairie Hills in Westfield, IA to harvest native seed by hand and enjoy the beauty of the Loess Hills.  Pick seed to donate to a local prairie reconstruction or for your own use.  Wear sturdy shoes and bring your own water.  Feel free to participate on one or both days. If you’d prefer to pick seed on another day, contact us @ LoessHillsWildOnes to arrange a convenient time with Dotty.


Summer 2021 EVENTS:

Held August 27, 2021:  This summer the Sioux City Public Library presented free “Green Thumb: Summer Gardening Series classes” led by a master gardener in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach – Woodbury County.  On August 27, Master Gardener and Wild Ones board member, Carrie Radloff, presented “Native Plants: What they are and are not, and what you don’t need to do to grow them” via Zoom.  This program is best suited for people very new to native gardening to help resolve misconceptions and assumptions:

Native plants are rarely the weeds you fight in your yard, but are not necessarily the “wildflowers” seen in parks and roadsides, either. And if you’ve already heard that native forbs and grasses are vital to supporting biodiversity and want to add more natives to your space, there are a few “good gardening practices” you should forget, too. Confused yet? Then this program is for you! And also for your friends and neighbors, whether they appreciate a perfect lawn or they think “wild is beautiful.”

See the video recording here


Native Garden Tour 2021 EVENTS:

Join us for a series of Siouxland Native Garden Tours:

September 11, 2021 – Sioux City’s Riverside and Stone Park

August 28, 2021 – Hinton and LeMars

August 14, 2021 – Sioux City Community Native Gardens

July 24, 2021 – Flathers and Wetmore Pollinator Prairie near Anthon, IA

July 10, 2021 – Sioux City’s Morningside

June 12, 2021 – Sioux City’s Northside

See our Garden Tour page for more information.


Spring 2021 EVENTS:


Held Sunday, May 2, 2021:

Fabulous Wildflowers in Fowler Forest

Learn about the Wildflowers in Fowler Forest in this video

Dawn Snyder, Woodbury County Education Programs Director, took us on a virtual tour of the Fabulous Wildflowers in Fowler Forest.  Dawn has tons of fun facts about our native Spring Ephemeral.  After being inspired by Dawn, you might just want to take a drive and check out the wildflowers for yourself.

 


Held Sunday, April 11, 2021:

“Grow and Tell”

Learn about Becky’s Garden in this video

Learn about Dianne’s Garden in this video

And afterwards participants had an interactive Round Table Discussion:

Do you have any experience with preparing for a brand new Nature garden in an urban setting?
Are you totally new to Garden Bed Preparation for new plants?
Are you adding Nature plants to an existing garden?
Whether you can offer advice, or you are LOOKING for some ideas–
Bring your photos and ideas for preparing for the new May plantings!
(Or just be a fly on the wall, and listen in!)


Winter 2021 EVENTS:


Held Sunday, January 10, 2021:
Ruth Rose talked with us about the new Loess Hills Wild Ones’ initiative to connect Nature, Neighbors, and neighborhoods, a local interpretation of Doug Tallamy’s “Homegrown National Park” concept. We can Learn & Laugh together about supporting
Nature, Neighbors, and Neighborhoods.

Soft Launch of ‘Grow Wild with Us!’(24 minutes)

Learn about Homegrown National Park HERE

Get on the Homegrown National Park Map HERE


Held Sunday,  January 24, 2021

2021 Native Plant Sale Info

Video on Order Forms, Plant Selection, and a SUPER OFFER! (plus a Poem)

Video- Plant Sale -Meet Each Plant in detail! HERE

Plant Sale Info Sheets & Orders- Click here!

Think spring!!! It’s time to start planning our 2021 wildflower gardens!
Dianne Blankenship unveiled the 2021 plant sale offerings with photos and unique attributes of each species.  In 2021, We are offering quite a few new species, including some shade-friendly plants!

**Note: The plants we’ll discuss are selected for use in the Sioux City, Iowa, area. The program and sale are open to all, but buyers must be able to pick up the plants in Sioux City, Iowa, in early May.


Held Sunday, February 21, 2021

Feather Your Garden with Natives

Dotty Zales and Dave Hoferer, who are both members of Loess Hills Wild Ones AND Loess Hills Audubon Society, presented “Feather Your Garden with Natives, Native Plants Attract Native Birds.”  They used colorful images to introduce you to the plants that support birds here in Siouxland, and you’ll meet the insects these birds need, too.

Learn about ‘Feather Your Garden with Natives’ in this video

 


Held Sunday, March 14, 2021

Plant Diversity for Life!

Michelle Biodrowski, Naturalist for the Pottawattamie County Conservation Board, and President of the Iowa Prairie Network, will present “Plant Diversity for Life!”.  Michelle’s highly enthusiastic and has many creative ways to add native plants to your yard. Whether you are a novice or a master gardener, Michelle will have ideas that you can adapt to your space.

Learn about ‘Plant Diversity for Life’ in this Video

To learn more about Michelle and her thoughts about planting native, see this great interview: The Blooming Farmhouse with Michelle

 


A Sampling of Other Past Programs: 

Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 1:30 p.m.
Western Iowa Tech Community College’s Gaylord Smith building
Jim Kessler will join us at the Loess Hills Wild Ones meeting 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.

Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 10 a.m.
Fowler Forest Preserve (1/2 mile west of Smithland)
To celebrate Iowa Wildflower Month, member Dawn Snyder, Woodbury County Conservation Education Programs Director, will lead a walk to show the diversity of woodland wildflowers in their natural habitat.

June 1-3, 2018
Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area and West Monona High School (Onawa)
The Loess Hills Prairie Seminar allows participants to see native plants in both prairie and woodland. Speakers cover a wide range of topics related to natural history.

Saturday, July 7, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tour member Becky Leach’s gardens in Aurelia and visit The Prairie Flower, a native plant nursery near Spencer.

August 2018
Member Mary Siepker will share her extensive experience in rearing and nurturing monarchs. 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!