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Friends of the Wildflower Garden
P. O. Box 3793
Minneapolis, MN 55403

News Update from the Friends

New storage building construction began in April

construction sign

Two new tool and tractor sheds began construction in late April, just outside the Garden fence near the rest rooms. These provide much needed space for the Garden’s equipment, most of which currently sits outside. Construction will make use of a small part of the parking lot, but the lot is being expanded by 10 more spaces along the entrance and exit drive.

construction activity

Student visits will continue in summer 2024:

Kids in Garden

The Friends provided $3,300 in transportation funds to Minneapolis Schools students last year. Another group came in May this year and more are visiting in June and July These visits are possible because of the Friends Student Transportation Grant Program whereby we pay for bus transport to the Garden. Bus costs are now between $260 and $300 per trip. This program has been in place since 2009 and over 5,400 children have been able to experience the Garden because of it. Some of the Friends’ supporters have specifically requested that their donation be applied to this program. You may do that also, either via your annual support payment of via a separate donation. We need your help to keep this going. Visit our website “Donate & Support” page for details.

elain evans in the field
Dr. Elaine Evans doing bee survey field work. Photo U od M Bee Lab.

In the works:

A bee survey got underway in the Wildflower Garden in 2023 and will conclude in the 2024 season. The Garden is doing this survey every 10 years to keep track of species and habitat changes. The Friends are sharing the cost of this work with the Garden. Last time 104 species was tabulated, keyed to what plants they visited. Once again, Dr. Elaine Evans of the U of M Bee Lab is conducting the survey

Volunteer Greeters:

The Friends volunteers are again staffing both the entry Kiosk and the Martha Crone Shelter this season, the shelter for the 54th consecutive year. Up through June 2, 15,479 people have been greeted at the Garden.

FIPAG made important gains in 2023 - in 2024 work continues:

Garlic Mustard was attacked outside the Garden perimeter in May and then buckthorn was removed on the west hillside around Old Andrew’s cave in June followed by planting new shrubs and wildflowers on the east side of the Garden in the new area FIPAG is now concentrating on - a hillside sloping to a natural pond. Jim Proctor writes about FIPAG's new work: “In our recent efforts just outside the Garden fence we’ve uncovered something really exciting—a small un-forested slope which sits above a small pond. This spot was obscured by a wall of non-native trees and shrubs including buckthorn, honeysuckle and Amur maple. Now that the invasive shrubs and trees are partly removed, we can see that it has great potential as a lovely meadow with a view of the pond below.”

new FIPAG work area

Below: The first event of the spring was mostly rained out, but a wet and somewhat happy crew got some garlic mustard removed.

AG april 18

Below: A view of the new area with pool where the FIPAG began work in 2023.

part of wirth park worked by FIPAG

Below: Overlaid on the 1967 winter aerial photo of the Wildflower Garden area are the FIPAG work areas. The Maple Bowl outlined in yellow and the new area in red. Both areas show the small pool in the center of each. The white outline of the Garden has the upland fence in the approximate position of the 2022 expansion.

Aerial photo of FIPAG work areas

New Perimeter Fence plan

garden fence outline
Garden plan map showing new fencing proposal from the Friends. The newly fenced area in late 2022 is shown along with what was the 1993 addition.

Replacing the Garden’s aged fence began last year when MPRB replaced a section of upland fence with a new one and added additional space to the Wildflower Garden. This fall after the Garden closes, the MPRB, with Friends funding, is planning to replace more fence in the upland and add some additional area to the Garden. The replaced fence is of 1946 vintage and keeping it intact continues the process Eloise started in 1924 of having a fence to protect this valuable area. Roaming hogs are scarce now-a-days in Wirth Park, but not so the quadrupeds with white tails.

Long-term supporters:

The Friends are fortunate to have long-term supporters and here are those with tenures of 40 years or more in supporting our mission to protect and preserve the Wildflower Garden.
Lee & Jerry Shannon - 58 years
J. S. Futcher - 55 years
Susan & Robert Warde - 45 years
Joan Haldeman - 44 years
Jeremy Nichols & Evelyn Turner - 44 years
David & Ada Alden - 41 years
Dan & Vi La Belle - 40 years

Your donations

You should know that your support contributions to the Friends are entirely used for these Garden projects and our other mission programs. Our administrative expenses are small, on average, 5% of revenue or less, and these expenses are funded from non-contribution revenue.

If you want to read more about the historical aspects of the Garden and the things the Friends have accomplished over the last 72 years visit the "garden history tab" and the "Friends history tab." Links at the bottom of this page.