Wild Toledo’s Native Prairies Honored

Posted Dec 16th, 2015 by Andi Norman  Category: Community Interest


TOLEDO, Ohio – Wild Toledo, the Toledo Zoo’s local conservation organization, was awarded the 2015 Public Agency Native Landscape Award from the Oak Openings Region Chapter of Wild Ones for the installation and upkeep of native prairies on Toledo Zoo grounds. The award was presented on behalf of the Zoo to Kent Bekker, Wild Toledo manager and Ryan Walsh, Wild Toledo coordinator at the Wild Ones annual holiday awards dinner on Tuesday, December 8.

According to the local chapter’s website, Wild Ones is a national not-for-profit organization with local chapters that teach the many benefits of growing native wildflowers and plants. The national motto is “Healing the Earth one yard at a time.” The Oak Openings Regions Chapter serves northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

Wild Toledo was nominated by Wild Ones Oak Openings Region Chapter board member and education chair, Diane Deyonker. The nomination then went before a panel to select award winners based in part on the number of native plants being utilized, years of growth of the installation and the effective promotion of native plants and natural landscapes. Hal Mann, president of the Oak Openings Region Chapter said: “We are very happy with the work Wild Toledo and the Toledo Zoo have been doing with native plants and their promotion throughout the community. It really fits in so well with our mission of teaching about the benefits of natural landscapes.”

Wild Toledo manager, Kent Bekker, echoed Mann’s sentiments, saying: “It is very encouraging to be recognized by the Wild Ones Oak Openings Region Chapter. The Toledo Zoo has converted several areas of the Zoo and nearby community to this ecologically beneficial and fiscally responsible form of landscaping. We are now working with local partners to develop additional parcels in Lucas County. Wild Ones’ recognition and support of these efforts is invaluable as we move forward with this initiative.”

More information about native prairies and all of Wild Toledo’s efforts can be found at

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Andi Norman - The Toledo Zoo | | 419-385-5721 ext. 2098 No Comments »

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