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January 2022

Jan
16

January Member Celebration Members Only

Sunday, January 16th, 2022
to (Central Time)
To be advised, Oak Park, Oak Park, IL Map

Members Only Family Friendly Free Event

Please join the Board Members of West Cook Wild Ones for a members only meeting. We want to celebrate our accomplishments for the pandemic year and plan for the year ahead. In 2021, our monthly programs continued online, our spring native plant sale sold a record number plants, our in-person native garden tour featured 8 beautiful gardens, our grant program helped fund 11 native gardens, and our membership grew to over 250 strong! None of this would have been possible without you! We want to thank our members for your support by offering a celebration featuring a virtual art class with noted botanic illustrator and conservation steward, Kathleen Garness. We also hope an opportunity to get better acquainted and to hear your ideas for our Wild Ones Chapter! Meeting Outline Brief business meeting: Introduce new board member, Kerrie Gonzales Announce elected board officers Highlight our accomplishments for 2021 Give a sneak peek at our plans for 2022 Art class with botanic illustrator extraordinaire, Kathleen Garness (!) Kathy will give an interactive botanical drawing mini-workshop No special materials will be required, but we will send a short list of materials that might be fun to have in early January. Socialize in small Zoom breakout rooms (aka-Speed dating for native plant nerds!) Meet other members in a fun and informal setting Tell us about your favorite native plant or why you choose natives Did anything unexpected grow or happen in your garden?   Sound like fun but you're not a member? Join us here: https://westcook.wildones.org/join/ Kathleen Garness Bio Kathleen's illustrations explore the role of light and space while conveying details about our native orchids. Much of her artwork reflects not only her life-long fascination with orchids, but her field experiences through Plants of Concern's rare plant monitoring program at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Kathleen worked as a commercial artist for over a decade before taking up the banner of natural history art. Morton Arboretum's certificate program of botanical and scientific illustration allowed her to study with some of the best teachers in the Midwest. She has worked with the Field Museum and The Nature Conservancy to produce educational materials for the growing community of natural areas restoration volunteers. A grant from the American Society of Botanical Artists allowed her to introduce botanical illustration to a new and more diverse audience. Participation in the Chicago Botanic Garden's Plants of Concern program offers Kathy a unique window into the connections between ecology and the lure of the beautiful as well as the tensions between wildlife under pressure and the demands of human need. She is author of the Field Museum's Common Plant Families of the Chicago Region and the Dunesland Habitat Guide. A woodland habitat guide is in the works. As steward of one of the Chicago region's highest quality duneland sites, she has had the opportunity to become familiar with these rare and hardy species that call our lakeshores their home.

February 2022

Feb
20

Innovations In Pollinator Policy

Sunday, February 20th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Will be Recorded Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation

  Learn How to Create Lasting Change to Benefit Pollinators   Please join us for "Innovations in Insect Pollinator Policy"  Damon Hall Sunday, February 20, 2022 2:30 pm CT  

Native plant gardeners use their own backyards to create habitat for pollinators and to make a small positive impact on the global environmental crisis. Ever wonder what would happen if we could extend our impact to include more backyards by enacting laws to benefit pollinators? Damon Hall can help us to begin to take action beyond our home landscape.

Damon Hall will talk to us about why pollinator laws matter, what kinds of state pollinator laws already exist, and how we can initiate action on a local level to inspire changes in ordinances which often stymie pollinator conservation and native plant gardeners.

This program is free and open to the public.   Register Here on Eventbrite

Speaker Information

Damon Hall, PhD, Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri in the School of Natural Resources.

Research Description: My research examines the interactions between social and ecological systems where science, policy, and culture meet. My research is audience-focused addressing questions of how to make usable knowledge for sustainable transitions. My research is transdisciplinary in that it engages stakeholders, managers, and scientists to design transformational solutions that make sense to how people�"whose behavior is the target of policy�"commonly experience their world.

For more information please visit his webpage : Sustainability Science Lab

March 2022

Mar
20

Woodland, Savanna, Prairie: How Native Plant Communities Fit In Your Garden

Sunday, March 20th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Will be Recorded Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation

Chicagoland's Native Plant Communities and How They Relate to Your Garden by Iza Redlinski   Discover how to use native plant communities of Northern Illinois to guide your garden design as Chicago area ecologist, Iza Redlinski gives us a tour of woodland, savanna and prairie communities. Please join West Cook Wild Ones for the first virtual presentation in our four part series: "Bringing Native Plant Communities Home."

