Events

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January 2016

Jan
10

Winter Sowing Workshop

Sunday, January 10th, 2016
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

February 2016

Feb
21

The Unnoticed Splendor of Ants Presented by Dr Sean Menke

Sunday, February 21st, 2016
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

This presentation will introduce us to the wonders of ants.  We will learn their biology and their importance in our ecosystems and daily lives.  Dr Menke will also discuss the specific species we might encounter in the Chicago region.

Here is a little preview of what we will learn: Real Ant-Man

Dr Menke's research integrates the study of ecology, behavior, and evolution of ants into the fields of biogeography, community ecology and invasion biology by using modeling and experimental techniques to link patterns of species occurrence with processes that determine species persistence, coexistence, and movement across spatial scales. My most recent research has focused on 1) The transition in life history traits of ants between natural and urban environments, 2) How urbanization and biological invasions effect geographic patterns of ant diversity, and 3) How climate and habitat restoration influence ant community structure.

March 2016

Mar
20

March 20: Focus on Bats with Sara Rose

Sunday, March 20th, 2016
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

Focus on Bats
Learn about these amazing, but often maligned flying mammals. The discussion will focus on local bat species; natural history, identification, and habitats.

Sara Rose is a naturalist at Trailside Museum, and has worked for the Forest Preserves of Cook County for more than a decade.  She develops and presents program on a wide variety of nature related topics, focusing primarily on native flora and fauna.

Free and open to the public.   Park on the east side of The Priory and enter through the door on the east.  Follow the hallway to the end, turn left, and follow that hallway.  Turn right up the stairs (or go straight to the elevator), and head up to the second floor.

For the accessibility entrance, enter through the south doors.   There is an elevator, which goes to the second floor.  Exit the elevator and turn left for Room 259.

April 2016

Apr
17

April 17: Native Orchids with Kathleen Garness

Sunday, April 17th, 2016
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

Native Orchids of Illinois with Kathleen Garness
Many people are completely unaware of Illinois’ incredible biological diversity, and its national and international leadership role in conservation. Kathleen will present an overview of all of Illinois’ native orchid species with some considerations about their conservation and future as ‘canaries in the coal mine’ of habitat and surface water quality.

Kathleen has been studying and illustrating orchids - native and tropical - for decades. Her artwork has been exhibited widely and her articles published in many venues, including Chicago Wilderness Magazine, Smithsonian in Your Classroom, and Keys to Nature - Orchids on the Field Museum website. Kathleen brings both an artist’s and a natural areas steward’s perspective to native orchid conservation.

Cypripedium candidum Photo: Kathleen Garness

Free and open to the public.   Park on the east side of The Priory and enter through the door on the east.  Follow the hallway to the end, turn left, and follow that hallway.  Turn right up the stairs (or go straight to the elevator), and head up to the second floor.

For the accessibility entrance, enter through the south doors.   There is an elevator, which goes to the second floor.  Exit the elevator and turn left for Room 259.

May 2016

May
14

Plant Sale Pick-up May 14

Saturday, May 14th, 2016
to (Central Time)
Parking Lot across from Euclid Methodist Church, 405 S Euclid Ave, Oak park, IL, 60302 Map

Plant Sale Pick-up May 14
There will be some plants available the day of the sale but quantities are limited so pre-order for best selection.

Pickup and day-of sale will be May 14th in the parking lot at Euclid Methodist Church, on Washington one block east of Oak Park Ave.

Please bring boxes,trays, or bags to carry your plants home.  We will try to have some available as well.

Pre-order and browse plants:

https://wild-ones-west-cook.myshopify.com/

June 2016

Jun
12

Rare Plants and Unique Natural Areas of Illinois

Sunday, June 12th, 2016
to (Central Time)
Dominican Priory Campus, Room 259, 7200 Division Street, River Forest Map

Rare Plants and Unique Natural Areas of Illinois, Presented by Christopher David Benda
Program description:  Illinois has a landscape that has mostly been converted to agriculture and urban areas.  Yet within this matrix of development lie pristine natural areas, refuges for rare biota.  Join Illinois Native Plant Society President Chris Benda as he presents the many rare plant species known from the numerous and unique natural areas of Illinois.

Christopher David Benda earned his B.S. in Biology from Winona State University in 2002 and an M.S. in Biology from the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign in 2007.  Currently, he is a plant ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey.  He also teaches local flora at Southern Illinois University and is president of the Illinois Native Plant Society.  Chris leads many nature hikes and teaches several botany courses.  He can be found online under the moniker "Illinois Botanizer."

