Who We AreWild Ones is a national non-profit organization with local chapters that promote the many benefits of landscaping using native plants - wildflowers, shrubs, trees, and grasses. Its mission is to promote environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities. Wild One’ Vision for Our Future: To become the most widely recognized voice for native plants and the sustainable landscaping movement, promoting increased use of native plantings that create living landscapes through grassroots efforts by example, education, marketing, and personalized support. • We will raise public awareness regarding the benefits that native plants, including trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses, offer in a variety of settings so landscaping with native plants becomes the norm rather than the exception. • We will convince the general public that including native plants in home and public landscapes is aesthetically pleasing and healthier for our environment, and that reducing the size and quantity of turf grass areas reduces stormwater runoff and use of water, fuel, and lawn chemicals. • We will see the use of native plants extend into an increasing number of areas where plants touch the soil - applications such as agriculture (pollinator support) and public places. • We will join forces with others to preserve native plants and biodiversity from loss due to development and other forces, including displacement by non-native invasive plants. Wild Ones' history goes back to 1977, when nine people attended a natural landscaping workshop offered by the Schlitz Audubon Center of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and led by Lorrie Otto. Otto, who was instrumental in getting DDT banned in Wisconsin, is the inspiration for Wild Ones and the person widely acknowledged as the heart and soul of the natural landscaping movement. This group became intensely interested in the new concept of landscaping with native plants. Their enthusiasm blossomed into Wild Ones Natural Landscapers. Wild Ones serves as a resource for private individuals, schools, commercial property owners, and community decision makers as they move toward ethical choices in land use and in the redefinition of current guidelines and ordinances affecting our landscape. Because Wild Ones is a “plants-roots” organization, its organizational goals are accomplished through local chapters and individual members. On June 8, 1990, Wild Ones Natural Landscapers Ltd. was organized under Articles of Incorporation — Non-stock Corporation Law, Chapter 181 of the Wisconsin Statutes. On April 11, 1995, Wild Ones was granted exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code for educational purposes. The Executive Committee is made up of the national officers -- President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Past President -- and the Executive Director. Except for the Executive Director, all members of the Executive Committee, Board of Directors and chair people are volunteers. Each bring their own unique expertise to the organization for the purpose of implementing the Board’s directives and guiding chapter operations. Beginning with 2003, the Wild Ones national board approved a new name for Wild Ones. The legal name will remain Wild Ones Natural Landscapers Ltd, but for purposes of more clearly aligning thename with the organization's mission, we now refer to ourselves as Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes.
What We DoWild Ones has over 4000 members, and 58 chapters across the United States. Local chapters educate people about the benefits of native plants. The national office in Neenah provides them the tools to do so. Our chapters hold meetings, seminars and conferences; host yard tours; participate in plant rescues where native plants are slated to be dug up for construction or other purposes; create seed libraries; have native plant sales so people have access to the plants they need; and other educational activities. Our national programs include Wild for Monarchs, Citizen Science activities, and publication of the Wild Ones Journal. Probably our most visible program is Seeds for Education, which offers grants to schools and other non-profits to help create native plant habitat for educational purposes. Projects must be planned and implemented with input and help from children from 3 years old through high school. The children can help design the garden, pick out plants, and help put them in the ground. The grant money must be used toward the purchase of native plants and native seeds.