Program Description:

Any spot in your yard can have a beautiful native plant growing in it - all you have to do is find the right plant for the right environment - the best way is to mimic nature. This presentation will walk you through some of our region's main plant communities and point out more and less common native plants present in given conditions, and how you can adopt them in your garden.

Register on Eventbrite:  Here

 

Presenter Bio:

 

Iza is an ecologist, a volunteer steward and a native plant fanatic. She started growing native plants in her garden more than 10 years ago and has not stopped. Her love for native plants stem from working as a restoration ecologist on large prairie and wetland mosaics, and was then refined by spending more time in increasingly urban spaces. She is an optimist believing in a brighter future in which individuals, institutions, corporations and governments heal the land while healing our communities - both physically and mentally. Native plants, of course, will be a large part of the equation.

 

 

This event is Part 1 in our 4 part series Bringing Native Plant Communities Home.

Please watch for these related programs:

April 10: Bringing the Woodland Home with Roy Diblik of Northwind Perennial Farm

May 15: Bringing the Savanna Home with Julia Bunn of The Spirited Gardener

June 12: Bringing the Prairie Home with Drew Reaves of Save Our Prairie Society

April 2022

Apr
10

Bringing The Woodland Home: How to Add Native Shade Plants to Your Garden

Sunday, April 10th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Will be Recorded Program/Speaker Presentation

 

We are excited to invite you to

Bringing the Woodland Home: How to Add Native Plants to your Shade Garden with Roy Diblik  of Northwind Perennial Farm     Photo credit: Adrian Ayres Fisher

Many gardeners wonder what native plants will thrive under tree canopy. Roy Diblik with decades of landscape design experience can guide you in choosing native woodland plants that grow happily in shade gardens. Roy uses texture and color to create welcoming, shady spaces. He will teach us how to plant sedges (aka Carex species) as a ground layer of living mulch. Roy will explain how to build on this bottom layer by adding in spring ephemerals, ferns and other woodland species for bursts of color and interest during the garden season.

 

 

 

Speaker Bio:

Roy Diblik is a recognized perennial plant expert, grower, designer, speaker and author. Combining his 35 years of knowledge growing traditional and Midwest native perennials, he specializes in highly aesthetic, sustainable plant communities for all seasons, while reducing maintenance through design. He believes that gardens should be thoughtful, ecologically directed, emotionally outreaching and yet very personal.

 

 

May 2022

May
15

Bringing The Savanna Home: How to Add Native Plants to a Part-Sun Garden

Sunday, May 15th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Will be Recorded Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation

 

We are excited to invite you to

Bringing the Savanna Home:

How to Add Native Plants to your Part Sun-Part Shade Garden

by Julia Bunn

of The Spirited Gardener

 

 

Julia promises us a two-fold lesson in creating a savanna rain garden. Using the savanna as a natural model, we will learn how to choose native plants for part sun/part shade conditions, and learn how to manage rain water at the same time. Julia designs landscapes with ecological function (eco-function) in mind by combining pollinator gardens and rain gardens. She will guide you in accomplishing the same using plants native to northern Illinois.

 

Speaker bio:

Julia Bunn, has been owner of The Spirited Gardener since 2007. Julia started out with an Ornamental Plant Certification from the Chicago Botanic Garden, and quickly became more interested in the way Nature's ecological systems could build more beautiful eco-functional gardens for homeowners, especially for managing rainwater. She has workshoped with Rick Darke (The Living Landscape: Designing for beauty and biodiversity in the home garden), Darrel Morrison (Landscape Architect who worked with the Chicago Botanic Garden's Barbara Brown Nature Preserve), and Gerould Wilhelm (Co-author of Flora of the Chicago Region). She has presented talks for Wild Ones, ILCA's Impact Conference, Illinois Green Alliance, Chicago Botanic Garden and other. On weekends she can often be found walking through the Forest Preserves with her husband, always hoping to learn more from our wild world.

