Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Front Gate of Eloise Butler

For 62 years - Dedicated to Protecting, Preserving and Promoting
The interests of The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

Student Transportation Grant


The Friends provide a subsidy to a selected class of students who are unable to pay any or all of the cost of transportation for the class visit. So Far over 2,900 students have benefited. Read more. .

Eloise Butler Plant Community


The Garden is host to over 600 native plant species with habitat varying from marsh to woodland to prairie and Oak savanna. For photos and species - read more. .

Common Winter Birds

Female Downy Woodpecker

A photo selection of the most common winter birds in Central Minnesota

10, 25, 50, 75, 100 years ago

old historic cabin

A brief review of the winter season of 2005, 1990, 1965, 1940 and 1915, details . . .

Clinton Odell

He was instrumental in founding The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden in 1952. Read more. .

clinton odell

Eloise Butler

Eloise Butler

in 1915 she wrote about wild plants and fruits that children used to eat in her generation. Read more. .

Garden Plant of the Week

Wild Calla

Wild Calla
Calla palustris L.

The Wild Calla is native to the park area surrounding The Wildflower Garden and Eloise Butler brought plants into the Garden proper many times, as early as May 1907. Calla is a genus with this sole species. Carl Linnaeus had a recipe for making bread flower from the root. Eloise wrote in 1911: "When floundering in the bogs, we come across the Wild Calla, a flower just as lovely, though smaller, as the well-known cultivated calla imported from Africa. This species has a creeping stem and heart-shaped, glossy leaves. It belongs to the Arum family, which includes, as you may remember, the skunk cabbage and Jack-in-the-Pulpit. Like them, too, the showy part of the inflorescence is a large bract or spathe en-wrapping a dense cluster of small flowers." More plant info. .


Historical Seasonal Thoughts

"On the 27th (Jan 1768) much snow fell all day and in the evening the frost became intense...and on the 31st of January, just before sun-rise, with rime on the trees and on the tube of the glass, the quicksilver sunk exactly to zero ... a most unusual degree of cold this for the south of England! During these four nights the cold was so penetrating that it occasioned ice in warm chambers and under beds; and in the day the wind was so keen that persons of robust constitutions could scarcely endure to face it. The Thames was at once so frozen over both above and below bridge that crowds ran about on the ice.” Gilbert White, 1768 from, Letters to Daines Barrington.

A Seasonal Poem

OLD Winter is the man for me—
Stout-hearted, sound, and steady;
Steel nerves and bones of brass hath he:
Come snow, come blow, he ’s ready!

If ever man was well, ’t is he;
He keeps no fire in his chamber,
And yet from cold and cough is free
In bitterest December.


Taken from "Winter" by
Matthias Claudius (1740–1815)