Chapter News

A bit of Northfield Prairie Partners business:  
  • Membership rebate checks should have arrived, for those that have signed up or renewed during 2020 (still time to go yet this year if you haven’t done so yet).  If you were expecting one and don’t have it, please let me know.  They will be coming from Merchants bank in an envelope that says, “payment enclosed”.  We hope to be back to full activity levels for 2021 but realize how tough 2020 has been on us all.  These $10 rebates go to each member that pays for a membership to Northfield Prairie Partners in 2020.  They may not be much, but please enjoy them and maybe get yourself a little treat!
  • LuAnn Raadt did an excellent Zoom presentation for last week at our October meeting.  Even if you missed the presentation, you can still watch it as it is now posted on Youtube.  It’s very interesting and well worth the time watching it.   The link is also on our facebook page
  • Officers for 2021: Since nobody asked to become an officer this year, and the current board members have indicated a willingness to stay on for 2021, and we can’t get together to have in person meetings (where maybe I could pressure someone into being an officer!),  there will be no change this time.  Please do consider becoming an officer for 2022 as we have some board members that are expecting to step down and we will need more volunteers.  Most positions are not very time consuming but are very important to keeping the group going and its really great getting to know other members better.  
  • National Wild Ones is hosting a Photography contest:    Please let me know if you can’t access the site.  Deadline is Nov 1st.  
  • Our Northfield Prairie Partners group has started working on a new project:  Adopt-a-Roundabout.  Our Roundabout is on Hwy 1, east of Dundas.  If you are interested in helping with the project, please send me an email and we will get you on the list.  Seeding and transplanting will be done next spring.   Currently we are looking for local seed sources of a few species.  Member Dick Fetterly is working hard to collect the seed.
  • Jefferson Park, Northfield Project:  The Environmental Quality Commission of Northfield has asked for help with a project for Jefferson Park in Northfield.  As part of the city’s climate action plan, they are developing a demonstration project in Jefferson Park to encourage people to shift their lawns to native plants.  The project involves planting native trees & shrubs in an area which is currently just lawn. The Park Board is pretty enthusiastic about the proposal, but they need to find a volunteer group to help with the planting itself and maintenance (watering) during the first year of growth.  Master Naturalists has put out a request to their members for volunteers to help too.  If you are interested in helping, please let me know.  They are looking for people that can commit to helping with watering throughout the summer.

Upcoming activities:

Northfield Prairie Partners upcoming meetings, via Zoom.  Though it isn’t a requirement to do so, if you could let me know if you plan to attend the zoom calls it would help me know how widespread to promote them.  I will resend links and information closer to the meetings.
  • Nov 12th, 7pm:  Zoom viewing of “Decoding the Driftless” movie and popcorn (at home)  We will watch the 1-hour movie created by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers titled “Decoding the Driftless”.  The video shows the amazing origins, diversity, and resources of the Driftless Region, the land island the glaciers missed, as it takes viewers on a wild adventure through air, across rugged landscapes, on and under the water, and through the secret underworld of the Region. Travel back in time 500 million years to discover how this unique region, including parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois formed and evolved while exploring the archaeology, paleontology, geology, and biology of endangered Ice-Age throwbacks, and globally rare ecosystems.  Our chapter has purchased a copy of this video so if others wish to share it with other groups or watch it again, after we view it in November, please let me know and you are welcome to borrow it.  
    The link to the Nov 12th, 7pm call:  Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 814 8081 4978
Passcode: 678969
Can call this number for audio if you can’t call via connected device:  1 651 372 8299 US
  • December plan in the works:  We won’t be able to have our annual December luncheon, but Arlene came up with a good suggestion for a fun activity for December that we can all do from our homes or wherever we are – a Bird Count.  Several of us participate in the annual Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count each year and we could have fun doing one for Northfield Prairie Partners members and friends.   By using the official Audubon counting method (it’s easy) and by doing it on the same day, as the Christmas Bird Count (though Audubon circles do different days so the date may not be a match for everyone), counts can be used for both purposes.  Bird counts for ours be done at home watching your own birdfeeders and yards, at a park or friends place, on a field route, even while on vacation or from anywhere you can see birds. You can do it as an individual or have your kids, grandkids or guests help.   If you aren’t sure about a bird’s identity, we have several members that can help try to ID it, especially if you get a picture.  Participants can spend 1/2 hour, 2 hours, 8 hours, whatever time they wish to watch birds, but you don’t have to sit glued to the window, it’s a very flexible activity. We will tally the results and see how many birds and different species we all see in one day.  Forms and instructions will be sent out to all ahead of time and if you are interested, we’d love to have you join in and have some fun.  We expect the bird count to be set for a Saturday in mid-December.
Activities posted by other Wild Ones’ Chapters:
  • Anytime:   Youtube video of “The Bombus Among us- Bumblebee basics” by Heather Holm. Presentation from expert Entomologist, award winning author,  lector, and Wild Ones member and honorary Board Member – Heather Holm:  Heather is extremely knowledgeable on all things bees and very good to listen to as well.  This is a great way to learn more about our native bees, how to identify them and how to provide them with the habitat they need year-round.  People can listen to this whenever time allows.    
  • Tue Oct 20th, 7pm, online presentation hosted by the Twin Cities Wild Ones: “The Natural Gardening Method”.   Create regionally native gardens with minimal ecological footprint, low financial commitment, and maximum environmental benefit.  Please email Holley ([email protected]) for information on registering. 
The bright wildflower blooms of spring and summer have faded away from the prairie but there is still a lot to explore!  Join us for a ranger led walk through Coldwater Spring that will focus on prairie ecology, identifying prairie grasses and wildflowers by their seed heads, as well as learning a few tips and tricks to help identify trees without their leaves. Space is limited to 10 participants; registration on Eventbrite is required.
Other upcoming activities:
  • The Northfield public library currently has an exhibit that several members have viewed and really enjoyed.  It is called ‘Reclaim, Restore: Apothecary Jars, with Artist Juliane Shibata.  I believe the display will remain until Oct 24th.  The Library link to information on it:   Weather permitting, artist Juliane will be available outdoors near the entrance to the library to chat informally with people about her project on Sat Oct 17, 2020 from 2 – 3:30pm.   
Summary by artist:  Throughout history and across the globe, humans have used plants to treat sickness and disease. The vessels in this case are modeled after apothecary jars, forms that originated in the Middle East during the Medieval Ages and were used to store drugs. Apothecary jars were later produced in Europe from the 8th through 18th centuries.  For this installation, I have created a modern set of apothecary jars to remind us of the relationship between plants, humans, and medicine, and to prompt us to consider how anthropogenic effects have impacted and continue to shape plant communities and wildlife in this region. Six jars depict plants in Southeastern Minnesota that are either native or invasive species. Three of the jars offer “remedies” – actions individuals can take to restore and transform their backyards into environments that are more ecologically healthy and balanced
Thanks, and stay safe,