Category: Learning

Girl Scout Chimney Swift Project in Oak Park

What are Chimney Swifts? Why are they important? Chimney Swifts are birds that spend nearly all their waking hours flying as they forage for insects in the sky and are a major predator of mosquitoes. They cannot perch like most birds and instead cling to vertical surfaces, so they need surfaces for roosting and nesting. […] Continue reading "Girl Scout Chimney Swift Project in Oak Park"

Sprezzatura in the Fall Garden

by Stephanie Walquist Sprezzatura Rembrandt, an Old Master who used earth tones to offset golden light, used a technique he termed sprezzatura, meaning apparent carelessness. In the spirit of artistic and environmental sensibilities, let us native gardeners unite under this term.  Allowing the gardens to stand during fall and winter, we might appear careless about […] Continue reading "Sprezzatura in the Fall Garden"

Aphids: What to Do?

  This post was written to address a question about aphids on milkweed. Any of the steps would apply to aphids on any other type of plant, including edibles.  (Note the image at the top of the page is of a Lacewing adult, one of the beneficials that you want to attract and keep in your […] Continue reading "Aphids: What to Do?"

Bringing Native Plant Communities Home

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 […] Continue reading "Bringing Native Plant Communities Home"

Recent Reads Recommendations

Looking for an environmentally-themed book for your next read? Below are some of our board members’ recent reads.  Fiction/Poetry: A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet. Climate change allegory through the eyes of young people  A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers. An interesting take on the future when humanity decides to separate from factories and robots […] Continue reading "Recent Reads Recommendations"

Wild Ones West Cook Accomplishments 2021

Wild Ones West Cook 2021 Accomplishments by Byron Lanning A pandemic did not prevent West Cook from carrying out its mission. We hope that amidst a time of turmoil and uncertainty, we brought you respite from that stress and hopefully you found some peace in nature, especially if it was right outside your door or […] Continue reading "Wild Ones West Cook Accomplishments 2021"

Is your yard ready for spring migratory birds?

About 500 species of birds will migrate through IL. Some will remain here to nest through the spring and summer while others will continue to make their way to Canada’s boreal forest. The Chicago area is an important refuge for the migratory species, many of whom have just flown over the corn belt where places safe […] Continue reading "Is your yard ready for spring migratory birds?"