Susan Wilkins’ fourth year as Garden Curator.
Two sad events happened in February this year. Friends’ Newsletter editor Lisa Locken passed away. She had been editor since 1999 and was responsible for incorporating many more photographs into the newsletter and consistently producing 4 issues per year. Her memorial service was on March 10 and was well attended by her many friends.
Also on February 9, Moana Odell Beim, daughter of Friends founder Clinton Odell, and past President of the Friends (1975-1976) also passed away. Lisa Locken and Steve Pundt has interviewed her about the Garden back in 2002. (Story) A number of memorials were received for both Lisa and Moana during the year.
A new logo for Garden Publications incorporating the Showy Lady’s-slipper was introduced by Curator Susan Wilkins. The design was by professional illustrator Ken Jacobsen. Image at top of page.
2007 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Garden and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board planned a number of events beginning with a special event on April 28th, which had been named Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden Day by the mayor of Minneapolis. (PDF Of post card)
A Friends’ Board Meeting was held on Feb. 12, 2007, at the Golden Valley Historical Society. Garden Curator Susan Wilkins announced that she and intern Kegan had been clearing Buckthorn in the Garden and that there are no mature ones left. The debris would be burnt in the spring. (Photo is Susan burning buckthorn).
She will also have an intern again this year for 30 hours a week. Classes will be offered in the Garden, some with a fee this year. And finally, a new electric garden tractor had been acquired - an Electric Ox - to replace the old John Deere. This is the first electric tractor purchased by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Susan also presented a request for funding for a new screen door for the shelter, which was approved. The Friends funded the total cost of $2,020. Photos are in the 'Fall' section.
With Lisa's passing, Kathy Connelly volunteered to take over the editing of The Fringed Gentian™ for the Spring issue. President Steve Pundt, Pam Weiner and Emily Anderson reported on trail committee meetings which concern the use of South Wirth Park near the Garden by the Minneapolis Loppett and the Minnesota Off-road Cycling Association. This year the Friends will attempt to raise $10,000 to cover the costs of the 100th Anniversary of the Garden that the Friends are partially sponsoring and a letter about that was sent to the membership of the Friends. (PDF Copy of membership letter.) When the Spring issue of The Fringed Gentian™ came out, it incorporated information about all of the above items. [Vol. 55, No. 1]
Although most of the snow for the Winter of 2006/07 fell in the first two months of 2007, it was all melted by April 1st for the Garden to open on time. Ann Godfrey announced that a training session was held for Shelter volunteers on April 4th, conducted by Susan Wilkins. There are 48 volunteers on the roster this year. A burn of the prairie residue took place in April.
A Board Meeting of the Friends was held on April 9th at the Golden Valley Historical Society and it was decided that no further reprints of Martha Hellander’s book The Wild Gardener would be done. Forty copies remain and the reprint cost is in excess of $8,000. Progress was reported by a committee on completing a website for the Friends, expected to be up in May. Designs were final for a Garden 100th Anniversary Poster and a set of Note Cards. The poster artwork was commissioned from Minnesota artist Jennifer Davis. It is titled “Sanctuary”, referring to the peacefulness of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary. The size was 16 x 20 inches. Cost $10. The note cards were 3 individual cards each of a partial image from the poster and boxed in a set of 12, cost $10.
Below: The "Sanctuary" poster.
Below: The three note cards.
The first event for the Garden’s 100th Anniversary was held on April 28 and titled “A Century of Seasons.” Minneapolis mayor R. T. Ryback presented the mayor’s proclamation of Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden day, and through a collaboration of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the Minneapolis Swedish Institute, character actor Hans Odöö (photo) arrived in a horse drawn carriage, portraying the Swedish botanist Carl Linneaus on his 300th birthday. Music was performed by two others from the Swedish Institute.
Carl Linneaus arriving at the Garden. All Friends photos.
Below: Carl Linneaus listening to the music of the nyckelharpa.
A second special event was held on Mothers Day, May 13. Then on June 9, it was “Showy Lady’s-slipper Day.” There were Garden tours, native plant sales, including sale of state certified rescued Lady’s-slippers, and a special visit by Eloise Butler played by character actor Anna Anderhagen who was recruited by Pam Weiner.
