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January 2018

Jan
21

Native Edible Plants

Sunday, January 21st, 2018
to (Central Time)
Maze Library, 845 Gunderson Ave, Oak Park, IL, 60304 Map

Seed Exchange & Native Edible Plants
presented by Pat Armstrong
2-2:30 Seed Sharing

Penstemon digitalis seed heads

Before the presentation, we will have an half-hour for sharing native seeds and socializing.  Bring seeds if you have any to share.

You can have them in a labeled envelope or other container.  If you would like to bring seeds home, bring some paper envelope and a pen or two.  Please bring only straight native plant seeds that were recently collected.  

2:30-4:30 Presentation on Native Edible Plants

Although most of the well-known edible wild plants are weeds from Europe and Asia, there are native edibles that you can grow in your yard. Native Americans utilized over 500 native plants for food, fiber, dye, and other uses.  

Pat has spent over 75 years living with and studying nature. She has taught public high school, Montessori School, worked 17 years at the Morton Arboretum where she trained school guides and started the Prairie volunteers, taught field studies at College of DuPage for over 22 years, and now teaches at the Resiliency Institute. She and Vicki Nowicki founded the first Chapter of Wild Ones outside of WI and helped make Wild Ones a National Organization. She has a master of science degree from Univ. of Chicago in Botany & Ecology.  

February 2018

Feb
25

Amphibians of the Chicago Region

Sunday, February 25th, 2018
to (Central Time)
Maze Library, 845 Gunderson Ave, Oak Park, IL, 60304 Map

Amphibians of the Chicago Region
presented by Joe Cavataio
What’s a mudpuppy?  Can toads give you warts?  Where can I find a tree frog?  Joe Cavataio will share his extensive knowledge Chicago's frogs, toads, and salamanders,  including natural history and recent conservation efforts helping to ensure the long-term survival of these intriguing animals.

Joe is a lifelong naturalist with a focus on herpetology, particularly in urban areas and where the natural landscape has been altered by humans. Food scientist during the week and field herper on weekends, he enjoys getting wet and dirty in pursuit of reptiles and amphibians and doing all he can within his power to play a role in conservation.

Photo: Joe Cavataio

April 2018

Apr
15

SOIL HEALTH AND CARBON SEQUESTRATION

Sunday, April 15th, 2018
to (Central Time)
Maze Library, 845 Gunderson Ave, Oak Park, IL, 60304 Map

Soil Health and Carbon Sequestration
presented by Adrian Ayres Fisher

Gardeners have long known that soil is not simply the stuff that props up plants. But not everyone knows that regenerative organic and native plant gardening practices can help mitigate climate change. How is that? It all has to do with gardening in ways that help build and protect soil health.  This presentation will review the characteristics of healthy soil, how plants and soil life work together to store carbon below ground, and how gardeners can make a difference in the fight against climate change.

Adrian Ayres Fisher is sustainability coordinator at Triton College where, among other duties, she is in charge of two large rain gardens and a small prairie area certified as a Monarch Waystation. She is an active member of West Cook Wild Ones and volunteers with the Plants of Concern plant monitoring program in Cook County Forest Preserves.

Apr
24

Native Plant Talk for Earth Month Tuesdays in Oak Park

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018
to (Central Time)
Oak Park Main Library, 834 Lake St, Oak Park, IL, 60302 Map

April 24 – Native Plants, Gardening and Landscapes: The Benefits. Stephanie Walquist of West Cook Wild Ones will discuss the benefits of using native plants in urban garden. 7 to 8 p.m., second floor book discussion room.

Here are other green talks:

April 10 – Energy Efficiency: Simple Steps to Take. ComEd’s Sergio Alzate and Erin Daughton will discuss the many resources the utility company offers to help residents conserve energy and reduce costs. 7 to 8:30 p.m., in the small meeting room on the second floor.

April 17 – Greenagers: How to Green Everyday Teenage Life. Laura Derks, leader of Flybird Experience, and Germaine Caprio, owner of Majamas, a clothing manufacturer "committed to making beautiful clothing that doesn't destroy our beautiful planet," will provide insights into helping teenagers live greener. 5 to 6:30 p.m., third floor conference room.

For more information, call 708.358.5778 or email [email protected]

May 2018

May
20

Creating Healthy Habitat for Bombus affinis, the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee

Sunday, May 20th, 2018
to (Central Time)
Maze Library, 845 Gunderson Ave, Oak Park, IL, 60304 Map

Creating Healthy Habitat for Bombus affinis, the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee
Presented by Fayette Aurelia Nichols

Photo: Joan Sayres

Bumble bee health depends on good nutrition.  In 2017, Bombus affinis, the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee, became our first bumble bee to be listed as federally endangered.  But it's not alone.  Many of our pollinators are dwindling as they face a cascade of synergistic stressors.  So, how can we help them?  What will work to stabilize and rebuild their populations?  Learn what ecosystems B. affinis inhabits, the stages of its life cycle, what its habitat needs are, and what specific plants in our area offer healthy bumble bee nutrition throughout its life cycle.  By learning how to support the recovery of B. affinis, we can also safeguard many of our other pollinators. 
 
