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Meeting Archives


Wednesday September 13, 2017

7:00 pm Social, 7:20 pm Program
Glen Lake Activity Center
14350 Excelsior Blvd
Minnetonka, MN 55345

The Microbial Revolution: Harnessing Soil Microbiomes to Feed a Hungry Planet
Presenter: Dr. Linda Kinkel, Plant Pathologist, University of Minnesota

Soil and plants support complex microbiomes composed of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Microbiomes have significant impacts on agricultural productivity, and have attracted enormous interest as the ‘new frontier’ for advancing capacities to sustainably produce sufficient food, feed, and fiber to meet the projected global population of 9 billion by 2050. However, we have much to learn about the complex relationships between plants and their microbiomes. Current research efforts focus on developing practical strategies for managing plant microbiomes for enhanced plant productivity in the face of increasing global population, drought, climate change, and reduced availability of nutrient and pesticide inputs.  


Wednesday October 11, 2017

7:00 pm Social, 7:20 pm Program
Eden Prairie Community Center 

16700 Valley View Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55346
Landscaping for Water Quality
Presenter: Matt Kumka, Landscape Architect

Find out the latest in designing for water quality improvement.  See examples of innovative projects with inspirations from nature including proven planting strategies.

Matt Kumka has a master’s degree in landscape architecture and specializes in sustainable site development and green infrastructure, including regenerative design, stormwater best management practices, and native plant community restoration. He has served as lead designer and project manager on numerous landscape projects related to stormwater quality improvement and ecologically-appropriate placemaking.


Wednesday November 8, 2017

7:00 pm Social, 7:20 pm Program
Eden Prairie Community Center 

16700 Valley View Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55346
Restoring Native Soil Microbes To Support Native Plants
Presenter: Bob Dahm ‘Organic Bob’

Bob will explore the connection between soil microbes and ecological restoration. He will discuss exotic invasives and the damage they cause to soil, the link between native plants, pollinators and native soil microbes. Attendees will learn what to do to heal the soil in a way to support native plants and create an environment that discourages exotic invasives.

As a farm-raised son of a farmer and school teacher/soil conservation activist, Bob watched his Dad and Grandpa and many of their farmer friends die of cancer. He was convinced there had to be a better way.

Later, as grounds manager for a children’s psychiatric hospital, he refused to use chemicals on the playground. After using organic methods and products, the playground grass looked better than the chemically treated turf. Staff asked him to do it on their lawns and Organic Bob was born. That was in 1986.


Wednesday January 10, 2018

7:00 pm Social, 7:20 pm Program
Eden Prairie Community Center 

16700 Valley View Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55346
The Importance, Care, and Feeding of Native Pollinators
Presenter: Dave Crawford, retired Minnesota State Park Naturalist

Dave will share photos and videos of pollinators to illustrate a sample of the diversity of this group, and the specific needs which must be provided for in order to maintain pollinator-friendly habitat.  He’ll illustrate a proposed “palette” of native plants which can help provide for pollinators’ nutrition throughout the growing season, based on what has worked in his own native plant gardens.

Dave Crawford is a retired Minnesota State Park Naturalist who has worked and volunteered at parks up and down the St. Croix Valley for over 40 years. After retiring, he developed a growing interest in the many hundreds of species of pollinating insects that are native to Minnesota. He documents his pollinator finds in parks and in his home’s native plant gardens through video and still photography. He’s presented talks on pollinators and native plant gardening to a variety of audiences across central Minnesota.