July 2016

Jul
7

Social Butterflies at the Oak Park Conservatory

Thursday, July 7th, 2016
to (Central Time)
Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St, Oak Park, 60304 Map

Wild Ones Members and Volunteers Are Invited to a Special Gathering at the Oak Park Conservatory
We will enjoy refreshments and socialize amidst the beauty of the Oak Park Conservatory.  Patti Staley will lead us on a special tour of the the new IL native gardens as well as other important aspects of the conservatory.

Let’s get to know each other better at this special event.

When: Thursday, July 7, 2016 6:00 pm--8:00 pm

Photo by Kevin McCarey

Where: Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St, Oak Park, IL 60304

The event is for members of Wild Ones and volunteers and their families. Been thinking of becoming a member? Join here: http://www.wildones.org/wild-ones-store/join-renew/

You can reserve your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/social-butterflies-at-the-oak-park-conservatory-tickets-25726907874

Jul
17

Does LaBagh Woods Matter? Restoration and Why LaBagh is Critical for the Plants and Animals of the Chicago area

Sunday, July 17th, 2016
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

Does LaBagh Woods Matter?  Restoration and Why LaBagh is Critical for thePlants and Animals of the Chicago Area.
Presented by Jeff Skrentny
Presentation Description:
Does a place as small as LaBagh Woods matter?  

Should a small 80 acre floodplain and upland woods deserve the restoration attention it has been getting the last 21 months?  Especially one that is so heavily used by humans in such a dense urban environment?

LaBagh Woods has surprised us.  It helps us understand just how critical every small natural patch is to nature in an overdeveloped world where many small patches are sometimes all our native plants and animals have.  If we look carefully, it is almost shocking what is surviving at LaBagh.  With restoration efforts, maybe we can help those organisms thrive, and not just survive.

So what calls LaBagh home?  Let’s explore LaBagh together, through photos, just what birds, plants, animals, and what other creatures and organisms we have discovered at LaBagh the last few years, as well as investigate the invasive plants, and other factors, that threaten them.  Once you see what LaBagh is home to, you can answer the question yourself:  Does a place like LaBagh matter?

About Jeff Skrentny:

Meet Jeff Skrentny, an accidental naturalist in training.  Jeff began his trip down the self educated naturalist training path when he decided he was going to be a birder starting on January 1st, 2006.  Yes, he picked an exact date to start as a birder.  He IDed six species his first day as a birder.  As he gained experience as a birder, it became apparent to him how quality habitat equaled quality birds.   

When his eldest daughter began 3rd grade in the fall of 2011, she was enrolled in an Ecology program at Waters Elementary, in Chicago, called Mighty Acorns.  As a parent volunteer, and birder, Jeff was as much a student as any of them.  It was through this parent volunteering under the guidance of program teacher Pete Leki, that Jeff began to understand and appreciate the ecological importance of LaBagh Woods, where the students of Waters went for their Mighty Acorns field trips..

LaBagh has long been known to be a critical bit of bird migration habitat.  Because of this, Jeff was interested in a plan the Chicago Ornithological Society was making in the fall of 2014 to fund raise in 2015 to participate with the Forest Preserve’s LaBagh Woods restoration project.  Jeff then met project leader and LaBagh Steward, Josh Coles of The Centennial Volunteers, and has been integrally involved in the restoration work at LaBagh Woods since.  He is especially excited to be involved with this restoration because it is being done with a deliberate focus to keep avian intrests at the forefront of the their efforts at LaBagh.  

Jeff has now invested about 2000 volunteer hours at LaBagh Woods birding and bird monitoring, photo documenting the wildlife there, as well as planning, leading and conducting restoration efforts there, for the birds.  Much of which he has documented on his Facebook Group “My Years Birding at LaBagh Woods.”  The work has been hard and sometimes difficult, but the human and natural rewards have made him committed to the restoration effort at LaBagh, and in EVERY small bit of habitat that people chose to become involved restoring, maintaining and preserving.  These small places matter.   

Free and open to the public.   Park on the east side of The Priory and enter through the door on the east.  Follow the hallway to the end, turn left, and follow that hallway.  Turn right up the stairs (or go straight to the elevator), and head up to the second floor.

For the accessibility entrance, enter through the south doors.   There is an elevator, which goes to the second floor.  Exit the elevator and turn left for Room 259.

Jul
24

Show Me/Help Me July 24, 2016

Sunday, July 24th, 2016
to (Central Time)

To reserve a spot for this Show Me/Help Me to observe and learn about the interconnections between native plants, science-based maintenance, and insects, please complete the short form. We can discuss:

--how to maintain the garden in a way that supports all life cycles of beneficial insects year round (and therefore the birds too)
--how to find and identify the different insects in your garden as a way to deepen your appreciation for nature in your yard. Knowing the insects in your garden can reduce anxiety for those who are worried about pest bugs.
-- how to raise butterflies and moths beginning with how to find the eggs and caterpillars in the first place.

