Welcome to Wild Ones of West Cook

Welcome to West Cook Wild Ones

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 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

Birds, Bees, and Butterflies: A Native Garden Tour

Are you curious about native plant gardening? Join us on Saturday, August 10, 1:00–4:00 PM,  to see gardens brimming with life and beauty and talk with the gardeners who created them.

Birds, Bees and Butterflies: A Native Garden Tour, sponsored by West Cook Wild Ones with support from PlanIt Green and the Interfaith Green Network, will feature eight gardens in Oak Park and River Forest. Each stop on the tour is unique. You’ll meet a mix of master gardeners and passionate hobbyists, who garden not only for their own enjoyment, but to contribute to the health of our local ecosystem. Bring your curiosity and your questions. Whether you are just getting started or have an established native garden of your own, new discoveries await you.

Advance tickets are $7 for West Cook Wild Ones members; $10 for nonmembers and are available through August 8.

Day-of-tour tickets are $12 for members, $15 for nonmembers and can be purchased at the Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Avenue in River Forest.

See a photo sampler of gardens on the 2018 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