August 2020 Newsletter
Healing the earth, one yard at a time.
Dear Wild Ones Members, Friends and Supporters,

Two terrific events have been added to our calendar for September!

  • An outdoor fall native plant sale, featuring native plant nurseries from our region... AND
  • An online presentation by Nancy Lawson, author of The Humane Gardener, on September 14th

Be sure to read below about our chapter's first ever Photo Contest for members of the Tennessee Valley Chapter. This contest is a terrific incentive to get outdoors and take some wonderful photos of native plants and landscapes, along with the wildlife interacting with them. In the process, we're certain that you'll learn something new and wonderful about what's happening in the natural world. We hope you enjoy it!

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we have decided to postpone our Bringing Nature Home Garden Tour that was previously planned for September. We hope to reschedule it during 2021. Meanwhile, we will continue to offer meetings and programs online and in-person when safe to do so.

We look forward to seeing you at our FREE online Community Conservation Conversation this coming Monday, August 10th!

Upcoming Programs & Events
Community Conservation Conversation with
the Trust for Public Land:
Saving American’s Special Places
Monday, August 10, 2020
6:00pm (Eastern DST)
Online via Zoom
FREE and Open to the Public
with David Johnson,
Chattanooga Area Program Director,
Trust for Public Land

Continuing this series dedicated to exploring the work of nonprofits to preserve and protect natural areas, the August meeting will feature The Trust for Public Land, a nation-wide nonprofit organization with a mission to "create parks and protect land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come.” 

Over the last two decades, TPL has been a partner in the City of Chattanooga's investments in dozens of new parks and natural areas, including the final sections of the 12-mile greenway running through metropolitan Chattanooga that highlights the natural beauty of Chickamauga Creek. 

Fall Native Plant Sale!
Saturday, September 12, 2020
9:00am - 3:00pm (Eastern DST)
Grace Episcopal Church
20 Belvoir Ave., Chattanooga TN

Since we had to cancel our spring Symposium and Native Plant Marketplace, we're inviting regional native plant nurseries to return to Chattanooga in an outdoor setting to sell a wide variety of native plants to our community. The fall plant sale will be outdoors, and masks are required. Admission is free.

Currently, four native plant vendors have agreed to participate, with more expected. As with all events currently, there may be changes, so please see our website for updates.

For more information about vendors, contact Bill Moll at 404-401-7899 or
The Humane Gardener:
Nurturing a Home Wildlife Habitat
Monday, September 14, 2020
6:00pm (Eastern DST)
Online via Zoom
with Nancy Lawson

Why do we call some insects “beneficial” while others are “pests”? Why are some plants considered “desirable” while others are “weeds”?

In this myth-busting talk, learn how common growing methods divide the natural world into false dichotomies and perpetuate misconceptions about the wild species living among us. Discover practical ways to put humane gardening philosophies into action by protecting wildlife nurseries, eliminating unintended hazards, nurturing plants that provide food and shelter, and humanely resolving conflicts with mammals and other commonly misunderstood creatures.

By intentionally offering some areas of your landscape to wildlife and gently protecting others, you can replace resistance with coexistence—and watch as your garden grows into a refuge for you and all your wild neighbors.

Nancy is a columnist for All Animals magazine and is the founder of Humane Gardener, an outreach initiative dedicated to cultivating compassion for all creatures great and small through animal-friendly, environmentally sensitive landscaping methods.

Save the date!
Registration information will be coming soon.
Follow our Chapter's
YouTube Channel
The Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones now has a YouTube channel! That's where you can find video recording of previous public meetings and other presentations. We'll be adding more content, so be sure to subscribe to our channel!
Our First Photo Contest!
The Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones is pleased to announce its first photo contest for members only! The Photo Contest 2020 is intended to encourage members of the chapter to get outdoors and to explore and learn about native plant gardens and other natural spaces. The chapter also wants to document in photography the beauty of native flora and fauna in the Tennessee Valley area and to showcase the photography skills of the chapter members.

All photos submitted must include plant(s) along with wildlife native to the Tennessee Valley region. Recognition prizes will be provided in six categories. The entry deadline is September 30, 2020.
Upcoming CNP Classes

The Certificate in Native Plants program is designed to expand students' knowledge of botany, ecology, conservation and uses of native flora in the southeastern United States. The CNP offers a blend of classroom instruction, hands-on learning and guided hikes. Participants are required to complete four core classes, eight electives, and 40 hours of volunteering for approved native plant projects. 

Visit for more information.  Classes are open to Wild Ones members and non-members, whether or not you are pursuing the certificate.  

More information on the October 10th CNP class will be coming soon.

