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January 2024

Jan
17

West Cook Chapter Board Meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Wednesday, January 17th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Members Only Free Event Chapter Board Meeting

Members are welcome to attend.  We will open with a brief period for member comment before commencing business.  If you are a paid member and would like to attend, please email us [email protected] for the Zoom link. Please include your Membership ID. Your ID can be found on your Membership Page. 

Jan
25

"Cultivating Change" with Lorraine Johnson

Hosted by Wild Ones National
This event has ended
Thursday, January 25th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Will be Recorded Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation

Explore how native gardening can address climate challenges in our next Wild Ones national webinar, “Cultivating Change” with author and activist Lorraine Johnson. Johnson has been researching and writing about environmental issues for three decades. Learn about the pivotal role of gardening as an act of stewardship in the face of climate and ecological challenges. Discover the profound connections between individual gardens and the broader world and learn how these green spaces can serve as catalysts for positive ecological and social change.  Join Wild Ones for a practical and insightful discussion on gardening's positive impact on the environment and our future. 

Virtual registrants will receive a link to watch the talk live as well as a link to the recording. The recording will only be available for a limited time. 

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Jan
28

West Cook Annual Member Meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Sunday, January 28th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Oak Park Main Library-Veterans Room, 834 Lake St, Oak Park, IL, 60302 Map

Members Only Free Event Chapter Meeting Chapter Social Hands-On/How-To Workshop Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Drinking Fountains

West Cook Wild Ones invites all members to our annual member meeting on Sunday, January 28, 2024 at 2:00 pm in the Veterans Room of the Oak Park Public Library-Main Branch.

First, A Little Business: We want to celebrate our accomplishments, plan for the year ahead, introduce new board members and celebrate departing board members. In 2023, we hosted nine virtual programs, our spring native plant sale enjoyed robust sales, our in-person native garden tour featured eleven beautiful gardens, our grant program helped fund 23 native gardens, and our membership grew to over 300 strong! 

Then, A Lot of Fun: None of our accomplishments would be possible without our members! We want to thank you for your support by offering a celebration featuring a garden design workshop with Jeremy Ohmes of Wild World Gardens.  Jeremy will give a brief presentation on basic native garden design followed by an opportunity to sketch up your own ideas for your garden. We will have materials on hand and Jeremy will be available to give us pointers.

We look forward to getting better acquainted in January! We will have time to chat with each other, and will offer snacks and some pretty terrific goodies to give away!

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February 2024

Feb
18

Bison Tales and Tallgrass Trails

This event has ended
Sunday, February 18th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation

Please join West Cook Wild Ones for "Bison Tales and Tallgrass Trails" with Cindy Crosby, author, educator and speaker extraordinaire on Sunday February 18, 2024 at 2:30 pm (Central Time).

Hear the story of how Illinois' original garden---the tallgrass prairie---has been shaped by bison. Learn how these charismatic megafauna are being restored to Illinois prairies. Listen to tales of their connections---both historical and contemporary---to some Native American tribes. Then, delight in discovering the ways bison have been portrayed in music, literature, art and popular culture as you view beautiful images of these fascinating creatures.

Banner Photo by Cindy Crosby

This presentation will not be recorded. Please register only if you can attend the live Zoom session on Sunday, February 18.

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.

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Feb
21

West Cook Chapter Board Meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Wednesday, February 21st, 2024
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Members Only Free Event Chapter Board Meeting

Members are welcome to attend.  We will open with a brief period for member comment before commencing business.  If you are a paid member and would like to attend, please email us [email protected] for the Zoom link. Please include your Membership ID. Your ID can be found on your Membership Page. 

March 2024

Mar
17

Container Gardening: Native Plants in Urban Landscapes

This event has ended
Sunday, March 17th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation

Please join West Cook Wild Ones for "Growing Native Plants in Pots in Urban Landscapes" with Dr. Jeremie Fant, of Chicago Botanic Garden on Sunday, March 17 2024 at 2:30 pm (Central Time).

Ever wondered about using native plants in containers? Urban botanist, Dr. Jeremie Fant has! He has been experimenting for 15 years with growing and overwintering native plants in containers on his Chicago balcony. Dr. Fant will share his experiences and techniques with us.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Fant is Director of Conservation at Chicago Botanic Garden and also an avid urban gardener who has been growing natives in containers for over 15 years. Dr. Fant is a molecular ecologist using genetic tools to study ecological questions. His lab studies genetics of rare plants, how pollinators drive plant genetics, restoration genetics and the role of botanic gardens in restoration. He got his Ph. D. from the Department of Genetics at the University of Cambridge (UK). After obtaining his doctorate, Dr. Fant worked in the Conner Lab at Kellogg Biological Station at Michigan State University.

