Staff Blogger: Gretchen Colón, Senior Vice President of Advancement & Communications


DSC_1735Lakeside Chautauqua is excited to welcome the Friends of the Governor’s Residence and Heritage Gardens from Saturday, June 27-30, 2015.

With an array of expert connected to the Friends of the Governor’s Residence and Heritage Gardens, guest will learn an array of knowledge during their four-day visit to Lakeside Chautauqua.

Jennifer Windus, a volunteer and member of the Friends of the Governor’s Residence will be making the trek to Lakeside Chautauqua this summer. Spending her life studying, helping to write and implement the recovery plan for the Lakeside Daisy, Windus is enthusiastic and passionate for the bright, beautiful flower that blooms on the Marblehead Peninsula.

For more than 18 years, Windus worked at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. This is when she became connected with former First Lady Hope Taft and her vision to develop the Governor’s Residence and Heritage Gardens. Today, the garden features the habitats of Ohio and a centerpiece is one of her beloved plants, the Lakeside Daisy.

The Lakeside Daisy can also be found in Michigan and Ontario on Bruce Peninsula and Manitoba Island.

As quarry operations continued in these areas, the Lakeside Daisy became a threatened species.

Windus explained that a graduate student, Marcy Demorrow began studying the species, while two wonderful ladies, Ruth Fiscus and Colleen Taylor, started fighting to purchase land that would be used to protect the Lakeside Daisy.

Fiscus and Taylor began a petition to have land set aside as a Lakeside Daisy Preserve. Today, 19 acres is protected on Alexander Pike in Marblehead, Ohio and is known as the Lakeside Daisy Garden.

As Windus continued working for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the recovery plan for the Lakeside Daisy was put into action.

The Lakeside Daisy is a self-compatible and cannot produce viable seeds if they remain near family plants. The plants need acreage to spread and new seeds need to continue to be reintroduced to different areas to keep the population growing.

Through her work with ODNR, Windus was instrumental in beginning a new Lakeside Daisy population on Kelleys Island, near the glacier groove, that is also in the State park. This population is growing healthy.

During the process of building the Heritage Gardens in Columbus, Ohio, permission was given to move Lakeside Daisy seeds to the garden. Before the seeds could be planted and grow, limestone, rocks and alvar had to also be moved to the Columbus garden. Today, the Lakeside Daisy is a special centerpiece of the garden.

Windus continues to collect Lakeside Daisy seeds to ensure the species keeps spreading. During our discussion, she mentioned that she had seeds at her house that were awaiting planting season.

To continue learning about the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden, individuals can be part of the four-day gardening experience. Visit for more information about this event.

If you are unable to commit to the four days, you can learn more about the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden by attending a lecture given by former First Lady Hope Taft and Guy Denny on Sunday, June 28, 2015.