 

 

 

This event is Part 3 in our 4 part series Bringing Native Plant Communities Home.

Please watch the recording or register for these related programs:

March 20: Woodland, Savanna, Prairie: How Native Plant Communities Fit In Your Garden by Iza Redlinski (click link to watch recording)

April 10: Bringing the Woodland Home by Roy Diblik of Northwind Perennial Farm (click link to register)

June 12: Bringing the Prairie Home by Drew Reaves of Save Our Prairie Society (registration coming soon)

 

 

June 2022

Jun
12

Bringing The Prairie Home: How to Add Native Plants to a Full-Sun Garden

Sunday, June 12th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation

We are excited to invite you to Bringing the Prairie Home: How to Add Native Plants to your Full-Sun Garden by Drew Reaves of Save the Prairie Society

 

 

 

 

Drew Reaves tends the beautiful prairie house garden at Wolf Road Prairie in Westchester, IL. His work in this garden inspired him to establish a full-sun garden at his own home using native prairie plants. Drew will teach us how to determine proper placement of native prairie plants by accommodating their light and moisture requirements. Drew will also discuss drainage to regulate water levels and incorporating places to observe and enjoy the plants and the animals they attract.

For inspiration, Drew provided a list of some of the plants he grows in his garden: Blue Flag Iris, Bottle Gentian, Culver's Root, Ironweed, Leadplant, Obedient Plant, Pink Turtlehead, Queen of the Prairie, Rattlesnake Master, Spiderwort, Swamp Rose-mallow, Wild Senna and Yarrow, plus various Coneflowers, Liatris, Lobelia (Cardinal and Blue), Milkweeds (Butterfly, Common, Prairie and Swamp), Monarda, Silphia (Compass Plant, Cup Plant and Prairie Dock) and Wild Indigos, as well as Big Bluestem, Bottlebrush and Prairie Dropseed Grasses and Bur and Palm Sedges.

 

 

Speaker Bio

 

Drew Reaves is a retired German teacher with a PhD in German Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Save of Prairie Society affiliated with Wolf Road Prairie in Westchester, IL. In addition to his role on the board, Drew designed and cares for the Franzosenbusch Prairie House Garden at Wolf Road Prairie.

 

 

 

This event is Part 4 in our 4 part series Bringing Native Plant Communities Home.

Please watch the recording or register for these related programs:

March 20: Woodland, Savanna, Prairie: How Native Plant Communities Fit In Your Garden by Iza Redlinski (click link to view recording)

April 10: Bringing the Woodland Home by Roy Diblik of Northwind Perennial Farm (click link to view recording)

May 15: Bringing the Savanna Home by Julia Bunn of The Spirited Gardener (click link to register)

 

 

July 2022

Jul
23

Tour 10 Lively Native Gardens in Oak Park and River Forest

Saturday, July 23rd, 2022
to (Central Time)
Location - TBA, Oak Park, Oak Park, IL, 60302 Map

Public Welcome Paid Event

Buy Tickets at Eventbrite

Discover the beauty, versatility and dependability of native plants.

Tour 10 colorful, life-filled gardens in Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois, during our annual Birds, Bees & Butterflies Native Garden Tour July 23, 2022 from 1 to 5 p.m.

