The board of West Cook Wild Ones is volunteering with other local organizations to support their efforts at incorporating native plants in the landscape. Over at the Morton Freshman Center, science teacher Kevin O’Toole has led the creation, installation, and maintenance of a 5,000 sq ft (and growing) Monarch garden as the foundation for a robust, authentic curriculum. Certified as a Schoolyard Habitat by the National Wildlife Foundation, the garden features only native plants. Kevin and his team of students plan to enlarge the garden space and continue to use it as the backbone of scientific investigations. Board members have volunteered time to help with planting and weeding. In May, the board donated $500 to the garden project in honor of Art Gara. We wanted to support a project connecting Cicero with native plants because we had received a donation in Art’s memory in 2017. This garden seemed the perfect fit.
We have assisted the Parks Advisory Council at Austin Town Hall, an effort led by Julie Samuels,. A new butterfly and pollinator garden will be installed at the town hall sometime in June. Julie applied for and was awarded a Seed Grant through Friends of the Parks.