What’s Up with WOK, April 2024

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Bringing native plants to the classroom

We are giddy to announce that Chassell middle-school science teacher Beth Squires will be incorporating Symbiotic Schoolyard into her curriculum.

This unit, endorsed by Doug Tallamy’s Homegrown National Park, addresses biodiversity and has students plant a native garden, often on school grounds.

Kudos to two great Wild Ones members for making this happen:WOK vice president Karen Cayce, who discovered the unit, and WOK social media chair Erin Gustafson, who will serve as a classroom advisor.

WOK bought the unit for Squires’s use at a cost of $350. If you know of other middle-school science teachers who might be interested in using Symbiotic Schoolyard, please contact Marcia.

Mark your calendars: Meadow Walk, Show Me Help Me Visit Aug. 4

Karena Schmidt of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community will lead a walk of the reclaimed stamp sands at Sand Point, north of Baraga. The walk though this native meadow begins at 10 a.m. and is followed by a visit and potluck at WOK director David Hunter’s Baraga property.

All Wild Ones members are welcome, and please feel free to bring a friend.

From Scientist to Native Gardener: Special Guest Talk in May

Shelley Jansky, a professor emerita of plant and agrosystem sciences at the Universiy of Wisconsin–Madison, had never even thought about native plants during most of her career in potato genetics. But a few years ago, the light went on, and now she grows thousands (really, THOUSANDS) of natives at her home in Wisconsin. She’ll talk about her journey and what she’s learned at 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 21, just before our regular meeting.

Transplanting Bee Monday: You’re Invited

Keweenaw Land Trust has invited Keweenaw Wild Ones to join them in a transplanting bee from 1 to 3 p.m., Monday, April 22, at KLT headquarters, located at 49902 Limerick, in Hancock. Wild Ones will be transplanting flats of native seedlings into pots for our sale.

Everyone is invited to come help out. This is a big job made fun (and not quite so big) with all of us pitching in. Bring garden gloves if you are so inclined.

Spring cleanup at Kestner Park

Michigan Tech students pitched in April 13 to help WOK members Kristine Bradof, Vicky Bergvall, and Craig Waddell weed the native garden at Kestner Park.

Wild Ones also installed our garden sign for the first time ever in a public garden. Thanks to Vicky and Craig for donating the sign!

Bioswale Burn

The Hancock Volunteer Fire Department burned half the Hancock Beach bioswale April 15, ridding the area of thatch and encouraging new growth this spring.

Half was left untouched. Burning kills invertebrates sheltering in the vegetation, and by only burning half, the remaining critters can recolonize the entire bioswale. We hope to burn the remaining half this fall or next spring.

Many thanks to the firefighters and their chief, John Erickson, for their efforts.

In Other Gardening News…

At the Glad Tidings Assembly of God, Polly Havins has ordered five serviceberries and three ninebark from EverGreen Nursery in Skandia to plant this fall.

Kristine Bradof plans to meet with folks at Swedetown to discuss adding natives to their landscaping and developing interpretive signage.

New Secretary

Allyson Jabusch has been asking for someone to replace her as secretary, and Polly Havins most generously agreed to step up to the plate. Polly was elected unanimously April 16. Many thanks to Allyson for her service and to Polly for again offering her organizational skills to WOK.