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Mar
19

"Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants" with Robin Wall Kimmerer

Hosted by Wild Ones National
This event has ended
Tuesday, March 19th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Online and in person at Reeve Union, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 748 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh, WI, 54901 Map
Live Stream Available

Public Welcome Limited Access Recording Paid Event Program/Speaker Presentation Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains Assistive Hearing

Registration for this event is now closed, and registrants have been emailed about attending. Please contact [email protected] if you have any issues getting in.

This will be a paid event for both in-person and remote viewing. Virtual registrants will receive a link to watch Dr. Kimmerer's talk live as well as a link to the recording. The recording will only be available for a limited time. 

Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
Ecological restoration can be understood as an act of reciprocity, in return for the gifts of the earth. This talk explores the ecological and ethical imperatives of healing the damage we have inflicted on our land and waters. We trace the evolution of restoration philosophy and practice and consider how integration of indigenous knowledge can expand our understanding of restoration from the biophysical to the biocultural. Reciprocal restoration includes not only healing the land but our relationship to land. In healing the land, we are healing ourselves.

Wild Ones is excited to cohost this event with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh's Earth Week 2024 and the Wild Ones Fox Valley Chapter. 

April 2024

Apr
10

West Cook Chapter Board Meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Wednesday, April 10th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Members Only Free Event Chapter Board Meeting

Members are welcome to attend.  We will open with a brief period for member comment before commencing business.  If you are a paid member and would like to attend, please email us [email protected] for the Zoom link. Please include your Membership ID. Your ID can be found on your Membership Page. 

Apr
14

The Periodical Cicada: Coming to a Neighborhood Near You

This event has ended
Sunday, April 14th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Family Friendly Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation

Please join West Cook Wild Ones for "The Periodical Cicada: Coming to a Neighborhood Near You" with Dr. Fredric Miller, a Senior Scientist at The Morton Arboretum on Sunday, April 14 2024 at 2:30 pm (Central Time).

2024 will be a unique year as the 17-year periodical cicada will be emerging throughout northern Illinois. This is a short, but very interesting entomological event worth enjoying. In this presentation we will discuss the fascinating biology and feeding habits of the periodical cicada, egg laying preferences, susceptible woody plant species, and potential for damage to young trees and shrubs, and natural pruning of mature trees. Practical management methods will be presented for both members of the green industry and homeowners

Dr. Fredric Miller is Senior Scientist - Entomology at The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois and currently serves as the acting Illinois DNR Forest Health specialist. 

He received his B.S.F. in Forest Management from the University of Missouri, a M.S. in Forest Entomology from the University of Arkansas, and a Ph.D. in Urban Forest Entomology, with a minor in Plant Pathology, from Iowa State University.

His applied research focuses on insect pests, pathogens, and abiotic factors affecting urban and rural forests, and EAB population dynamics. He is actively involved with the Illinois chapter (IAA) of the ISA and the National Walnut Council (NWC).

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May 2024

May
5

2024 Spring Festival at Thatcher Woods Pavillion

This event has ended
Sunday, May 5th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Thatcher Wood Pavilion,, 8030 Chicago Ave, River Forest, IL, 60305 Map

Public Welcome Free Event Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

West Cook Wild Ones hosts an information table as we celebrate spring with the Forest Preserve of Cook County. Click to learn more about this event.

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May
14

West Cook Chapter Board Meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Tuesday, May 14th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Members Only Free Event Chapter Board Meeting

Members are welcome to attend.  We will open with a brief period for member comment before commencing business.  If you are a paid member and would like to attend, please email us [email protected] for the Zoom link. Please include your Membership ID. Your ID can be found on your Membership Page. 

May
19

Parkway Plantings: Native Gardens in Urban Zones

This event has ended
Sunday, May 19th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation

Please join us for "Parkway Planting: Native Gardens in Urban Zones" with Judy Klem and Stephanie Walquist on Sunday, May 19, 2024 at 2:30 pm (CT).

Find out how to turn your parkway/hellstrip, also known as that dried out, compacted narrow bit of land between the sidewalk and the road into a gardening opportunity! Two experienced native plant gardeners will give you a virtual guided tour of their stunning parkway gardens and share tips, challenges and successes in turning this challenging area into habitat.

Judy's Garden

With four kids and a desire to enjoy a healthy landscape, we embarked on a long journey to reduce our turf grass lawn and convert it into a natural landscape. What began as a small patch on our bungalow's front yard, it expanded to encompass almost the entire parkway on our corner lot along a busy road. 

