In 1837, Chicago was incorporated as a city and adopted the motto “Urbs in Horto,” Latin for City in a Garden. The founders defined garden as parkland and hoped to blanket and stipple the city with public parks.
The city never lived up to the motto. Chicago has become mostly Urbs in concreto, the parks scattered, the development unending.
If you can’t live up to the motto, then change the motto.
At West Cook, we have a different motto for Chicago and its suburbs: “Terra in Indigena Horto,” Land in the Native Gardens. We recognize that we are on Indigenous land and understand the complexity of that motto. The Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations stewarded and continue to steward their homelands here in the Chicago area.
Our free series of presentations Bringing Native Plant Communities Home will unfold the process to cultivate and nurture the woodland, savanna, and prairie plant communities into your homescape, making Chicago with its suburbs a land in the native gardens. As you work with native plants, we hope that you consider their original caretakers who still live in the area.
March 20: Chicagoland’s Native Plant Communities and How They Relate to Your Garden with Iza Redlinski (click link to view recording)
April 10: Bringing the Woodland Home with Roy Diblik of Northwind Perennial Farm (click link to view recording)
May 15: Bringing the Savanna Home with Julia Bunn of The Spirited Gardener (click link to register)
June 12: Bringing the Prairie Home with Drew Reaves of Save the Prairie Society (click link to register)