After you RSVP, you will be notified of the address. There is a limit of 10 participants.

RSVP here: http://goo.gl/forms/JxbJKyQVChMPLP2x2

Thanks!

August 2016

Aug
21

Sustainable Landscape Design

Sunday, August 21st, 2016
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

Sustainable Landscape Design Presented by Denise Sandoval of Good Natured Landscapes

Presentation Description: Learn tips and suggestions for designing a more sustainable landscape which includes various elements such as wildlife habitat, water and energy conservation.  Denise Sandoval will share the high level process she takes when designing around existing landscapes or creating new landscapes.

Denise Sandoval is the landscape designer and owner of Good-Natured Landscapes LLC whose mission is to create beautiful, functional and kind to the Earth landscapes for the past 11 years.  Every one of her designs focuses on sustainable practices and features native plants.  One of her design projects received the Chicago Wilderness Native Landscaping and Conservation Award in 2014.  Her  greatest  inspiration comes  from the natural world.  She enjoys sharing and learning from others through her blog, Facebook page, and nature walks.  GoodNaturedLandscapes.com

Free and open to the public.   Park on the east side of The Priory and enter through the door on the east.  Follow the hallway to the end, turn left, and follow that hallway.  Turn right up the stairs (or go straight to the elevator), and head up to the second floor.

For the accessibility entrance, enter through the south doors.   There is an elevator, which goes to the second floor.  Exit the elevator and turn left for Room 259.

Aug
27

Show Me-Help Me August 27, 2016 10-11 AM

Saturday, August 27th, 2016
to (Central Time)
Good Shephard Garden, 611 Randolph St, Oak Park, IL, 60302 Map

Show Me-Help Me August 27, 2016 10-11 AM
Visit a garden that Ginger Vanderveer (former board member of WCWO) started a long time ago when she got involved with native plants. The garden is constantly evolving and now they are working on selecting for shorter natives to help with visibility at the corner. There are many great natives to view (and there might be some to take home). See how a religious organization carries out its stewardship principle as well as learn about different native plants and management of the garden in a public setting.

The visit will be at Good Shepherd church at 611 Randolph Street in Oak Park, IL.

Please complete the form to RSVP: https://goo.gl/forms/xGhgLsLQr5MaIlkq2  Thanks!

Curious what a Show Me-Help Me is?

Show Me-Help Me Day is a Wild Ones® concept that involves visiting members’ properties so the owner(s) may show visitors their site or get instructive help from visitors to their site. Visitors can ask questions, offer suggestions and share knowledge on natural landscaping for that particular location. It is meant to be an educational day with information exchange and networking among participants. Show-Me properties are more established sites with many native plants in an advanced stage of development. Help-Me properties could be anything from new-construction home sites, recently purchased homes, or rather newly begun natural landscapes. Depending on the properties available for view, you may decide to have a Show-Me Day, a Help-Me Day or a combination of the two.

These outings lack the formality associated with a garden showcase tour. They are meant to be informal, enlightening and relaxed. At a Show Me-Help Me Day you get down-to-earth ideas. The day should be filled with Wild Ones Cinderella and Cruella DeVil stories. Examples might be dealing with exotics, informing neighbors of intentions, handling a wet or dry area, coping with gravel and stones, making allowances for shady areas, dealing with erosion (sloping landscape or otherwise), etc. Members get to see problems firsthand and can offer each other suggestions on how to best solve them.

They're a great way to connect to each other and to the environment.  Hope to see you at one!

September 2016

Sep
10

Help-Me at Jessica's September 10, 2017

Saturday, September 10th, 2016
to (Central Time)

Jessica has just moved to Oak Park and is working to remove some lawn and invasives (like Lily of the Valley) and some other non-natives (the ubiquitous orange daylilies) to make room for native plants, an edible garden, butterfly garden, and fruit trees. She wants less maintenance and more life and interest in the yard.

She would love to have people come to her yard to help with identification of other plants there and to give her some ideas for her large, sunny yard. Even if you are new to native plants, you are an important member of the community; it could also be a great learning opportunity for you, and you can contribute as well.

All skill and knowledge levels are welcome! Let's give Jessica a wild welcome to Oak Park!

Please complete the form to RSVP. Thanks! The address will be sent to you when you RSVP.

https://goo.gl/forms/RLv2CNT5i3iJe0lg1

Curious what a Show Me-Help Me is?