The parkway is now fully planted with about 75% native plants, grasses, and sedges. Because of the location, we added a curvy footpath to invite neighbors and passersby to explore the 4 seasons of textures, colors, and scents. In the peak of summer and late fall, there is a flurry of activity from all the flying friends: butterflies, birds, and bees know they have a healthy buffet to graze while on their outdoor adventures. 

Stephanie's Garden

My parkway began as a way to transform lawn to a more biodiverse space and as a place to evaluate plants to recommend to others who want to utilize the parkway space. I used the lasagne method to create the garden bed (I know there has been some research that demonstrates this is no longer best practice); over the years, the sun conditions have changed as the parkway tree matures and creates more shade. Currently, one end of the garden is shade plants while the other end transitions to part sun. Responsive to the busy sidewalk and dogs, I am careful about plantings that border the sidewalk and keep plants near the height requirements. The garden is an important place for pollinators, and the plants used are visited by some rare bee species. 

Judy Klem Bio

Judy Klem is the Executive Director of the non-profit Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory. In her role with The Friends, Judy manages the organization that provides volunteers, education programming, and grants to support the Oak Park Conservatory. 

Judy is also President of the Board for Oak Park Temple providing vision and leadership to this thriving congregation. 

As a long-time 20-year resident of Oak Park, Judy has been able to pursue her passion for experimenting and learning about native plants in her home garden, at Oak Park Temple’s garden, and as a planner for the West Cook Wild Ones native garden walk for 5 years. 

Stephanie Walquist Bio

Stephanie Walquist is co-founder of Wild Ones West Cook. Butterflies taught her the importance of native plants and rethinking traditional garden maintenance over 20 years ago; native bees are teaching her more lessons as well. She loves to keep learning by trying out new plants and identifying the many animals that come into the yard. 

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June 2024

Jun
6

Native Plant Sale Pick-Up

This event has ended
to (Central Time)
FPCC Central Maintenence Compound, 2199 S 1st Ave, Maywood, IL, 60153 Map

Public Welcome Family Friendly Seed/Plant Sale

Liven Up Your Landscape with Beautiful Native Plants

Preorders: March 15-May 15, 2024

Two Pick-Up Locations:

Forest Preserve District of Cook County Central Warehouse, 2199 S. 1st Ave,  Maywood, IL.
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, 12545 W. 111th St., Lemont, IL. 

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Jun
23

Edibles & Natives: Incorporating Native Plants into Vegetable Gardens

Sunday, June 23rd, 2024
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation

Please join us on Sunday, June 23, 2024 at 2:30 pm for, "Edibles & Natives: Incorporating Native Plants into Vegetable Gardens," with Jeremy Ohmes of Wildwood Gardens.

Every garden deserves native plants, and that includes vegetable gardens. In this presentation we'll talk about why it's important to incorporate native plants into your edible garden. From attracting more pollinators and other beneficial insects to increasing water retention and improving soil, native plants are an edible garden's best friend and there's no reason not to grow them together. Natives! Edibles! Native Edibles! We'll discuss all of it!

Speaker Bio

Jeremy Ohmes is a Chicago-based gardener who believes gardens can be meaningful spaces for healing and connection. For many years, he stretched out his green thumb with vegetables and herbs and then he discovered the need for more backyard biodiversity. He planted native plants around his edibles and replaced his front lawn with a pollinator garden. He got some strange looks from his neighbors. But he also received a lot of interest from friends and curious passersby. In 2019 Jeremy started Wild World Gardens to share his love of gardening with others and to help them transform their landscapes into beautiful and beneficial ecosystems filled with food, medicine, habitat, and connections to local wildlife.

Wild World Gardens is a landscape design company focused on native plants, pollinator gardens, rain gardens, organic vegetable gardens, and therapeutic horticulture. We believe the most beautiful gardens are the most beneficial gardens—those that create habitat for wildlife, support the health of your local ecosystem, and nurture your well-being as well. We offer garden design, consultation, installation, and stewardship. We love transforming landscapes into sustainable, biodiverse sanctuaries filled with food, medicine, habitat, and connections to the creatures in your yard.

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July 2024

Jul
27

Birds, Bees & Butterflies: A Native Garden Tour

Saturday, July 27th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Various Addresses in Oak Park and Berwyn, IL, Oak Park, IL Map

Public Welcome Family Friendly Paid Event Home Garden Tour

Discover the beauty, versatility and dependability of native plants. Tour 9 colorful, life-filled gardens in Berwyn and Oak Park, Illinois, during our annual Birds, Bees & Butterflies Native Garden Tour July 27, 2024 from 1 to 5 p.m.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:

Meet 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.
You'll get to see gardeners' favorite native plants and hear how they change throughout the seasons.
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.

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