About Us

Wild Ones is a national, volunteer run organization that was proudly founded right here in Wisconsin in 1990. Our Madison Chapter was established soon after in 1994 and has been growing since.


Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities.

Want to get involved, have questions, or learn more?

You can reach out to our Chapter email at [email protected].

Call for Volunteers:

We’re always looking for volunteers to help grow our chapter. Do you have any of the following skills and want to lend a hand?

  • gardening
  • ecological restoration
  • landscape management
  • social media
  • graphic design
  • communication
  • event planning
  • leadership
  • web design
  • photography/video
  • grant writing
  • environmental education
  • baking (hello, bake sales!)
  • some skill/knowledge you could share through a workshop or presentation
  • etc…

For more information on specific (and general) volunteer opportunities, check out our Volunteer Opportunities page to get involved!

Meet your Board of Directors:

President, Membership Chair – Amy Yocum

Amy has been a Madison resident for over 20 years. She is a former hospice nurse and decided to make a career change in light of increasing environmental concerns. Obtaining a certificate as Master Naturalist in addition to her BSN, she now works as a horticulture assistant at a local hospice, tending the landscape and helping design healing gardens with an eye towards sustainability.

Amy and her family have been transforming their former turf lawn into native habitat and welcome the bustling community of native creatures. Through Wild Ones, Amy hopes to continue the work of building habitat and community to create a healthier future for us all.

Athena Salzer - Board Vice President

Vice President – Athena Salzer
Athena’s love for native plants and the natural world runs deep. She’s spent most of her career in ecological restoration and sustainable landscaping, and owns a small native perennial nursery in Madison, WI. She’s eager to share her knowledge and utilize her organizational skills to help grow our local chapter!

Treasurer – Erin Lemley

Erin is the Wildlife Veterinary Technician at Dane County Humane Society’s Wildlife Center, and her interest in native plants grew out of wanting to provide good habitat for wildlife. She is especially interested in urban habitat restoration and volunteers at several native plant projects on Madison’s east side. Erin lives in an apartment and would like to lead by example, showing that people without yards can also contribute to habitat restoration by participating in community projects. 

Jeff Steele - Board Secretary

Secretary – Jeff Steele
Jeff is passionate about native plants and their roles in maintaining ecosystems. He enjoys leading natural walks with Madison’s Friends of Urban Nature (FUN) and watching his native, experimental yard prairie grow. He hopes that by being a part of Wild Ones Madison that he can bring awareness to the beauty and importance of the natural world (and encourage others to use native plants to landscape their yards!).

Newsletter – Laurie Yahr

Laurie is a long-time member and has been assembling the Madison chapter newsletter for years! Each newsletter contains a plethora of information about upcoming events (both within and outside our chapter) as well as thoughtful write-ups about various topics pertaining to native plants and native plant communities.

Amanda Langer - Board President

Program Committee Chair, Immediate Past President – Amanda Langer
Amanda graduated from the University of Stevens Point having earning degrees both in Resource Management Policy & Planning and Fine Arts, emphasizing in sculpture. She has spent the last three years working in ecological restoration and sustainable landscaping. In her free time she enjoys making sculpture and exploring other artistic endeavors as well as canoeing and spending time with her friends and family.

Marketing Chair – Sarah Ditton

Description pending….Welcome to the board, Sarah!

Current Committees:

  • Program Committee
  • Fundraising Committee

Do you want to help grow our chapter? Come join us!

Our Madison Chapter is proudly part if the national Wild Ones organization 🌱

Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, Ltd. is a nonprofit, environmental education and advocacy corporation registered in the State of Wisconsin.

  • We are a 501(c)(3) organization, registered under Tax ID# 39-1695443.
  • All membership dues and donations are 100% tax deductible to the extent of the law.
  • Our 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 person brings their own unique expertise to our organization for the purpose of implementing the Board’s directives and guiding chapter operations.