Welcome to Wild Ones Big River Big Woods Chapter


We are now taking orders!

Go to the plant sale order form here.

The place to pick up your orders and to buy donated plants has changed. 

Go to our new website bigriverbigwoods.org for the new location and latest news about the 2019 plant sale.


April 25

The Universe Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Soil Ecosystems

Kassie Brown photo

Kassie Brown

by Kassie Brown

Soil is one of the last truly uncharted territories. It is also the key to solving most of the problems we face today. Healthy soils clean and hold water, re-mediate pollution, sequester carbon, and grow resilient plants. Healthy soil is built by countless microbes working 24/7 – and they need our help! This talk is for anyone interested in learning more about the vast and complex ecosystem beneath our feet. It will be led by Kassie Brown of Renaissance Soil, a St. Paul based non-profit dedicated to regenerating soil through education, outreach, and action opportunities.

Date: April 25
Time:  6:45 pm to 7 pm informal sharing and social time, 7 pm to 8:30 pm presentation
Place:  Autumn Grove Park, 1365 Lydia Avenue West, Roseville, MN Map


May 23

Healthy Soils & Water Conservation

by Gregg Thompson

Want a healthier landscape that needs less (or no) supplemental watering? Learn tips to improve soil health to encourage improve root development, rainfall absorption and moisture retention. The presentation will also provide tips for safely and effectively capturing rainwater for reuse.

Gregg Thompson is a Watershed Specialist with the City of Eagan. He provides technical support to reduce stormwater runoff impacts on water resources, through land projects and watershed stewardship activities.

 Originally from a farm in South Dakota, where he developed his fascination with water, vegetation and soil, his background is in landscape architecture with 25+ years of experience working in residential/commercial landscapes and public-land projects.

Date: May 23
Time:  6:45 pm to 7 pm informal sharing and social time, 7 pm to 8:30 pm presentation
Place:  Autumn Grove Park, 1365 Lydia Avenue West, Roseville, MN Map

We Have a Winner !

photo Bumble Bee on Common Milkweed by Leanne Phinney

Bumble Bee on Common Milkweed by Leanne Phinney

Leanne Phinney, Big River Big Woods Chapter member and Treasurer, won first place in the Pollinators Category of the Wild Ones 2018 photo contest.  Excellent work, Leanne!

Big River Big Woods 

Big River Big Woods is a chapter of Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes.  We draw our membership primarily from St. Paul and the surrounding communities.

Our chapter has regular monthly meetings most of the year and garden tours in the warmer months.  We meet at Autumn Grove Park, 1365 Lydia Avenue West, Roseville, MN  Map

Meeting times: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.  The first half hour is a gathering/social time.  The program begins at 7 pm.

Meeting schedule:

In January, March through May and September through November we meet on the 4th Thursday of the month.  (No February or December meeting. The Design with Nature Conference takes the place of the February meeting.)

During the summer months (June, July and August) we provide a variety of tour opportunities which take place on various days of the week.  Tour descriptions and dates and times will be announced on this website as they become available.

Mission Statement:  Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes is a national non-profit organization that informs and teaches people how to use native plants in their landscapes.  Wild Ones distinguishes itself from other garden organizations by encouraging gardening with native plants and moving away from the use of chemicals, watering, excessive mowing and other practices commonly used by traditional gardeners.

Volunteer for one of our Service Projects

Roseville Library Children?s Reading Garden
2180 North Hamline Avenue, Roseville

Join us to help with the children’s reading garden. This outdoor area is framed by natural plantings and includes a rain garden as well as a natural prairie. The garden is used frequently by families with young children who enjoy the fenced in area to safely play outdoors while visiting the library.

Schedule (Rain or shine):
Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Bring gloves and hand tools if possible.  Beginners and experts are welcome!

Project Leader:
Nicole Brinkman

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

Enjoy time with your kindred spirits while you help restore and maintain a 5-year-old patch of native prairie.

This 36′ x 36′ Eagle Scout project had suffered several years of neglect until our Wild Ones Chapter took it on a few years ago. 

July Schedule (Rain or shine – except lightning):
Thursdays, July 19 and 26, and Saturdays, July 21 and 28.
Anytime between 9 and 11. Even an hour makes a difference. 

Come when you can and leave when you need to.  Bring water, gloves, and favorite weeding tool(s).
Contact Karen to confirm specific date and time as weather and other factors can affect the schedule.

Visitors are welcome anytime. This is a full sun pollinator garden where you can see giant versions of some full sun natives. e.g. Butterfly milkweed.

Project Leader:
Karen Eckman

Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom
1199 Midway Pkwy, St. Paul

Members of Big River Big Woods have adopted an area of the Classroom and have become regular EcoStewards.  EcoStewards work from May to early October and help to build this unique wild learning space in our capital city.

Being an EcoSteward is a volunteer position with St Paul Parks & Recreation focused on restoration and maintenance of CWOC. Interested volunteers will be trained and directed to work on an assigned parcel of CWOC. EcoStewards (or teams) can work on their own hours, independently and log their progress online. Tasks include weeding invasives, picking up trash, reporting new growth, and planting natives.

Watch this space and the calendar for future scheduled volunteer days at Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom.  Contact the Project Leader if you need more information.

Project Leader:
Judi Petkau

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