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January 2014


Seed Starting Workshop

This event has ended
Saturday, January 11th, 2014
to (Central Time)
Trailside Museum , 738 Thatcher Ave, River Forest Map

Learn techniques to encourage seed germination in native plants and discuss the benefits of incorporating native plants in your landscape. Participants will take home native plants. For adults and interested teens, $2 per person. Registration required by January 8. Call 708-366-6530.

Here is a link to our Seed Sharing Spreadsheet.  Feel free to add your seeds so that people can ask for an exchange.


Native Plants that Provide Habitat for Birds

This event has ended
Sunday, January 19th, 2014
to (Central Time)
Dominican Priory Campus, Room 259, 7200 Division Street, River Forest Map

Stephen Packard helped plan and implement a number of Illinois' large ecological restoration projects including Nachusa Grasslands, Bartel Grassland, Orland Grassland and the Spring Creek Forest Preserves. He also helped design and initiate the Volunteer Stewardship Network, Friends of the Forest Preserves, Mighty Acorns, and Chicago Wilderness. He has extensive experience in the restoration of prairies and oak woodlands.
To read more about Stephen Packard, we have an article about him on our website written by Laurie Casey: Meet Stephen Packard, Founding Director of Audubon Chicago Region

February 2014


The Truth About Native Plants

This event has ended
Sunday, February 23rd, 2014
to (Central Time)
The Priory Room, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, Forest Park, IL, 31245 Map

Freyja is the Senior Design Consultant for digrightin landscaping. She runs the design and install division of this earth-friendly landscaping firm.
Freyja is a graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, and a graduate of College of DuPage earning an Associate’s Degree (with honors) in Horticulture.

Freyja has earned certification in Sustainable Landscape Design from the City of Chicago Department of Environment's Center for Green Technology, completed the ILCA Institute of Design Seminar and is an educated member of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a non-profit organization promoting the greening of urban spaces.
Freyja is a certified installer for the LiveRoof System for Green Roof applications.

An organic gardener from an early age, Freyja has more than 14 years experience working in residential gardens. She has traveled extensively and studied landscapes throughout Europe and Central America to bring her love of plants, nature and design principles to residential landscapes in Chicagoland.

April 2014


Earth Fest

This event has ended
Saturday, April 26th, 2014
to (Central Time)
LEED Gold-certified Public Works Center, 201 South Blvd., Oak Park, Il, 60302 Map

The Village of Oak Park’s fifth annual celebration of green living — Earth Fest — is scheduled for 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Sat., April 26, in the LEED Gold-certified Public Works Center, 201 South Blvd.

This year’s event will focus on green block parties — sure to be popular in Oak Park’s neighborhoods after a particularly brutal winter. Visitors can learn more about how to go green during their outdoor summer festivities.

“It’s important for kids and families to have fun outdoors in the summer, and block parties are a great chance to implement eco-friendly practices,” said Maria Onesto Moran, an Earth Fest organizer. “We hope that everyone who attends this year’s event comes away with a few new ideas to make their annual street parties a little more sustainable.”

In addition, Earth Fest organizers have invited several food truck vendors to the event. The trucks will park on South Boulevard, just outside the Public Works Center, and serve up tasty snacks throughout the event.

As in years past, dozens of Earth Fest vendors will provide plenty of hands-on activities, free samples and information for families. Some of the day’s scheduled highlights include:

Free composting and organic gardening consultations
Outdoor kids’ activities (weather permitting)
Energy efficiency tutorials
Car sharing information
Tips on eco-friendly landscaping
Bike registration with Oak Park Police

Back by popular demand, Earth Fest once again will feature Recycle Alley — an on-site opportunity for residents to bring items that aren’t part of the regular blue bin recycling program. Items to be recycled include glasses, hearing aids, CFL light bulbs, cell phones, rechargeable batteries and wine corks.

For more information on Earth Fest 2014, call 708.660.1443 or e-mail [email protected]. Information also is posted online at

May 2014


Plant Sale Pickup

This event has ended
Saturday, May 17th, 2014
to (Central Time)
Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St, Oak Park, 60304 Map

How do I collect my order?
Date:1 May 17, 2014
Time: 1pm - 4pm
Where: Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield, Oak Park, IL

How can I pay?
We will be accepting cash, checks and Credit Cards.


Party time!!

This event has ended
Sunday, May 18th, 2014
to (Central Time)
Green Home Experts, 801 South Blvd., Oak Park, IL, 60302 Map

West Cook Wild Ones member Maria Onesto Moran has offered to throw a party at her beautiful store, Green Home Experts, 811 South Blvd in Oak Park, to mark our first year as an official chapter—and we have enthusiastically accepted!

Mark your calendar for May 18th at 6 PM.  Help us celebrate our many successes and choose the things you would like to see happen in the future.  It will be quite a festive event and a great opportunity to have fun and meet new friends who share your passion for the joyful work of bringing biodiversity back to our gardens.

