August 2019 Newsletter
Healing the earth, one yard at a time.
Monthly Public Meetings
Jump Starting Your Native Plant Garden with Annuals and Groundcovers
with Sally Wencel
Monday, August 12, 2019
63 E. Main St., Chattanooga TN
FREE and Open to the Public

The mantra “sleep, creep and leap” is a good description for the three growing seasons it can take for your native perennials to put on a show in your garden. In the meantime, you can get off to a quicker start using native annuals and groundcovers to provide cover, color, and pollen and nectar in your new planting areas.

Chapter President and Wild Ones National Board member, Sally Wencel will present a variety of native annuals, ground covers, and short-lived perennials that we don’t usually think of when planning new garden areas, converting to native gardens or refreshing existing plantings. You might be surprised by the options we have available in this area. 

The ABCs of Pollinators:
United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Programs
Special Third Monday Program
Monday, August 19, 2019
63 E. Main St., Chattanooga TN
FREE and Open to the Public

The USDA isn't just about corn and cotton - they also are concerned with The ABCs of pollinators' role in supporting life on this planet, and what we can do to help pollinators thrive. Leslie Honicker of USDA NRCS TN Region 3 will describe the conservation and restoration programs that NRCS has in which you can participate and some of the projects that have been undertaken in this area.

Plant This, Not That
with Bill Moll
Monday, September 9, 2019
63 E. Main St., Chattanooga TN
FREE and Open to the Public

Although common non-native landscape plants rarely support native insects, they do fill nursery, landscaper and homeowner objectives – that is why they are commonly used. For each of those plants, this program will feature native plants which fill those same objectives and also support a living landscape.

Upcoming Members-Only Programs

May Prairie Meadow Walk
Saturday, August 24, 2019
8:45am CDT
Manchester, TN
FREE for Members of the TN Valley Chapter
of Wild Ones and family

May Prairie is a 492-acre natural area in Coffee County near Manchester. The most impressive feature at May Prairie is the open grassland community that protrudes into the surrounding oak forest where the oak barrens begin. 

In late summer, many species of sunflower are common with the rare southern dock (Silphium pinnatifidum) and two species of blazing star (Liatris spicata and L. microcephala) prominently flowering. May Prairie is one of the State's most floristically diverse natural areas with 25 of its more than 300 plant species that occur here considered rare in Tennessee.

Join other members of the Tennessee Valley Chapter to visit this extraordinary area.

Landscapes in Progress
in Apison TN
Saturday, August 31, 2019
10:30am - 12:00pm
Apison, TN
FREE for Members of the TN Valley Chapter
of Wild Ones and family

Bianca Pratorius and her husband purchased 24 acres in the Tennessee Valley in 2018 and moved here from Miami, Florida. They are currently in the process of removing invasives and re-establishing a very overgrown large pond behind the house, as well as a smaller pond in the front of the house. Their goal for now is to turn a large area of lawn behind the house into a native wildflower meadow and introduce as many native plants to the property as they can.

Landscapes in Progress programs are not formal garden tours, but rather are informal opportunities for us to learn from each other about gardening challenges and possible solutions. This particular event will be a great opportunity to see and learn about the process of restoring and managing large acreage.
Registration for September - November
CNP Classes is Now Open!
CNP class sizes are limited and registration IN ADVANCE is required.

Native Landscape Photography
Saturday, September 14, 2019
9:00am – 12:30pm
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
Instructor: J. Paul Moore
CNP Elective Class - 4 credits

Plant Form & Function:
Part 1
Saturday, October 12, 2019
9:00am – 4:00pm
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
Instructors: Richard Clements, Ph.D. 
Mary Priestley
CNP Core Class – 6 credits

Plant Form & Function:
Part 2
Saturday, November 9, 2019
9:00am – 4:00pm
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
Instructors: Richard Clements, Ph.D.
Mary Priestley
CNP Core Class – 6 credits

News from Our Chapter
Seeds for Education Grants Available for Fall Plantings
Teachers and students across the United States are expanding learning opportunities by enhancing their schoolyards with butterfly gardens and other pollinator habitats. These projects enrich the learning environment and provide aesthetic and environmental benefits.

By planning, establishing and maintaining such projects, students learn valuable life skills, including patience and teamwork. They can engage parents and the wider community in a project they can point to with pride for years to come.

CHAPP offers assistance for all aspects of such projects. Cash grants of up to $500 are available for plants and seeds, and in-kind donations from  Nursery Partners  can help stretch these dollars. We can help you locate experts and information in the Chattanooga area. The deadline for the next round of grant application is September 1st. Go to our  Seeds for Education webpage  to learn more.

The Chattanooga Area Pollinator Partnership is
an initiative of the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones.
Acknowledging our love for the living world does something that a library full of papers on sustainable development and ecosystem services cannot; it engages the imagination as well as the intellect.

- George Monbiot

Local & Regional Happenings
Pre-Order Select Natives, Trees & Shrubs
from the Birmingham Botanical Garden
Fall Plant Sale
Two of BBG's dedicated plant volunteer teams, Native Plants and Trees & Shrubs, are offering a diverse array of specialty trees, shrubs, and native plants, some of which are available through pre-order only.

