Plant It Wild to host programs, field trips

MANISTEE COUNTY — Plant It Wild will host programs from May through September on the third Wednesday of each month.

All programs and field trips are open to the public at no charge. Programs are held at Trinity Lutheran Church, located at 955 James St. in Frankfort. Field trip locations/directions can be found at, or on the Facebook page, PIW-Plant It Wild.

Plant It Wild is an independent, nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status, native plant organization based in Benzie and Manistee counties.

The group’s mission is “to foster greater awareness and appreciation of the fragile natural environment of our region. Through direct efforts, we work to preserve, protect and promote the natural beauty of the area and its plant communities.”

The summer schedule is as follows:

• 7 p.m. May 15, Program: Paula Dreeszen will offer a program on Spring Wildflowers of the Forest. Master Gardeners Association Northwest Michigan (MGANM) will be partnering Plant It Wild that evening. Dreeszen shares photos of the flowers and explains details on plant characteristics;

• 7 p.m. June 19, Program Invasive Plants: Identification and Management. Emily Cook of the Invasive Species Network will discuss identifying invasive species. Her presentation will cover the harm caused by invasive terrestrial plants; identification of invasive plants, early detection and the stages of invasion; and best practices to remove invasive plants;

• 7 p.m. July 17, Program, Catherine Zimmerman, author and documentary film maker will present on Urban and Suburban Meadows. Zimmerman will offer a presentation on techniques to establish a meadow in an urban or suburban setting. Meadows/grasslands replacing turf grass is a hot topic currently. The habitat created and species supported is well worth the effort for individual homeowners;

• 10 a.m. to noon July 18, Field Trip 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, experience a variety of medium and tall Michigan native grasses and forbs on a large scale, then visit the home of Mary and Rich Devon on Bankston Road in Benzie County to view their grassland installation around their home. Lastly, visit one to two more sites with small meadow installations locations TBD, likely in the Frankfort area;

• 3-5 p.m. July 18, Documentary Screening at the Garden Theater, Main Street, Frankfort. View “Hometown Habitat, Stories of Bringing Nature Home” with an intro by the filmmaker and follow-up questions afterward;

• 7 p.m. Aug. 21, Program, Living Soil presented by Dr. George Bird, MSU Professor Emeritus. Bird will offer a fascinating presentation on the components and characteristics of healthy soil to help better manage planting and plant management practices to protect soil health;

• 7 p.m. Sept. 18, Program, Carolyn Thayer, landscape designer and owner of Designs on Bloom, will offer a presentation on 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. The program 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.

• 10-11:30 a.m. Sept. 21, field trip to see rain gardens in various stages from a mature setting at Gateway Village, 210 Day Ave., Frankfort, that processes all run off on site to protect Betsie Bay; then to a newer installation at the Frankfort Beach parking lot on Crystal Lake, and additional residential properties.


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