July 2014


Patricia Hill - Beyond Hostas

This event has ended
Sunday, July 20th, 2014
to (Central Time)
Lewis Hall, Dominican University, 7900 Division Street, River Forest, IL Map

Gardening with natives is a wonderful way to bring a new array of colors, textures, and seasonal interest to your garden, while providing habitat for butterflies, birds, and bees.  Award-winning garden designer Patricia Hill, author of Design Your Natural Midwest Garden, will present examples of beautiful gardens that use native plant varieties that are perfect for the soil and climate of our region.

Note the change of location. This month’s West Cook Wild Ones meeting will be in partnership with Dominican University’s Green Block Party and will be held in Lewis Hall on the main campus instead of Room 259 in the Priory.
Patricia Hill studied Ornamental Horticulture at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, IL and has had her own landscape design business since 1982.
Read more about Patricia here.

August 2014


Adrian Fisher, Presentation on Native Bees

This event has ended
Sunday, August 17th, 2014
to (Central Time)
Dominican University Priory Campus, Room 259, 7200 Division Street, River Forest, IL Map

Ms. Fisher's talk "Native Bees in the Garden" will discuss our wild native bees from a gardener's perspective. Everyone knows how important honey bees are for pollination, but native bees are even more important, especially in the garden.Topics will include the differences between native bees and honey bees, their life cycles, what they like for habitat, and what types are likely to show up in your back yard.

Ms. Fisher will have a door prize of a copy of Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants, by Heather Holm. This is an excellent book researched over the last ten years and published this year by a Wild Ones member in Minnesota. It is perfect for native plant gardeners. Cover photo attached.  Her review is at and has been picked up by

Bio: Adrian Ayres Fisher is a long-time native plant gardener and volunteer with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Her background spans the humanities, environmental conservation, and horticulture. In her job as Sustainability Coordinator at Triton College, she leads workdays for environmental biology students. Adrian blogs at and contributes to City Creatures Blog,

September 2014


Wild Ones Presents - Birds, Bees and Butterflies: A Native Garden Tour

This event has ended
Sunday, September 7th, 2014
to (Central Time)
Cook County Forest Preserve, Corner of Lake St and Harlem Ave, Oak Park, IL, 60302 Map

New garden tour focuses on native plants

People who want to attract more birds, butterflies and other pollinators to their home gardens can take the first-ever “Birds, Bees & Butterflies: A Native Garden Tour” in Oak Park and River Forest on Sunday, Sept. 7, from 2 to 5:30 p.m.

The Birds, Bees & Butterflies tour will include about 11 public and private native gardens.  Suggested donation is $7 for adults; children are free.  A guided bike tour of the gardens will be offered, leaving from the forest preserve at 2:00 p.m. Or, tour-goers can take the tour at their own pace by bike or car.

The tour will focus on Oak Park and River Forest landscapes featuring Illinois native plants. Unique plants for shade, sun, rain gardens, clay soil and other applications will be highlighted.

The tour will offer ideas for those who currently have no native plants in their yards as well as ideas for people who are very knowledgeable about natives. Tour stops will include established native plant gardens as well as those that are “in progress” or are transitioning from non-natives to natives. Here are a few descriptions of featured gardens:

Mixed Company: One garden marries natives with non-natives to showcase a lovely old church. Birds, bees, butterflies, and even dragonflies flit across the garden.

Pretty as Petunias (without the work): The entire front yard of a private home has been transformed by native trees, grasses, and flowers. Not a blade of turf grass is mowed, fertilized or watered.

Butterfly Haven: Another yard strives to feed all types of butterflies with host plants (a mix of natives and non-natives) for larva as well as nectar sources for the long nose of our fluttering friends.

The tour wraps up with a drop-in Native Garden Fair at the Cook County Forest Preserve District General Headquarters at Lake and Harlem Avenues in River Forest from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Participants can enjoy refreshments, mingle with fellow native gardeners, learn more about native gardening and where to get native plants, obtain seeds to start now or in the spring, and sign up to be part of the exciting OPRF Wildlife Corridor, which will link Thatcher Woods with Columbus Park through residential native gardens.  There will also be games and children's activities.

Participants can register and pick up a map on the day of the tour at Cook County Forest Preserve at the northwest corner of Lake and Harlem.  Advance registration will be available on or before August 31th at

Free parking is available behind Cook County Forest Preserve Building, accessible from Bonnie Brae Place.  Turn north on Bonnie Brae one block west of Harlem.

The tour is a joint effort between the West Cook chapter of Wild Ones and Green Community Connections. Learn more about West Cook Wild Ones at and  Learn more about Green Community Connections at


Caring for trees by caring for the soil: Good dirt

This event has ended
Sunday, September 21st, 2014
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map