Welcome to Wild Ones of West Cook

Midwest Native Gardening Series

We are excited to announce a series of programs geared to those who are new to native plants or would like to expand their knowledge and skills. There is something here for everyone. 

Four leading midwestern gardeners introduce native plant gardening
in this free series of three programs

It’s the perfect time to do something hopeful, life-affirming, and earth-friendly! 

Join us for three online programs on native gardening basics for Midwest gardeners. These virtual programs are free of charge and will be presented live. 

Speakers will address everything you need to get started: soil, sun, water needs, drought tolerance, sustainability, and why they are terrific for growing near your vegetable and flower gardens (hint: they attract pollinating insects!) 

All programs will use Zoom video conferencing. Participants need to have access to high-speed internet to participate.

Come join us and get an early start planning your native garden projects for 2021!

Read here for details about each program and the speakers: Midwestern Native Gardening Series

Who are we?

West Cook Wild Ones shares information with landowners about how important their landscaping choices are. We are a membership-based non-profit organization. Membership makes sure our chapter stays strong. Please consider becoming a member. We share our ideas, skills, and knowledge with others so that their yards can be hospitable to other animals. Working together, we all can ensure the continuation of ecosystem benefits we receive from healthy, beneficial animal and plant populations.   We stand with science and enact what we learn in our landscapes. We accomplish these goals by:

  • providing educational monthly programs about our native ecosystems, native gardening, and other related topics to the public;
  • hosting a native plant sale, which helps people get ethically sourced and sustainably grown plants from local growers at a great price;
  • creating a social media community where we share what’s happening in local gardens as well as scientific articles that connect to native plants and biodiversity;
  • collaborating with and supporting other local environmental organizations;
  • developing online and print resources;
  • sponsoring conferences where we have nationally recognized speakers present;
  • creating a wildlife corridor (stepping stone model) that offers refuge to all kinds of beneficial urban wildlife.

If you’d like to help us accomplish all of these goals (and more!), please consider volunteering. Click here to sign up: Volunteer. 

If you’d like to receive our latest news, sign up for our newsletter. Click here to sign-up: Get Newsletter


2020 Native Garden Tour Goes Virtual

Native Gardens Through the Seasons: A Virtual Walk 

3-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12.  

DESCRIPTION: Get a virtual, behind-the-scenes look at three gorgeous, Oak Park & Berwyn native gardens though the seasons! To help keep everyone safe during the Pandemic, we transformed our annual garden walk into a live webinar that will give you a fuller, year-round understanding of the gardens. You’ll learn from three outstanding home gardeners who have been experimenting with and observing native plants for more than 50 years between them.

If you missed the webinar or want to see it again, click: Native Gardens Through the Seasons: A Virtual Tour

Fall (and Spring) No Clean-up Time

Your garden’s work is not done even if the plants are shutting down for winter.  All of the plant material will continue to provide food and refuge for many animals as well as feed your soil (and thus your plants in growing season).  You can read a detailed post here about why leaving your garden standing is actually beneficial, even if it does counter much conventional gardening wisdom: What’s in a Leaf Pile, Or Why Not to Do Fall Clean-Up

Sign you can download and print if you would like.  Here is a PDF: No Fall Clean Up