 
 
 

June 2018

Jun
2

Native Plant Sale

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018
to (Central Time)
Parking Lot across from Euclid Methodist Church, 405 S Euclid Ave, Oak park, IL, 60302 Map

Pre-order pick up is on June 2, 2018 from 10 am to 2 pm.  Volunteers will be there to help you collect your order and get it to your car.  If you'd like to help too, click here: Volunteer Sign-up

There will be plants available for day of purchase too. 

Plant Species
Qty Sale Day
Size

 
 
 

Monarch Butterfly Kit
10
4” pots/plugs

* 2 Swamp (Rose) Milkweed - Asclepias incarnata
 
 

* 1 Prairie coreopsis - Coreopsis palmata
 
 

* 1 Purple Coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
 
 

* 2 Prairie Dropseed - Sporobolus heterolepsis
 
 

* 2 Showy Goldenrod - Solidago speciosa
 
 

* 2 Silky Aster - Symphyotrichum sericeum
 
 

 
 
 

Shade Garden Kit
0 Sold out Sorry
4” pots/plugs

* 2 Columbine - Aquilegia canadensis
 
 

* 2 Wild Ginger - Asarum canadense
 
 

* 2 Common Oak (Pen) Sedge - Carex pensylvanica
 
 

* 2 Wild Geranium - Geranium maculatum
 
 

* 1 Broad-leaved Goldenrod - Solidago flexicaulis
 
 

* 1 Short's Aster - Symphyotrichium shortii
 
 

 
 
 

Sunny Save-A-Bee Kit
10
4” pots/plugs

* 2 Butterfly weed - Asclepias tuberosa
 
 

* 2 Prairie Smoke - Geum triflorum
 
 

* 2 Cylindrical Blazing Star - Liatris cylindracea
 
 

* 2 Silky Aster - Symphyotrichum sericeum
 
 

* 2 Prairie Dropseed - Sporobolus heterolepsis
 
 

 
 
 

Maidenhair Fern - Adiantum pedatum
5
#1/gal.

Lead Plant - Amorpha canescens
4
#1/gal.

Columbine - Aquilegia canadensis
20
4” pots

Spikenard - Aralia racemosa
3
#1/gal.

Wild Ginger - Asarum canadense
7
4” pot

Swamp (Rose) Milkweed - Asclepias incarnata (10's)
25
4” pot

Common Milkweed - Asclepias syriaca
11
Plug

Butterfly weed - Asclepias tuberosa
33
4” pot

Whorled Milkweed - Asclepias verticillata
21
4” pot

Lady fern - Athyrium filix-femina
5
#1/gal.

Blue Wild Indigo - Baptisia australis
5
#1/gal.

Sand coreopsis - Coreopsis lanceolata
2
4” pot

Prairie coreopsis - Coreopsis palmata
12
4” pot

White Prairie Clover - Dalea candida
11
4” pot

Purple Prairie Clover - Dalea purpurea
12
4” pot

Shooting Star - Dodecatheon meadia
12
4” pot

Pale Purple Coneflower - Echinacea pallida
22
Plug

Purple Coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
14
4” pot

Rattlesnake Master - Erynigium yuccifolium
12
Plug

Flowering spurge - Euphorbia corollata
2
4” pot

Wild Strawberry - Fragaria virginiana
1
4” pot

Wild Geranium - Geranium maculatum
11
4” pot

Prairie Smoke - Geum triflorum
13
4” pot

Sharp-lobed Hepatica - Hepatica acutiloba
15
4” pot

Virginia waterleaf - Hydrophyllum virginianum
14
4” pot

Harlequin Blue Flag Iris - Iris versicolor
5
4” pot

Cylindrical Blazing Star - Liatris cylindracea
9
4” pot

Michigan Lily - Lilium michiganense
9
4” pot

Cardinal Flower - Lobelia cardinalis
18
4” pot

Great Blue Lobelia - Lobelia syphilitica
2
4” pot

Canada Mayflower - Maianthemum canadense
3
Plug

Virginia Bluebells - Mertensia virginica
3
#1/gal.

Wild Bergamot - Monarda fistulosa
14
4” pot

Sensitive Fern - Onoclea sensibilis
4
#1/gal.

Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus - Opuntia humifusa
5
4” pot

Foxglove Beardtongue - Penstemon digitalis
10
4” pot

Prairie Cinquefoil - Potentilla arguta
1
4” pot

Mountain mint - Pycnanthemum virginianum
5
4” pot

Wild Petunia - Ruellia humilis
14
4” pot

Celandine Poppy - Stylophorum diphyllum
6
Quart

Short's Aster - Symphyotrichium shortii
6
Plug

Silky Aster - Symphyotrichum sericeum
15
Plug

Yellow Trillium - Trillium luteum
9
Quart

Ironweed - Vernonia fasciculata
5
#1/gal.

Heartleaved Meadow Parsnip - Zizia aptera
20
4” pot

 
 
 

Grasses and Sedges
 
 

Side-oats grama - Bouteloua curtipendula
5
4” pot

White-tinged Sedge - Carex albicans
11
4” pot

Curly-styled wood sedge or Rosy sedge - Carex rosea
20
4” pot

Long-beaked sedge - Carex sprengelii
14
4” pot

Tussock Sedge - Carex stricta
1
#1/gal.

Brown Fox Sedge - Carex vulpinoidea
4
4” pot

Little Bluestem - Schizachyrium scoparium
11
4” pot

Prairie Dropseed - Sporobolus heterolepsis
17
4” pot

Monarch Butterfly Flip Book
12
 

Bison Flip Book

July 2018

Jul
15

A Beginner's Guide to Flies of the Midwest

Sunday, July 15th, 2018
to (Central Time)
Maze Library, 845 Gunderson Ave, Oak Park, IL, 60304 Map

The flies have it! They really do--flies are one of the largest groups of insects and play many roles beyond being annoying pests (which really are just a few species). Love chocolate? Thank flies. Love to see warblers and hummingbirds? Thank flies. Love to see fish, turtles, and other amphibians? Thank flies. Love to see aphids get vacuumed up? You know--thank some flies. From pollinating flowers, to predating and parasitizing pests, to assisting with decomposition (clean-up crew), and being food for warblers, flies do so much for us and are probably the least appreciated animals, to say the least, of the insect kingdom. 

Joe Rowlet will teach us: how to identify a true fly (in the Diptera order); about the evolutionary history of the group, and how to recognize some of the more common families found across the Midwest. There'll be a particular emphasis on those species of agricultural and horticultural importance.

Feather-legged Fly, parasitoid of Squash bugs

Rose Grosbeak with fly. Photo by Eric Gyllenhal

Joe Rowlet is a Research Associate at the Field Museum of Natural History in the Insects Department and works on entomological surveys of restored prairies in Illinois. As an undergraduate, he also worked extensively on invertebrate surveys of local aquatic insects. His areas of expertise are in ants, beetles, and especially flies. He is also a widely published author on coral reef biodiversity and works at the University of Chicago on the evolutionary history of wrasses.

August 2018

Aug
5

Birds, Bees, and Butterflies: A Native Garden Tour

Sunday, August 5th, 2018
to (Central Time)

Native gardens are beautiful islands of biodiversity that meet many of our conservation goals by preserving clean water, reducing energy consumption, sequestering carbon, eliminating pesticides and providing essential habitat for birds, bees, butterflies and threatened pollinators. Plus native gardens are just plain beautiful!

This tour offers you an opportunity to visit private and public gardens in Oak Park and River Forest that are brimming with life and beauty. The host gardeners are excited to walk you through these treasured spaces. Each stop on the tour is unique, reflecting each gardener’s interests. You will see and hear about how these gardens are making important contributions to sustaining life on this planet. 

Many of the plants on view are not widely known or used in gardens, so here's your chance to learn about IL's unique, under-used plants. Let's develop a sense of place that reflects IL's rich natural history heritage too.

You will receive a map by e-mail the day before the tour. Be sure to check your e-mail on Saturday. 🙂

Ticket prices: $7 for Wild Ones members (paid dues) or $10 for non-members. Purchase tickets here

You can purchase tickets the day of event for $12 non-members and $10 for Wild Ones members at Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield Street, Oak Park, IL, 60304. Children attend free.

Volunteers receive admission. Please sign up here if you're interested: Volunteer for the tour

See Less

Aug
19

The Pre-settlement Relationship of Plants and Culture

Sunday, August 19th, 2018
to (Central Time)
Maze Library, 845 Gunderson Ave, Oak Park, IL, 60304 Map

The Pre-settlement Relationship of Plants and Culture presented by Tom Smith

This presentation will give us a look into how regional habitats impacted Indians' way of life. Tom will explain early Indian agriculture, and the uses of local indigenous plants for food, medicine, and trade, as well as the widespread use of plants in spiritual practices.

Tom Smith is the Stewardship Coordinator for the Lake County Forest Preserve District for 34 years and works in both the Natural Resource and Education Departments. He is a Participating member of the Brothertown Indian Nation of Wisconsin.