Welcome to Big River Big Woods Wild Ones


April 26, 2018

soil photo of anne sawyer

Healthy Soil, Healthy Plants
presented by Anne Sawyer
6:30 p.m  – 8:30 p.m.
at Autumn Grove Park, Roseville map

Soil! It’s so much more than dirt, and more interesting than you ever imagined… really! In this talk, you’ll learn all about the ‘magic’ of soil and understand why a healthy soil makes for healthy plants. Plus, we’ll discuss garden soil maintenance tips and smart fertilizer use. Come with questions!

Anne Sawyer recently completed her Ph.D. in   Soil Science at the University of Minnesota. Anne has a small hobby farm in Northfield where she and her husband grow organic veggies, keep egg chickens and raise pigs. She’s a U of MN Extension Master Gardener in Rice County and a member of the Rice County Extension Advisory Committee. 

May 24, 2018

luna moth

Tips for Discovering Biodiversity in your Backyard
presented by Larissa and Erik Mottl
6:30 p.m  – 8:30 p.m.
at Autumn Grove Park, Roseville map

As ecologists and parents of two kids in elementary school, the Mottls have practiced many simple, inexpensive ways to foster curiosity about our natural world. They’ll present some of the best tools for discovering and observing a variety of wildlife in your backyard. Discovering and raising silk moths, finding caterpillars with “tiny faces”, and observing fairy shrimp from a healthy wetland are a few of the highlights they’ll share from their backyard in Forest Lake.

PLANT SALE details are here.

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, September through November we meet on the 4th Thursday.
(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 several tour opportunities, occurring on various days of the week. Tour descriptions and dates and times will be announced on this website as they become available.


Native Plant Expo and Market offers gardeners one convenient location to shop for Minnesota native plants from 6 local native growers and learn how to use the plants from conservation organizations. The goal of Landscape Revival is to promote the use of native plants by educating about their benefits for wildlife habitat, pollinators, water quality and landscape diversity.

This year there are 2 dates and 2 locations:

Saturday, June 2, 2018
9:00 am – 1:30 pm
Shepherd of the Hills Church
3920 Victoria St N,
Shoreview, Minnesota (MN) 55126

Saturday, June 9, 2018
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Richard Walton Memorial Park
15th Street N and Hadley Avenue N,
Oakdale, Minnesota (MN) 55128


Photos by Karen Eckman


Big River Big Woods Chapter volunteers assisted with the book sale this year.

Volunteer for one of our Service Projects

Our projects are on hiatus until spring.  Check this space to find out when they become active.

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, 651-724-6032, nbrinkman@rclreads.org

For more information, download the flyer.

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 Augusts 21st last year when our Wild Ones Chapter took it on. 

Schedule (Rain or shine – except lightning):
Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon
Come when you can.  Leave when you need to.  Bring water, gloves, and favorite weeding tool(s).

Project Leader:
Karen Eckman, home – 651-483-8460, cell – 651-260-8534, k.eckman@comcast.net.

For more information, download the flyer.

Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom
1199 Midway Pkwy, St. Paul

Our chapter has “adopted” a parcel in Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC) – in the Oak Woodland section.   We will tackle invasive species and nurture native plant communities in Como Park.  We are doing this for the EcoSteward Work Days of the St. Paul Parks.

Saturdays, 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
May 27, June 10, June 24, July 8, July 22, August 5, August 19, September 9, September 23, October 14.
Tools are on site, but dress to work in the woods (pants + sox + close-toed shoes) and we suggest bringing gloves and water.

Project Leader:
Judi Petkau, 612-578-7385.

For more information, download the flyer.

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


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; Eric Vehe, Vice President; Liz Wendland, Secretary; Leanne Phinney, Treasurer.  Erica Tenbroek is our Projects Coordinator.  Joe Crowe is our Webmaster.  Look in this space for our most recent minutes.

March, 2018

January, 2018