Events Archive: 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022 | 2023 | 2024 | Upcoming Events

January 2015


January Program: Wintersowing Native Seeds

This event has ended
Sunday, January 18th, 2015
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

Come and put winter temperatures to good use as you learn how to sow seeds now for spring seedlings.  Linda Walker will offer a hands-on workshop in wintersowing native seeds that need cold moist stratification to break their dormancy.  Please bring washed plastic containers that have a top (e.g. salad clamshells, strawberry packages, deli containers, etc).  We will have some soil and seeds to share, or bring your own.  Be ready to get your hands dirty!

Linda Walker is a long-time Wild Ones of DuPage Member.  Her extensive native gardens are often featured in yard tours; she is an Illinois Certified Perennial Specialist and now focuses on native plants.  Her certified nursery, Linda's Loves Natives, is a wonderful resource for those who miss the spring sales of native plants.  The proceeds all benefit non-profit work for youth social service projects in Myanmar.

Free and open to the public; no RSVP required.  Children welcome (they always are).

When: January 18, 2015   2:30-4:30 pm
Where:  Room 259, The Priory, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division (corner of Division and Harlem, right next to Priory Park, NOT on the main campus), River Forest, IL

February 2015


Oak Park's Historic Oak Propagation Project and Morton Arboretum's Oak Recovery Project

This event has ended
Sunday, February 15th, 2015
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

Why are oaks so important?  What is the connection between the tree and the name of our village?  Come and find out at our next meeting with two esteemed experts.

Lindsay Darling, a researcher from Morton Arboretum, will co-present with Kathryn Jonas on two important local projects focused on oak trees.  Both Lindsay and Kathryn are very involved in The Oak Recovery Project whose goal is to work with groups in the Chicago region to preserve and enlarge oak forest habitats.

In addition, to be discussed is the application for Arboretum Designation by the Oak Park Park District and the Village of Oak Park.

Program is FREE and open to the public.  No RSVP required.

March 2015


Symphony of the Soil, One Earth Film Festival

This event has ended
Sunday, March 8th, 2015
to (Central Time)
Triton College Performing Arts Ctr, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL, 60171 Map

We will be tabling at Symphony of the Soil.  This documentary explores elaborate relationships and mutuality among soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals. Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet.

Click here for tickets: Symphony of the Soil tickets

April 2015


Pam Todd: The Power of Us

This event has ended
Sunday, April 19th, 2015
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

West Cook Wild Ones' own president will present "The Power of Us" in which she will discuss how we can all contribute to increasing biodiversity by participating in our Wildlife Corridor project.

May 2015


Living Landscapes Conference May 17, 2015

This event has ended
Sunday, May 17th, 2015
to (Central Time)
Dominican University, 7900 W. Division St., River Forest, IL, 60305 Map

2017 Conference Registration is Now Open!
For information about our 2017 Conference, please visit:

Native Plant Conference Featuring Doug Tallamy
Plus Seven Workshops
Read about the workshop presenters and descriptions
When: May 17, 2015 11:00am (registration opens)-5 pm  Tallamy's talk begins at 12 pm in the Lund Auditorium.
Where: Dominican University, 7900 W. Division Street, River Forest, IL
Registration is open until noon on Saturday May 16, 2015.  Click on this link to register : Native Plant Conference Registration and Native Plant Sale.  To get the most up to date information, sign up for our newsletter: Newsletter link
About Doug Tallamy:
We are so excited to bring Doug Tallamy to the Oak Park/River Forest area.  His work has been a catalyst for change at the grass-roots level and has helped us form the principles that guide how we treat our landscapes and prepare the ground (literally!) for future generations.  He has taught us that without native plants, there is little biodiversity, which humans as a species need to survive.  As he puts it, "Biodiversity is not optional." He is also an Honorary Director for the national Wild Ones.

Doug Tallamy received his BS in Biology from Allegheny College in 1973, his MS in Entomology from Rutgers University in 1976, his PhD in Entomology from the University of Maryland in 1980, and his post-doctoral training at the University of Iowa in 1981. He joined the faculty of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware in 1981 where he is now completing his 31st year.  Doug currently serves as Chair of the Department and is also director of the Center for Managed Ecosystems.

Over the years Doug’s research has focused on various questions in behavioral ecology including the evolution of insect parental care, sexual selection, and plant/insect interactions. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. He has authored 78 research articles and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, and the Conservation of Tropical Biodiversity.

Doug’s book Bringing Nature Home; How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 silver medal by the Garden Writer’s Association. Bringing Nature Home has stimulated a national discussion about the need to share our living and working spaces with the biodiversity that runs our ecosystems. To this end Doug gives 80-100 nation-wide talks per year describing the essential role that insects and the native plants that support them play in ecosystem function.

He and Rick Darke have recently co-authored a book entitled The Living Landscape which easily helps gardeners design for beauty and biodiversity.


The conference is made possible by a generous grant from the Oak Park/River Forest Community Foundation.