  WHAT YOU'LL LEARN: Meet 11 passionate and knowledgeable home gardeners who have been experimenting with and observing native plants for many years. They'll guide you through their gardens and answer your specific questions about native gardening. You'll learn about sustainable landscaping and rain gardens, and how they can reduce backyard flooding, including two neighbors who teamed up to solve water issues on both properties. You'll see creative ways to incorporate edible gardening and urban homesteading, complete with chicken coops. Some of our gardeners have lovingly designed every square inch of their yards themselves. Others have hired top native garden designers. You'll explore small gardens and large gardens, manicured looks and more carefree ones, and newly planted and mature established landscapes. Whether you're a beginning gardener or have more soil between your toes than you care to reveal, you'll walk away with practical, hands-on tips you can apply to your own yard. COST: $10 for West Cook Wild Ones members. $15 for non-members. Kids attend for free. Buy Tickets at Eventbrite TOUR MAP: Ticket holders will receive a tour map two days before the event. We recommend biking or driving; the locations are spread widely.   COVID-19 SAFETY MEASURES: Most gardens have a separate entrance and exit to encourage social distancing. JOIN THE MOVEMENT! Habitat loss is among the primary factors driving population declines of important local and migratory species. Each new native plant garden--no matter how small--can help support vital insects, birds and other wildlife. Learn about and help nurture the plants and animals that have lived here for thousands of years. At this tour, you'll also learn about our upcoming Fall Native Tree and Shrub sale, where you can purchase good quality native plants at affordable prices. You can also join our West Cook Wildlife Corridor (build link to corridor page): more than 800 gardeners in the near-west suburbs have pledged to grow native plants in support of it. You can, too! VOLUNTEER WITH US: You'll receive a free tour ticket. Native Garden Tour Volunteer Sign-up  BENEFITS OF NATIVE GARDENING: Discover the fun and satisfaction of native gardening. It's high-performance, yet lower-maintenance. Habitat loss is among the primary factors driving population declines of important local and migratory species. Each new native plant garden--no matter how small--can help support vital insects, birds and other wildlife. Among the many benefits are… --Eliminating the need for poisonous pesticides or expensive commercial fertilizers. --Reducing home energy consumption. --Helping reduce flooding after storms. --Decreasing the need for sprinklers and other outdoor water use. --Combating climate change by helping capture carbon dioxide from the air and storing it in your soil. --Providing essential habitat for birds, bees, butterflies and threatened pollinators. �"Offering fun for the whole family and all ages. PRESENTERS: West Cook Wild Ones, Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory and the Interfaith Green Network      

August 2022

Aug
21

A Brief History of American Trees

Sunday, August 21st, 2022
to (Central Time)

Public Welcome Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation

Please join us for "A Brief History of Trees in America" with Cindy Crosby

 

 

From oaks to maples to elms: trees changed the course of American history. Native Americans knew trees provided the necessities of life, from food to transportation to shelter. Trees built America's railroads, influenced our literature and poetry, and informed our music. Discover the roles of a few of our favorite trees in building our nation---and their symbolism and influence on the way we think---as you reflect on the trees most meaningful to you.

Register on Eventbrite: Click Here to Register for Cindy!

 

Speaker Bio:

Cindy Crosby is the author, compiler or contributor to more than 20 books. Her most recent book is “Chasing Dragonflies: A Natural, Cultural, and Personal History” (Northwestern University Press, 2020). Her recent full-color book of photographs and essays is “Tallgrass Conversations: In Search of the Prairie Spirit” with co-author Thomas Dean (2019). She is also the author of “The Tallgrass Prairie: An Introduction” (Northwestern University Press, 2017).

Cindy earned her master's degree in natural resources from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She is a Master Gardener, a steward for the Schulenberg Prairie at The Morton Arboretum and at Nachusa Grasslands, a NatureConservancy site with bison in Franklin Grove, IL. When she's not working in her garden, she speaks and teaches on natural history topics in the Chicago region. Cindy blogs each week at Tuesdays in the Tallgrass on Wordpress, and you can find her classes and events at www.cindycrosby.com.

October 2022

Oct
9

Volunteer Celebration

Sunday, October 9th, 2022
to (Central Time)

Public Welcome Free Event Chapter Social Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Lots of Physical Activity Drinking Fountains

VOLUNTEER CELEBRATION Thanks to you (our volunteers!) we made positive contributions to our communities and the environment during the last couple of very difficult years. We appreciate your generous offers of time and energy to our organization and the environment, so we would like to take an afternoon to give us all time to connect. After introductory remarks, we'll have light hors d'oeuvres, tea, coffee, and other non-alcoholic beverages. Then, we can mingle and chat. We'll have access to the outdoor patio for those who prefer to be outside (which is probably most of us).  Due to the size of the indoor venue, we will need to limit the number of guests, please RSVP early. If you do reserve a spot, and then can't make it, please cancel your reservation so that we can open it up for others.  Masks are optional. We will have doors open, and there will be access to the porch areas. To view the space, please visit Thatcher Pavilion's website. Please RSVP at Eventbrite by Thursday, October 6, 2022. We look forward to seeing you!