It’s wildflower season and if you love them – or have to leave them – it’s the time of year to participate in Leelanau Conservancy’s Wildflower Rescue!

Now in its 25th year, the Conservancy digs in (pun intended) to save wildflowers that are in the path of new construction in the county. And the result is their (very popular) Memorial Day weekend sale where otherwise doomed wildflowers are given new homes.

Following Michigan law, the committee meticulously transplants various wildflower species – from backyards of established homes to brand new patches of woods slated for development. If you love gardening (beginner or advanced abilities welcome!), they are also seeking volunteers to help with the hands-on work. The crew pots up their finds throughout May in anticipation of the Memorial Day weekend sale.

“We are always looking for land to dig and save flowers, because that seems to be the hardest part – saving them before it’s too late,” said Lindy Kellogg, events and volunteer manager with the Conservancy.

She said that the Wildflower Rescue volunteers dig and pot three days a week (M, W and F) for about 6 weeks each season.

“We usually have over 2,000 plants available come sale time,” Kellogg said. “And we almost always sell out, so for the best selection we urge people to come early!”

The most popular flower is the Trillium, and the rarest would be the Yellow Lady Slipper. They usually have a variety of native ferns, shrubs, and other flowers like Jack in the Pulpit, Hepatica, Violets, Dutchman’s Breeches, Wood Poppy and Toothwort.

The results of the rescue efforts in the past 25 years can be seen in The Old Settlers Park in Glen Arbor, The Leland Children’s Center, The Old Art Building in Leland, Munson Hospice House in Traverse City, and The Leland Village Green – all of which have given rescued flowers new homes.

The Annual Wildflower Rescue Sale is Friday and Saturday, May 24 & 25, of Memorial Weekend beginning at 9 a.m. each day on the Village Green in Leland. All proceeds help maintain and beautify the Village Green as well as assist with other Conservancy projects.

Sign up here to help dig or contact Lindy Kellogg at to suggest dig sites. If you have new construction coming up, please contact the crew to have volunteers come out.