Updated Information

Native Plant Garden Tour 2020
We regret to inform you that, due to the COVID 19 pandemic, our native plant garden tour previously scheduled for September has been postponed until 2021. The safety of our members and guests is of primary importance, and we look forward to the time when we can safely gather together in person again.
Events in the Region

Pollinator Project
with Ann Brown & Mike O'Brien
Saturday, August 22, 10am - 2pm
Rising Fawn Gardens

The day will begin with a guided walk and tour of the gardens, taking time to identify and photograph the pollinators. A presentation will include information and instructions for cultivating a pollinator habitat at home. Time in between will be allotted for a picnic lunch or cooling your feet in the creek.
Interesting Information
Still Seeing Mulch Years Later?
Plant More!
If you planted a garden 2-3 years ago and you still see lots of wood mulch, then you need more plants. You're probably still seeing a decent number of weeds at this point, too (mulch isn't a magic weed bullet and, if too thick, often creates an ideal seed bed). So, you know, more plants. More layers. More density.
How to Convert a Patch of Lawn
to Native Wildflowers
This short video, created by Lawn-to-Wildflowers is a step-by-step instructional guide to converting a patch of turfgrass lawn to native wildflowers. This method involves first killing the grass by smothering it with cardboard and then transplanting in potted native plants. It takes a bit of patience but it will be worth it, and all those native plants will attract and support so much life.
New Book by Larry Mellichamp
& Paula Gross
Beginner-level resources are especially welcome for the many newbies learning about native plants and their benefit to our local ecosystems. If you’ve been looking for something for yourself or for a friend that you are encouraging, check out this new book entitled “The Southeast Native Plant Primer: 225 Plants for an Earth-Friendly Garden.” 
Downy Skullcap and
the Amorous Skipper
Each long tubular flower of Downy Skullcap (Scutellaria incana) has an entrance with a hood- or cap-like overhang at the top, and a floor with a white pathway beckoning to visitors who might help pollinate the flowers. While looking for Downy Skullcap flower visitors in her garden, Mary Ann Borge spotted a male Zabulon Skipper drinking nectar. While these flowers bloomed in our area during July, read more about them in this interesting blog post.
Should Plants and Animals that Relocate Because of Climate Change Be Considered Invasive?
In the past 100 years, the planet has warmed in the range of 10 times faster than it did on average over the past 5,000. In response, thousands of species are traveling poleward, climbing to higher elevations, and diving deeper into the seas, seeking their preferred environmental conditions. This great migration is challenging traditional ideas about native species, the role of conservation biology and what kind of environment is desirable for the future.
Online Programs of Interest
Webinars for Landscape Practitioners
Wild Ones is co-sponsoring a second national webinar series in conjunction with New Directions in the American Landscape.

Webinars during August include:
  • Native Annuals
  • Genetic Variation and Landscape Design
  • Seed to Landscape
  • Organic Planting and Management
Free Educational Videos
YouTube is a great resource for informational and educational videos and webinar recordings about gardening with native plants, pollinators, birds and much more. Here are a few YouTube channels to check out:

Photos from the Field
Hypericum in the Chickamauga Park Limestone Glades

Photo by Bob Hulse

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Photo by Bob Hulse.
Goldfinch on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Photo by Bob Hulse.

Sleepy Orange Sulphur butterfly caterpillars (1" long)
on host Sicklepod Senna (Senna obtusifolia)
The caterpillars look just like the young seed pods of this Senna,
providing excellent camouflage. 

Photo by Mike O'Brien.

Snowberry Clearwing Moth on Summer Phlox (Phlox paniculata)

Photo by Mike O'Brien.

Tersa Sphinx Moth caterpillar, about 2.5" long
Note the "false eyes" which mimic a snake, thereby discouraging predators.

Photo by Mike O'Brien.

Join Wild Ones!
Joining or Renewing
Your Wild Ones Membership?
Join a community of native plant enthusiasts – novices to experts – making a difference by establishing and preserving communities of native plants in home landscapes, schools, businesses, and communities.

AND receive benefits, including discounted admission for our annual Symposium and Certificate in Native Plants classes. As a member, you'll also be invited to members-only hikes, garden visits and social events.
Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones
Upcoming Event Calendar

Monday, August 10, 2020, 6:00pm EST
Free Public Program online via Zoom

Saturday, September 12, 9am - 3pm EST
Fall Native Plant Sale
with regional native plant nurseries
Grace Episcopal Church, 20 Belvoir Ave., Chattanooga TN
Outdoors. Masks required.

Monday, September 14, 6:00pm
The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Home Wildlife Habitat
with Nancy Lawson
Online. Details coming soon.

September 30, 2020
Entry Deadline for Photo Contest 2020!

October 10, 2020
Certificate in Native Plants class
Details TBA

For event details and Zoom links, visit
Under the Programs & Events tab, click on Calendar.

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