Big River Big Woods Wild Ones


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On this page: Meeting schedule, Garden notes, Gallery, Volunteer, Board Minutes

Monthly Meetings

Our meetings are free and open to the public.  We hold our meetings on the fourth Thursday of the month, except December.  Our meetings start with social time between 6:30 and 7 p.m.  From 7 to 8:30 p.m. we have the educational portion of the meeting.  We meet at Autumn Grove Park, 1365 Lydia Avenue West, Roseville, MN  Map

Meeting Schedule

May 25
Native Plant Gardening Best Practices and Projects
6:00 p.m. social time, 7 – 8:30 p.m. meeting

Join us for a Big River Big Woods Project Roundtable!  Learn about restoration projects we are helping to sponsor and volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood.  Share ideas on these projects and help plan next steps. The evening will begin with a presentation on the Como Park restoration and Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom.

Following the presentation, the group will break out into roundtables where project coordinators will describe sponsored projects and lead discussions related to those projects.

It’s Too Early to Work in the Garden

Pam Frink, Wild Ones member and leader of the White Bear Lake Seed Library, just shared these thoughts with us:

“About the weather….

It may seem like a good idea to start cleaning up your garden now that we have no snow cover and some balmy days ahead BUT DON’T!

Plant life may be dormant, but that doesn’t mean there is no life. Overwintered gardens are a haven for both pollinators and their food. Many insects use the hollow stalks, dried leaf matter and tangles of stems as places to safely overwinter until spring truly arrives with pokes of shoots and leaves. Keep in mind that when you remove this dried plant matter you are removing the winter homes of many of the insects you need to maintain a healthy garden or landscape. As well as predator insects which prey on less desirable insects in our gardens, there are many, many insects used by birds to feed themselves or their young. Did you know it takes between 6,000-9,000 caterpillars to feed ONE brood of chickadees! Everything is connected. Without insects you have no birds. Without birds you have unchecked populations of damaging insects.

If that isn’t enough to convince you to leave your gardens alone for awhile, keep in mind walking on wet ground compacts the soil, removing little air pockets that are necessary for healthy plant roots and the entire soil ecosystem.”


photos by Karen Eckman

Volunteer for one of our Service Projects

Roseville Library Children’s Native Garden
2180 North Hamline Avenue, Roseville

Every Thursday morning join Kris O’Brien, Master Naturalist and Wild Ones member, in caring for the library’s native garden.  Meet at the main doors at 8:30 am or if you’re late, look for us in the garden. It’s the fenced are on the east side of the library (by Dunn Bros). Bring gloves and hand tools if possible.  Beginners and experts are welcome!

Island Lake Native Garden
Island Lake Elementary School, 3555 Victoria Street N, Shoreview

On Saturday and Tuesday mornings, from 9 am to 11 am, help Karen Eckman, Big River Big Woods member, and her crew work on this rain garden. The garden is on the school grounds.  The biggest need is for people to do weeding.  Bring gloves and wear long pants.  All are welcome.

Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom
1199 Midway Pkwy, St. Paul

Judi Petkau, Big River Big Woods member and Como Eco-steward leads a team of volunteers periodically to remove unwanted vegetation so native plantings can prosper in a corner of Como Park.  Our volunteers work just south of Como Avenue and west of the swimming pools.  Further details will be forthcoming.

If you have suggestions for other projects in the East Twin Cities Metro area please send your suggestions to  Let us know if an evening gardening time would work better for you and which day and time. Everyone welcome


The Big River Big Woods Board of Directors meets monthly, usually on the second Tuesday of the month.  This year our Board’s officers are Eva Ekola, President; Liz Wendland, Vice President; Carol Crowe, Secretary; Leanne Phinney, Treasurer.  Erica Tenbroek is our Projects Coordinator. Judi Petkau is our Merchandise Coordinator.  Joe Crowe is our Webmaster.  Look in this space for our most recent minutes.

April, 2017