from: SEEDLINGS, the Newsletter of Kalamazoo Area WILD ONES Native Plants, Natural Landscapes

Laurel Ross from Chicago’s Field Museum Leads Off Wild Ones 2015-16 Series on Stewardship with “Urban Areas: People are the Solution, not the Problem”

Laurel Ross, recently retired Director of Urban Conservation for Chicago’s world-famous Field Museum, will be the leadoff speaker in Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones 2015-2016 series on “Stewardship of the Land.”

In her program on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m., she’ll emphasize the vital importance of urban areas of all sizes in environmental conservation. As planners and ecologists seek to stitch together habitat patches into landscapes extensive and diverse enough to provide maximum resilience in the face of climate change, they’re discovering that one of the most valuable conservation assets is the people who live in these largely urban and suburban landscapes. Engaged residents in villages, towns and cities, largely nonconservation professionals, are playing increasingly important roles in ecological restoration and education as stewards of the landscapes where they live.

Wild Ones meets at First United Methodist Church, 212 S. Park, downtown Kalamazoo.
Socializing at 6:30 p.m., program promptly at 7.

Mike and Carol Klug, for Wild Ones February 25 Program, Share Adventures in Stewardship of 80 Acres in “Sharing the Land: A Ten-Year Saga on the Ridge”

Ten years ago we moved to an 80-acre parcel in a sparsely populated area in southern Barry County which was in an existing SWMLC conservation easement. The hundreds of undeveloped contiguous acres with few fences or other barriers was a stark contrast to our former property in Richland. Although we still interact with our human neighbors, our more consistent daily interactions are with the billions of organisms with which we now share the land.

Our challenge has been to be stewards of this land in a manner that allows us to be good neighbors to our shared biological community while still providing our needs (and some wants) from the land. Learning to grow vegetables, fruit and berry crops with limited impact on our community has been a continuous process. We have also become more aware that in relation to evolutionary time we will only be stewards of this land for a short period of time. We will share with you some of our past activities and what we hope to accomplish in our remaining years as stewards of this land.

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