Northern Michigan Nonprofit Plant it Wild Helps Protect Native Species

Plant It Wild was formed in 2000 in Benzie and Manistee counties to foster a greater awareness and appreciation of Northern Michigan’s fragile natural environment. The nonprofit works to preserve, protect and promote the natural beauty of the area and its plant communities.

This summer, Plant It Wild is bringing a nationally recognized author and documentary filmmaker, Catherine Zimmerman and The Meadow Project, to Frankfort for three events. All of Plant It Wild’s programs and field trips are open to the public at no cost. The nonprofit relies on memberships and donations.

Plant It Wild Events

MAY 1 & MAY 8, 10–12 P.M. | PETE’S WOODS WILDFLOWER HIKE

The two hikes are annual events co-hosted by Benzie Audubon, GTRLC and Plant It Wild. Pete’s Woods offers an exceptional display of spring ephemerals. The property has seen few invasive species to disrupt the ecosystem.  Plants include Canada Mayflower, Dutchmen’s Breeches, Squirrel Corn, Trillium, Trout Lily, Celandine Poppy, Waterleaf, Blood Root, Large Flowered Bellwort, Woodland Phlox, Spring Beauty, Hepatica and more. Pete’s Woods is part of the GTRLC Arcadia Dunes property. Lead by Paula Dreeszen.

MAY 15, 7 P.M. | SPRING WILDFLOWERS OF THE FOREST 

Master Gardners Association Northwest Michigan will be partnering Plant It Wild for the evening. Paula Dreeszen will share beautiful photos of the flowers and explains details on plant characteristics at Trinity Lutheran Church in Frankfort. 

JUNE 19, 7 P.M. | INVASIVE PLANTS: IDENTIFICATION AND MANAGEMENT 

Emily Cook of the Invasive Species Network will discuss identifying invasive species. Her presentation at Trinity Lutheran Church will cover the harm caused by invasive terrestrial plants, identification of invasive plants, early detection, the stages of invasion and best practices to remove invasive plants. We encourage those in attendance to volunteer in garlic mustard pulls, baby’s breath digs and Japanese Barberry removal.  

JULY 17, 7 P.M. | URBAN AND SUBURBAN MEADOWS 

Catherine Zimmerman, author and documentary filmmaker, will present on urban and suburban meadows at Trinity Lutheran Church in Frankfort. Catherine will offer a presentation on techniques to establish a meadow as meadows/grasslands replacing turf grass is a hot topic currently. The habitat created and species supported is well worth the effort for individual homeowners.

JULY 18, 10–12 P.M. | GRASSLAND & MEADOW SITES

Catherine Zimmerman will be joining Angie Lucas (GTRLC) and Plant It Wild on a field trip to various grassland/meadow sites.  Beginning at the Arcadia Dunes Dry Upland Grassland we will experience a variety of medium and tall Michigan native grasses and forbs on a large scale. Next, we will visit the home of Mary and Rich Devon on Bankston Road in Benzie County to view their grassland installation around their home. Attendees will visit 1–2 more sites with small meadow installations, locations TBD—likely in the Frankfort area.

JULY 18, 3–5 P.M. | DOCUMENTARY SCREENING 

We will view Hometown Habitats, Stories of Bringing Nature Home at Frankfort’s Garden Theater with an intro by the filmmaker, Catherine Zimmerman, and follow-up questions afterward.

AUGUST 21, 7 P.M. | LIVING SOIL 

Dr. Geoge Bird, MSU Professor Emeritus, will offer a fascinating presentation at Trinity Lutheran Church on the components and characteristics of healthy soil to help us better manage our planting.

SEPTEMBER 18, 7 P.M. | CREATING A RAIN GARDEN

Managing all run off on-site is the best way to protect surface water and recharge the groundwater. Using Michigan native plants with their deep roots to process water is a simple and beautiful solution. This program at Trinity Lutheran Church will cover how to create a rain garden on a residential property fed by roof runoff, hard surface run off or foot-washing/outdoor shower runoff. Presented by Carolyn Thayer, owner of Designs on Bloom.

TBD 

There will be a field trip to see rain gardens in various stages from a mature setting at Gateway Village (HUD housing that processes all runoff on site to protect Betsie Bay) to a newer installation at the Frankfort Beach parking lot on Crystal Lake and additional residential properties.

What Does Plant it Wild Do?
  • Educational programming on the third Wednesday of the month, May–September, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Frankfort and related field trips
  • Speak to garden clubs and community groups, including NMC Campus Day, on topics related to Michigan native plants
  • Work with Benzie Conservation District, Manistee Conservation District, Saving Birds Thru Habitat, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan
  • Support nurseries that propagate and sell Michigan native plants including Four Season Nursery, Misty Ridge Greenhouse and all of the nurseries who have pledged to ISN’s Go Beyond Beauty program
  • Provide consulting services on design, use and installation of Michigan native plant pollinator gardens

Information provided by Plant it Wild