July 2015


Native Plantings to Attract Migratory Birds to your Garden

This event has ended
Sunday, July 19th, 2015
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

Scarlet Tanager photo courtesy of Judy Pollock

Millions of migratory birds stream through our region twice yearly. They fly at night in a broad front across the state and land at daybreak in the nearest available habitat.  Our yards can play an important role in wildlife conservation by providing food and shelter for them.  In this presentation, learn the principles of gardening for the different guilds of landbird migrants, and get some specific native plant ideas and resources for more information.

Judy Pollock is a Project Manager with Living Habitats, a landscape architecture, ecological services and environmental planning firm.  She was Bird Conservation Director for Audubon Chicago Region for 15 years and was the founding president of the Bird Conservation Network.  She has planned and/or implemented bird habitat projects such as the Bartel Grassland and Spring Creek habitat restorations and the Migratory Makeovers program of the Chicago Migratory Bird Alliance. She writes and speaks frequently about landscaped and natural bird habitat.

August 2015


Small Changes with Big Impacts: How Gardeners Can Help Native Plants and Animals

This event has ended
Sunday, August 16th, 2015
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

It's pretty--but don't plant it. Callary Pear photo courtesy of Cathy McGlynn

Many of the invasive plants that dominate natural areas in our region (i.e., common buckthorn, bush honeysuckle, and multiflora rose) were once growing in someone’s yard.  We know that a few of the plants that gardeners are planting right now are invasive and could well become the next buckthorn or honeysuckle.  Unfortunately, all of these invasive plants affect our native animals by replacing the native plants on which these animals rely for food and shelter.  Cathy will provide information about which garden plants are invasive and some recommendations and resources for making informed choices for your garden.

Cathy McGlynn has been the Coordinator for the Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership (NIIPP), a cooperative weed management area including the 18 counties of northeast Illinois, since August 2010.  Cathy received her Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook where her dissertation focused on the effects of common reed and purple loosestrife on native plants, small mammals, and birds in freshwater tidal wetlands of the Hudson River.  She serves on the Illinois Invasive Plant Species Council and the Midwest Invasive Plant Network’s Invasive Plants in Trade Working Group; and currently works on the Clean Boats Crew program with IL-IN Sea Grant, assists with the New Invaders Watch Program, and collaborates with Midwest Invasive Plant Network on green market outreach in addition to co-coordinating the Illinois Hydrilla Task Force.

September 2015


Mushrooms of the Chicago Region Presented by Patrick Leacock

This event has ended
Sunday, September 13th, 2015
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

Program Description:
Mushrooms belong to the Kingdom Fungi and are neither plant nor animal.  These odd organisms are important members of the habitats around Chicago, and Cook County has over 800 species.  More than half of these decompose wood, leaf litter, or live in the soil. Many are beneficial symbionts of tree roots, while some others are parasitic. There are a variety of edible types, such as morels and chanterelles, but also some deadly poisonous mushrooms to be avoided. The identification of mushrooms requires repeated practice and is best learned from knowledgeable mushroom hunters, though many useful books and websites are available. Similar to bird-watching and learning plants, awareness of mushrooms provides an added layer of nature appreciation.

Dr. Leacock has been studying the fungi of the Chicago Region for seventeen years. Volunteers and interns assist him with collections and research at the Field Museum of Natural History. Patrick works closely with the Illinois Mycological Association via programs, forays and documenting mushrooms, as well as the North American Mycological Association. The club started a citizen science research program this year. He is assembling the rich Chicago mycoflora of over 1200 species. Patrick's website is and the first IMA mushroom videos can be seen there.


Walker's Wilds Yard Tour

This event has ended
Sunday, September 20th, 2015
to (Central Time)
Walker's Wilds, 4509 Wilson Ave, Downer's Grove, IL Map

This is a great  opportunity to visit a mature, double lot garden filled with natives.  Linda Walker (she presented for our wintersowing workshop in February 2014) has spent the past 20+ years tending and growing many of IL's native plants to create a sanctuary for the many animals that share the land and need gardens like hers more than ever before.  Her favorite time of the year is fall with all of the color in the trees, shrubs, and perennials complementing each other.  There is much to appreciate in the autumnal garden. For example, the Cassia is stunning in the fall with its yellow leaves and blackish pods.  From the plentiful asters and goldenrods, birds, bees, and butterflies get their final meals before winter hibernation or migration.

Come and be inspired and learn how the fall is the best time to plant native seedlings.  Linda will also have her seedlings available for sale after the walk, including three species of Asclepias (milkweed), Bur Sedge, and Rattlesnake Master and so many other wonderful local eco-type savailable.  The proceeds benefit literacy activtiies in Myanamar.  You can see the full listing of her plants here (click on the image to enlarge):

You can read about her and her daughter's work in Myanamar here: Huffington Post article.

Click here to get tickets/RSVP: Walker's Wilds Yard Tour  Free and open to the public.

October 2015


Boost Next Year's Biodiversity: Eco-Sensitive Clean-up

This event has ended
Sunday, October 18th, 2015
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

Program description:

If you've been doing the trendiest type of gardening--wildlife habitat, pollinator gardens, butterfly gardens--you may have heard about different approaches to conventional garden clean-up which destroys all of the overwintering beneficial insects and removes all of the organic matter from your garden.  This presentation will pull together the life cycles of our most common and beneficial insects, birds, as well as a discussion of some soil biology.