The Friends held their annual meeting in the Martha Crone Shelter at the Garden on May 19. Garden Curator Susan Wilkins was given a framed poster and set of note cards. She reported that the Garden has had a lot of visitors this Spring, that 1,500 wild flowers had been planted, including over 100 Virginia Bluebells. The Friends funded $4,250 of the cost. Six naturalists are assigned to the Garden this year, plus two interns instead of the one originally proposed and also assigned as Program Coordinator was Erin Dietrich. Children's book author Judy Bridell was present, talking about her new book Going Wild with Eloise Butler, to be published in June. (photo of book in 2006 history).
Elected to the Friends Board for the coming year were: Emily Anderson, Gary Bebeau, Steve Benson, Harriet Betzold, Joy Davis, Susan Dean, Cary George, Ann Godfrey, Larry Gravitz, Lyle Johnson, Jeff Lee, Vivian Mason, Jim Proctor, Sally Pundt, Steve Pundt, Barry Schade (new), Phoebe Waugh, Pam Weiner and Susan Wilkins (ex-officio).
At the Board of Directors meeting following the annual meeting, the officers elected were: Pam Weiner, President; Vivian Mason, Vice-president; Phoebe Waugh, secretary; Gary Bebeau, Treasurer. Steve Pundt was roundly thanked for his years and efforts as President.
Continuing in committee roles were: Gary Bebeau, Memorials; Joy Davis, membership; Ann Godfrey, Volunteers; Steve Benson, Money Management; and Kathy Connelly, Interim Newsletter Editor. Historian is vacant.
Jim Proctor reported on the work of removing Buckthorn and Garlic Mustard and it was at this meeting that the Friends Invasive Plant Action Group was formed (FIPAG). This would be the start of forming the methodology of eliminating Garlic Mustard from the Garden and surrounding area, which was now a major menace. In later years this work was successful. The issue of the trails in South Wirth was again discussed. Note card and poster sales have been slow and it was decided that proceeds from those sold at Garden events would go to the 100th Anniversary Project and that the Friends would absorb the cost of production of the product.
Membership at the time was 285 including 13 life members.
In the Summer issue of Friends Newsletter, The Fringed Gentian™, [Vol.55, No. 2] retiring President Steve Pundt penned his final President’s Letter. It was announced that the Hennepin History Museum would have a Summer exhibit on the life and accomplishments of Eloise Butler. The Garden parking lot was to be repaved in July. The issue also had background on Eric Dietrich and Judy Bridell - all mentioned above.
The final 100th Anniversary event of the season was held on August 11, commemorating the birthday of Eloise Butler (Aug. 3, 1851). This article from the Fall issue of The Fringed Gentian™ has the details - 2007 Birthday Bash.
On August 25 a group of six women visited the Crone Shelter. They had been in Girl Scouts with Kathleen Dean Hillman. When the fireplace was built in the Shelter in 1970, they had contributed to the cost. The fireplace, limestone chimney and hood were funded by Kathleen's parents, Mr. & Mrs. Alexander Dean as a memorial in memory of Kathleen who had died in 1968 at age 25. In the photo below they are standing in front of the hood with the memorial plaque visible on the wall between them. Photo by Phoebe Waugh who was the shelter volunteer that morning.
The Friends held a Board Meeting on Sept. 17 at the Golden Valley Historical Society. The report on poster sales showed that 103 out of 1000 had been sold and 334 boxes of note cards (these were quite successful). Sale proceeds of $4,250 from Park Board Garden events were sent to the Park Board to buy plants for Spring 2008 planting.
MTN Television had produced a video disc about the Garden and Eloise Butler and they were having a premier event on Nov. 11. The Friends have secured copies of the DVD to sell.
Ann Godfrey reported that volunteers had put in over 1100 hours this year in service to the Garden. That included 35 shelter volunteers, 25 invasive pullers and 7 legacy stewards in the Garden. A web site did not come about and the committee disbanded. Jeff Lee reported on the possible wetland restoration project that had been discussed all year. Due to restraints and cost estimates, the project will be tabled for now.
During the year following the deaths of Lisa Locken and Moana Beim, two memorials were established in the Garden; the funds going from the Friends to the Park Board: A group of friends of Lisa Locken adopted an Oak tree on the path leading to the Garden Shelter and second, the family of Moana Beim adopted several Hemlocks in the Hemlock Grove.
