The 2018 Garden season is shaping up to be an exciting one as the wetland boardwalk moves toward completion this year. The boardwalk is a collaborative effort between the Friends of the Wild Flower Garden and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, with the Friends providing partial funding and other support. Anticipating the Garden opening in April, the Friends Board met in early February to adopt our 2018 budget, review projects proposed by the Minneapolis Park Board for 2019 and consider several other measures.
We resolved to take steps to make The Fringed Gentian™ more widely available by including a clickable link to the newsletter on our website homepage. Navigate to www.friendsofthewildflowergarden.org and check out the newsletter online, alongside a trove of botanical information, Garden history and details about the Friends. Mindful of our mission as an educational and environmental organization, we are encouraging members to opt for electronic delivery of the Gentian over paper copies. A notice below tells how to make this change.
The Board also discussed the historic stock market correction that occurred on the day of our meeting in early February, and the potential impact of the new tax act on charitable contributions to the Friends organization. We are consulting with our financial advisor regarding our investments and although we are not concerned, we are looking at rebalancing and impact investing as appropriate responses.
We are confident that our members and donors will continue their generous support of the Friends into the future. This year your financial gifts to the Friends will go dollar for dollar to funding the boardwalk completion and for plantings in areas of the Garden recently reclaimed from invasive species. Our administrative expenses will be covered by memberships and investment proceeds.
You may also designate a special purpose for your gift such as our Student Transportation Grant Program. The Garden was established through the dedicated efforts of Eloise Butler, a Minneapolis school teacher. The Friends honor those origins by funding the transportation program, bringing Minneapolis school students to the Garden for quality science-based education programs offered by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.
THIRD GRADERS FROM BEST ACADEMY, a public charter school in North Minneapolis, follow Interpretive Naturalist Kara Snow down the Geranium Path in early May. Photo - Kari Ramstrom.
We will continue the transportation program in 2018 and are exploring ways to encourage these students to return to the Garden with their families and friends as regular visitors.
We hope you will come often as well. I’ll be there, beginning in early April, hoping for a glimpse of the tiny snow trillium along Violet Way – one of my favorite ephemerals. As our new “Ask Eloise” column in this issue reminds us, “every tiny bloom and unfurling leaf is so remarkable after months of winter.”