We will discuss why we should alter our fall and spring clean-up practices, address misconceptions, hesitations, and strategies for eco-sensitive maintenance.

Stephanie Walquist wears many different wings for West Cook Wild Ones and has been butterfly gardening for 12+ years (well-received butterfly gardening presentation available).   The many species of butterflies she has raised have been some of her greatest teachers.

November 2015


Paddy Woodworth: Our Once and Future Planet

This event has ended
Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
to (Central Time)
First United Church of Oak Park, 848 Lake St, Oak Park, IL, 60301 Map

Paddy Woodworth on Ecological Restoration: Key Conservation Strategy or Nostalgic Anachronism in Our Climate Change Century?
Presented by Paddy Woodworth, author of Our Once and Future Planet: Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century. November 10, 2015 at 7 pm located at the First United Church of Oak Park, 848 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL (next to the library).

If you want to understand the promise, politics, issues, and controversies behind ecological restoration, there is no better guide than Paddy Woodworth. In his encouraging book Our Once and Future Planet: Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century he introduces the relatively new science of restoration ecology, devoted to rejuvenating the natural – and human - environments we call home.

You can meet and hear Paddy Woodworth who will offer a tour of restoration projects he has visited all over the globe, ranging from prairies in the Chicago region to the South African bush; and from ultralight pilots teaching whooping cranes how to migrate the length of a continent to the restoration of bogs in his native Ireland.

Along the way, he will help us grapple with some of the difficult questions that confront us as we attempt to heal the wounds that we have inflicted on our planet. Is there a dark side to restoration?  What about the impact of climate change? How do we call a halt to the assault on nature that created the need for restoration in the first place? And most importantly, what can we do as individuals and communities to make a difference?

Woodworth’s presentation is sure to spark important discussions for our community and provide grounds for hope as we move forward together. The program is co-sponsored by West Cook Wild Ones, Green Community Connections, PlanItGreen, Du Page Wild Ones and the Oak Park Public Library.

About Paddy Woodworth: 

Paddy Woodworth (Ireland, 1951): author, journalist, lecturer, tour guide. Woodworth has reported for the Irish Times, and international media, including the International Herald Tribune, Vanity Fair and the BBC. He has written two acclaimed books on the Basque Country. Science described his recent study of ecological restoration projects worldwide, Our Once and Future Planet: Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century (U of Chicago Press 2013) as “highly readable…valuable access to the central topics, key developments, and contentious issues bound up in the young and evolving field of ecological restoration.” Paddy Woodworth is also a Research Associate at Missouri Botanical Garden, Adjunct Senior Lecturer at UCD, and founder member of the Irish Forum on Natural Capital.

Sponsored by DuPage Wild Ones, Green Community Connections, Seven Generations Ahead, and West Cook Wild Ones.


Where Nature Comes Home Presented by Dennis Paige

This event has ended
Sunday, November 15th, 2015
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

Program Description

More than 45 milliion acres of lawn are cultivated in the United States, covering more American land than any single crop. Most lawns today are comprised of gas guzzling, high maintenance, non-native species; in short, a biologically sterile landscape. Profiled in the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Herald, Chicagoland Gardening Magazine and the Boston Herald as well as a recipient to the the 2011 Conservation and Native Landscaping Award from the USEPA and the Chicago Wilderness, learn how one community in the suburbs became the first 'residential'  association to become a member of the Chicago Wilderness by transforming their lawn into an unfolding range of multi-seasonally colorful prairie, woodland, and wetland wildflowers, forbs, sedges,grasses and  native rain gardens.  An inspirational program to touch the hearts and minds of those who wish to create native earth friendly landscapes around their property to enhance biodiversity and environmental health. WTTW Chicago Tonight highlighted this project and  described this condominium association as "probably the most extensive native gardens of any residential complex in the Chicagoland area." See how this effort can help you get started transforming spaces into eco-friendly places.

Dennis Paige received an M.S. in Environmental Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and an M.A.T. in Social Studies from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He works as  an interpretive naturalist and habitat restorationist at Spring Valley  Nature Center in Schaumburg where he has been employed there through the Schaumburg Park District for over 28 years. He is an adjunct faculty member of the Chicago Botanic Gardens and Morton Arboretum.

Since 1996 he has been the chief in-house native landscaper for Town Square Condominium Association in Schaumburg. As a unit owner for over  20 years and board member for over 11 years Dennis (currently V.P. of the board) takes great  pride/interest in promoting healthy natural landscapes in his own  community. For 4 years Dennis wrote an award winning weekly column in the Daily Herald titled 'Green Light Living With Nature' which explored many ways to live lightly on the earth. In 2008 Dennis was awarded among his professional conservation peers in the Chicagoland area the 2008 Grassroots Leadership Award in Conservation from the Chicago Audubon Habitat project and the Chicago Wilderness.