In 2016, The Nancy Small Memorial Fund provided funding for five native-‐plant projects, the native-‐plant portion of a food-‐forest garden, and the new native-‐plant documentary film Hometown Habitat: Stories of Bringing Nature Home.
The wide range of projects funded included a small native-‐plant garden in Kalamazoo’s Martin Luther King Park, a new butterfly garden at North Shore Elementary School in South Haven, a native-‐plant garden in a pocket park in Kalamazoo’s Vine neighborhood, and a native garden on West Paterson St., in cooperation with Kalamazoo Junior Girls.
Another project involved expansion of native plantings at the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Winchell neighborhood, where Kalamazoo Wild Ones met for many years. At the same location the fund helped to include native food-‐bearing and medicinal plants such as hazels, pawpaws, and chestnut trees in a new food-‐forest garden which will become part of a community center being established at the Church.
The Hometown Habitat documentary will open the 2017 Kalamazoo Wild Ones program series with a special showing on January 22 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (see the previous story). The film, produced and directed by Catherine Zimmerman, features Doug Tallamy and includes a special appearance by Donna Van Buecken, the now retired Executive Director of national Wild Ones, as well as members of the Green Bay, Wisconsin chapter of Wild Ones.
Native plants from Steve Keto and the WMU greenhouses provided supplementary help for two other projects: the native plantings funded last year at Peace House on Kalamazoo’s east side; and native plantings at the Sambodh ashram’s 32-‐acre site northeast of Kalamazoo in Cooper Township. The Sambodh Center is applying for a grant from the Nancy Small Memorial Fund in 2017.
Native plantings and natural landscaping on public, business, school, and church properties and projects involving education about natural ecosystems are eligible for funding by the Nancy Small Memorial Fund.