A new editor for the newsletter was found in the person of Linda Cody, who was present at the meeting and was elected to the Board.
In the Fall issue of The Fringed Gentian™ [Vol.55, No.3] Pam Weiner wrote her first letter as President, Garden Curator Susan Wilkins wrote about the Wildflower Garden in “100 years of Inspired Beauty.” Phenology highlights for the summer were given by the Naturalists; Tammy Mercer wrote about the Garden being a Rest Stop for Weary Travelers (Birds); Jim Proctor wrote about the invasive work, especially about Japanese Knotweed which had recently been discovered; and also reported on for the items mentioned above.
During the winter the new screen door built for the Martha Crone Visitor’s Shelter and funded by the Friends was installed. The shelter has had various screen doors over the years but there was research evidence that the original design for a door was never followed through on and various substitute doors were installed. One door was damaged in a break-in at the Shelter in the Winter of 1977 and was either subsequently removed and replaced with the existing door or was repaired and replaced and was damaged again in a 1988 break-in. So to get back to a more original design, volunteer Kathleen Connelly and Garden Curator Susan Wilkins took on the replacement project and worked to find artisans to create it. The door was completed and installed. In the spring (2008) visitors could enjoy the passing breezes through this lovely work of art constructed of quarter-sawn white oak with mortise and tenon joinery. The carpenter, John May, constructed the door while blacksmith, Tom Latane created unique metal hinges and door handle. The design fits perfectly with the architecture of the Shelter building and looks as if it were always a part of the Garden. [This article has photos of the hardware]
On Sunday evening, November 11th, 2007, the Friends’ Board hosted a Thank-You reception for the volunteers who contributed to the Garden’s very successful 100th season. Legacy Stewards, Weed Pullers, Shelter Volunteers, Board Members and members of the Garden staff gathered at the studio of the Minneapolis Television Network at Saint Anthony Main on the riverfront in Minneapolis. They sampled appetizers from the Aster Café and viewed a screening of the 100th Anniversary DVD. For most, it was their first look at John Akre’s production which chronicles the seasons of the Garden through John’s photography and interviews.
Susan Wilkins, Gardener and Curator warmly thanked the Friends for their support of the garden and distributed 100th Anniversary mugs as a thank you from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
Melissa Hansen added a special touch to the event with an unusual party favor. Melissa learned to propagate two types of ferns that are considered threatened in Minnesota. She brought young Christmas ferns (Polystichum ancrostichoides) and Marginal Shield Ferns (Dryopteris marginalis) for every volunteer. The ferns need one more winter indoors before being transplanted outside.
Volunteers took them for their own yards and many also took some ferns as foster parents. Those ferns will come back to the Garden in the spring.
During the Summer the large wood information kiosk that dominated the area inside the front gate was removed due to deterioration. It was used for displays, handouts and a garden map. As handouts were now only available in the Shelter, the kiosk would be replaced by more simple information signs in 2009.
The Friends ended the year with assets of $57,000. Revenue in this fund-raising year was $30,200 of which membership revenue was $6,300, memorials were $5,800, sales of anniversary material were $5,600, special donations were $9,600. Expenses were $24,700 of which $11,000 was spent of the anniversary of the Garden, $5,200 for newsletter and other printing, and $6,300 was paid to the Park Board for the screen door and plants.
At the end of the year Gary Bebeau volunteered to create a website for the Friends.
2007 was a year of above average precipitation, coming in the form of summer rains. Late fall produced some snow and the Winter of 2007/08 would be typical, producing the median snowfall of around 43 inches.
Photo top of page: The new MPRB logo for the Garden's 100th Anniversary.
Meeting Minutes and correspondence of The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden.
Archive of the Friends Newsletter The Fringed Gentian™
Vol. 55, # 1 Spring 2007, Kathy Connelly, Interim Editor [Mislabeled Vol. 54 #4 and misdated 2006]
Vol. 55, # 2, Summer 2007, Kathy Connelly, Interim Editor
Vol. 55, # 3, Fall 2007, Kathy Connelly and Linda Cody, Interim Editors
Historical Climatology of Minneapolis-St. Paul Area by Charles Fisk.