About Us

The Wild Ones Greater Richmond Virginia Chapter welcomes people from all walks of life who have a passion for native plants and the wildlife they support. Whether you are planting natives in an urban balcony, a suburban garden, or a larger landscape, we invite you to join us and continue learning about how native plants benefit our regional ecosystem and support biodiversity. Our chapter’s primary goal is to support and educate individuals and communities as they develop their native landscapes through activities that include:

  • Regular online meetings highlighting topical presentations and member discussion
  • Tours to see native plants in a variety of private and public settings
  • Educational events (in-person, online, or hybrid)
  • Participation in community events and volunteer opportunities
  • Collaborative work with other organizations that also promote native plants and biodiversity

Our Chapter Officers

President – Sharon Lamberton

Early in 2022, a webinar series that featured Dr. Doug Tallamy and Wild Ones’ Lisa Olsen galvanized this relatively inexperienced “general” gardener to join Wild Ones and begin work to found a chapter to serve the Richmond area. Since then, the beautiful and urgent purpose of native plant gardening has been a constant inspiration, as have the many people she continues to meet through this effort.
Sharon became a Virginia Master Naturalist (Riverine Chapter) in 2023, and is a member of the Pocahontas Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society and the Sierra Club.

Vice President – Robin Allman

Robin is a retired pediatric nurse practitioner who found her dream house in the city of Richmond in 2018. Unfortunately, the yard was covered in bamboo, and the Trees of Heaven were draped with wintercreeper. Thankfully, those are merely vigilance weeding chores now, and all Robin’s new native babies are starting to thrive. The pandemic lockdown gave Robin a lot of time to learn about natives and their benefits, but she owes her passion for natives to the book, Noah’s Garden by Sara Stein. Robin’s motto is “Happy gardening!”

Secretary – Laura Lemmon

Laura’s journey with native plant gardening started with a mountain mint plant purchased for a troublesome spot in her traditional Richmond city garden of heirloom roses, azaleas, and boxwoods. Once she saw the insects attracted by the little spot of wild, she wanted to learn more. Laura moved out of the city in 2016 and is currently re-wilding a backyard woodline and building a pollinator garden in Powhatan County. Her rose love is now lavished on native roses and their relatives, and a few heirloom roses. Laura is a member of the Virginia Native Plant Society and a founding member of the Forest Hill Gardeners in Richmond. She is currently a Goochland-Powhatan Master Gardeners trainee.

Membership Chair – Ed Deale

Ed began his journey with native plants in 2021 after reading news articles on wildlife population declines around the world. After learning about the importance of native plants at the homeowner level, he started removing invasives from his yard and replacing them with natives. His passion for these plants grew quickly as he saw more wildlife of all kinds in his yard. Ed’s quarter-acre suburban lot now boasts more than 50 species of native perennials, trees, and shrubs, and is visited by countless birds, bees, and butterflies.

Treasurer – Julie Charbonnier

Julie is passionate about conservation, sustainability and nature. She earned her PhD in Integrative Life Sciences from VCU. Her research focused on amphibian responses to environmental changes. Julie has certified her yard as a wildlife habitat and monarch waystation. 

Members are encouraged to read through the Chapter Bylaws. The bylaws also are accessible from a link on our website’s home page and in the chapter’s profile at wildones.org.