Download the separate pre-order forms by using the link below, explore what's available, and place your order. Then mark your calendar to shop hundreds of other incredible plants at the sale September 14-15 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Rain Garden Guardians
Do you have an interest in doing some hands-on gardening? Do you want to learn more about rain gardens?

On the first (1st) and fourth (4th) Thursday of the month, a Rain Garden Guardians work day will
be scheduled at:
9/5 - Spears Ave Pump Track at Stringers Ridge

These public rain garden sites are designed to catch polluted stormwater runoff. Through
natural processes these sites protect our waterways and citizens by filtering water, reducing
flooding, and providing habitat. Each site is a little different; explore a new native plant
landscape each week!

Interesting Information
Native Plant Conservation Campaign News: 
Botanical Sciences and Native Plant Materials Research,
Restoration, and Promotion Act introduced in U.S. Senate
Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate that would promote native plant use, research, and protection. The Botanical Sciences and Native Plant Materials Research, Restoration, and Promotion Act would encourage federal land management agencies to hire botanists, establish a collaborative grant program to support efforts to keep rare plant species from becoming endangered and help endangered plant species recover, and proactively encourage the use of native plants in projects on federal land when feasible.

"The Botany Bill" promotes botanical research & sciences capacity, generates demand for native plant materials, & authorizes related federal activities. It allows federal agencies to act ​with the expertise required to preserve unique American landscapes & emphasizes the importance of protecting native plants & ecosystems.
Remove Invasive Plants Early for Best Results

All of us should be careful to spot and deal with plants that can spread; the sooner we remove them, the less work it is.

Check out this helpful blog post for more information about removing invasive plants.
Native Plant Database

The Audubon Society has a great online database for determining which plants are native to your area, information about the plants, along with resources for purchasing them. The database is overseen by Doug Tallamy, a Wild Ones Lifetime Honorary Director. Wild Ones chapters contributed to the well-maintained list of native nurseries. To use this resource, click below. Type in your email address and zip code, then click Search. 
Monarch Butterflies Really Need Urban Gardens

A new paper argues that cities can make a lot more space for milkweed, in particular.

“Metropolitan areas actually matter for wildlife conservation, and that’s especially true for pollinators like the monarch that can survive with very small patches of habitat,” said Abigail Derby Lewis, a senior conservation ecologist at the Field Museum and paper co-author, in a statement. While they’re no substitutes for wilder environs, the argument goes, rivers of concrete and mountains of glass and steel could be doing more to roll out the welcome mat for the little residents that crawl or fly around them.
Monarch Butterflies Born In Captivity Have Trouble Migrating South, Study Says

Ayse Tenger-Trolander, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, studies the genetics and internal biology of migratory monarchs. She ordered the butterflies from a breeder that supplies butterflies for educational settings, with the goal of speeding up her experiments. "We fully expected ... that even though they've been bred in captivity, they're still normal North American monarchs," but to their surprise, the breeder's butterflies had rounder, smaller top wings - similar to nonmigratory butterflies. When they were put in a flight simulator, they did not orient south, unlike the wild North American butterflies they'd been raised alongside. The captive-bred butterflies, the scientists realized, were unlikely to migrate.
Fighting Invasive Plants
at Reflection Riding

Invasive plant species are a challenge - and an opportunity - here in Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley.

Just ask the folks at Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center in Chattanooga - where they, with help from volunteers, are knee deep in an ongoing effort to get rid of invasive plants on their site - such as privet and honeysuckle - making room to restore native plants and helping them grow...

Listen to the interview on WUTC's Scenic Roots.
"Cues of Care,"
Helping People See Plants...

It is 92 degrees in mid-May, but we are safely tucked inside an office suite in Ponce City Market in midtown Atlanta at a reception celebrating environmental and community non-profit organizations in Georgia. With the music and conversations rising, a sponsoring patron comes to our display table for the State Botanical Garden of Georgia (SBG) and says over the swelling din, “Tell me in 20 seconds what it is you do.”

This, I’ve got.

“We help people see plants. We help people realize plants are essential to their lives, and that native plants are not optional on Georgia lands if we want to keep all the other layers of diversity that rely on those plants for survival, like birds, bees, butterflies, and bats.”

She did not blink but leaned in closer. “Ok, keep going, what is your goal?”
Photos from the Field
Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar
Mike O'Brien watched this Variegated Fritillary caterpillar grow and mature on a Passion Vine in his yard, and then it disappeared. Mike and his wife kept looking for its chrysalis, and then found the chrysalis hidden on a weed stem that the denuded Passion Vine was growing on. It was the only caterpillar on this vine for several weeks. 
Photo by Mike O'Brien.

Predator and prey.
Mike O'Brien was taking few photos and identifying the first Crossline Skippers of the year on Phlox flowers. He saw this vertically suspended and motionless skipper -- always a telltale sign that a butterfly has become a predator’s dinner. The Ambush Bug is visible at the 10 o’clock position of the photo; it is pale green with its fat abdomen pointed outward. Its head is right next to the skipper’s face. Like Crab Spiders, the Ambush Bugs hide under the flowers and wait to pounce.
"It's just nature at work."
Photo by Mike O'Brien.

Loomis Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum loomisii)
Photo by Mike O'Brien.

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