The Minnesota Wildflowers Information Organization

History

The Minnesota Wildflowers web site began as a private endeavor by Catherine (Katy) Chayka in 2006, in response to the poor resources available to the general public learning about plants growing wild in Minnesota. The initial web site was launched in March 2007 with approximately 15 species. In 2009 with nearly 300 species published, Peter Dziuk joined as a collaborator, contributing a private collection of approximately 50,000 plant images. The two have been managing the web site together ever since. As of January, 2017, approximately 1300 plant species are profiled with the goal of recording all 2200+ species in Minnesota then branching into neighboring states, becoming a complete reference for the entire Upper Midwest.

In 2011, the decision was made to form a nonprofit entity to provide some security for the web site as a public resource in perpetuity. Minnesota Wildflowers Information (MWI) was incorporated on August 8, 2011. The application for 501(c)(3) public charity status was approved June 29, 2012, allowing tax-deductible donations from the general public and setting the foundation to explore grant opportunities.

Mission

The MWI mission is to educate Minnesotans on our native plants, raise awareness on threats like invasive species, and inspire people to explore our great state, appreciate its natural heritage, and become involved in preserving it.

Public Outreach

We are available for wildflower walks, PowerPoint presentations, and other public outreach venues. Please contact us if you are interested in a presentation for your club or organization.

Public Records

Additional documents available on request.

Board of Directors

  • Catherine (Katy) Chayka, President and Board Chair:
    webmaster, managing editor, field photographer, botanical researcher
  • Peter M. Dziuk, Secretary:
    field coordinator, photographer-in-chief, botanical researcher, educational and outreach coordinator and primary presenter
  • Victoria Ranua, Treasurer
  • John Thayer