Show Me-Help Me Day is a Wild Ones® concept that involves visiting members’ properties so the owner(s) may show visitors their site or get instructive help from visitors to their site. Visitors can ask questions, offer suggestions and share knowledge on natural landscaping for that particular location. It is meant to be an educational day with information exchange and networking among participants. Show-Me properties are more established sites with many native plants in an advanced stage of development. Help-Me properties could be anything from new-construction home sites, recently purchased homes, or rather newly begun natural landscapes. Depending on the properties available for view, you may decide to have a Show-Me Day, a Help-Me Day or a combination of the two.

These outings lack the formality associated with a garden showcase tour. They are meant to be informal, enlightening and relaxed. At a Show Me-Help Me Day you get down-to-earth ideas. The day should be filled with Wild Ones Cinderella and Cruella DeVil stories. Examples might be dealing with exotics, informing neighbors of intentions, handling a wet or dry area, coping with gravel and stones, making allowances for shady areas, dealing with erosion (sloping landscape or otherwise), etc. Members get to see problems firsthand and can offer each other suggestions on how to best solve them.

Sep
18

Fall Preparations: Clean-up, Seed Collecting/Storing, and Expanding Beds

Sunday, September 18th, 2016
to (Central Time)

In this program presented by Stephanie Walquist (butterfly gardener and WCWO Vice-president), we will discuss the preparations that we can do in the fall to make next year even more beautiful and filled with life.

You will learn how to:

do an ecologically thoughtful (science-based) fall preparation for your gardens
collect seeds, clean them, and store them with a quick review about wintersowing
expand/create garden beds with minimal effort and yield maximum results next year

October 2016

Oct
16

The Power of Observation: Making and Keeping a Nature Journal/Sketchbook

Sunday, October 16th, 2016
to (Central Time)
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map

The Power of Observation: Making and Keeping a Nature Journal/Sketchbook
Program Description:

In this workshop we will create simple journal/sketchbooks and then explore different ways of working with them, in writing, drawing, and collage. These journals would be ideal for recording nature observations and keeping gardening notes.   No prior experience is required, and school-aged children are welcome if accompanied by an adult. If you already keep a journal or sketchbook, you might want to share your own sketchbook practice. All materials will be provided, and you are welcome to bring your own favorite drawing/sketching materials.

About Sallie Wolf: 

Wherever she goes, Sallie Wolf takes her journal, fountain pen, ink, and watercolors. These are the tools she uses to record the world she sees. Her journals are a combination of an anthropologist’s field notes, a writer’s notebook, and an artist’s sketchbook. Her children’s books grow out of these journals. Her most recent book is The Robin Makes A Laughing Sound: A Birder’s Journal, a collection of bird observations told in poetry, lists, questions, notes, and sketches.  Sallie lives in Oak Park, IL, where her garden is devoted to attracting birds. Her website is www.salliewolf.com, and her studio is located at 331B Harrison St., in the Oak Park Arts District.

November 2016

Nov
20

Rain Gardens for Beauty, Wildlife, and Stormwater Control

Sunday, November 20th, 2016
to (Central Time)
Dominican Priory Campus, Room 259, 7200 Division Street, River Forest Map

Presented by: Monica Buckley and Charlotte Adelman

Charlotte Adelman is co-author, with her husband Bernie Schwartz, of The Midwestern Native Garden , Prairie Directory of North America, and the forthcoming Midwestern Native Shrubs and Trees. Monica Buckley is owner of Red Stem Native Landscapes, which consults, designs, installs, and stewards native plant gardens.

Presentation Description:

Rainfall of 1" on a 2,ooo square foot roof will result in 1,200 gallons of water.  Instead of sending it down the overloaded sewer system, capture all that storm water and do some good with it by creating a rain garden.  A rain garden is a shallow basin that accepts water from a downspout or low spot. Planted with deep-rooted native plants that absorb water and send it back to the water table where soil organisms purify it as it goes, rain gardens provide butterflies, bees, birds and other pollinators with the food, shelter, and reproductive sites while helping to prevent water from running off into streets where it collects pollutants that end up in our waterways.

One of Monica's rain gardens

December 2016

Dec
7

Board and Membership Meeting

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
to (Central Time)
Maze Library, 845 Gunderson Ave, Oak Park, IL, 60304 Map

Board and Membership Meeting 
and Informal Seed Exchange
 

What better way to end the year than to share our successes over the past year and plan for next year?  We hope you will consider attending this board meeting and let us know what you would like to see happen next year. We have a lot of things planned. We’d also like to hear any stories of successes and challenges with your landscape. Let us know if you can make it. Space is limited so please RSVP.

We will also share seeds and feel free to bring photos of your gardens or share any favorite moments or any observations of animals finding resources in your garden.

Location: Maze Library Meeting Room, 845 Gunderson Ave, Oak Park, IL 60304
Date/Time: December 7, 2017 6PM-8PM