The Ann Arbor Chapter was founded on July 2, 1996—the first Wild Ones chapter in Michigan and the third in the nation (then called Michigan Wild Ones). Where we first served as a nexus for native plant enthusiasts in this area, we are now happily one of many organizations who share a passion for environmentally friendly gardening and for preserving and restoring our natural landscapes and habitats.
The Ann Arbor Chapter serves folks throughout Washtenaw County and beyond. We work and play with members of other WO chapters that have grown across Michigan and neighboring Ohio. We link up with them through joint meetings or annual gatherings at the conferences of The Stewardship Network in January or the Wildflower Association of Michigan in March. We regularly co-sponsor local meetings with the Michigan Botanical Club and the Stewardship Network. Many of our members are active stewards at surrounding parks and natural areas. (See section on VOLUNTEER.)
The Wild Elders of Ann Arbor who helped bring the notion of native plants and natural landscaping to this area continue to provide inspiration. Check the RESOURCES section of this website for the various businesses and organizations that provide us with native plants, design our gardens, burn our prairies, and preserve our landscapes. Our group is also inspired by Douglas Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home. Tallamy urges us to go beyond the reshaping of our backyards into refuges for birds, bugs, and butterflies to linking these up with neighboring properties—creating corridors of refugia.
A2WO usually meets the second Wednesday of the month—at 6:45pm. From November through March, we meet at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Meetings in other months are held at a variety of outdoor venues. Check the EVENTS listing for specific dates, times, and locations. All meetings are free and open to the public.
Our extended community is linked by our new list server which is hosted by Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN). The nearly 300 members of our email list range from native landscape professionals, active volunteers, members of companion organizations, to people who are just starting their discovery of natural landscapes. We share ideas, plants, seeds, and more. Join us:
To sign up: https://glc-lists.merit.edu/sympa/info/a2wildones
Our email address for subscribers is: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Matthaei Botanical Gardens is our home base. It gives us a free place to meet, frequently provides staff-based programs, and offers rich opportunities to learn more about native plants through either classes or volunteering. The university recently instituted a parking fee in lieu of a fee for the conservatory. On Wednesday evenings the conservatory is open until 8 pm, so come early to our winter meetings and enjoy strolling from the tropics to the desert.
Parking fee at Matthaei (Daily, 8 am – 8 pm, $1.40/hr, $5/day). Pay kiosks accept cash and debit or credit cards. All money raised from parking goes directly to fund MBG/NA projects. Become a member and park free. Support the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Bob Grese, its director, our co-founder and mentor, and newly appointed Theodore Roosevelt Professor in Ecosystem Management.