Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St, Oak Park, 60304 Map
We could not survive without plants. Yet, the public largely overlooks this entire set of organisms. Children recognize conspicuous animals or the Nike swish, but will struggle to name more than a few plants. Chris Benda will introduce the concept of “plant blindness”: the inability to notice and understand the amazing diversity of plants that surround us every day. How can we change this trend? Chris will share his ideas.
Chris Benda is a botanist and past president of the Illinois Native Plant Society (2015-2016). A native of Minnesota, Chris moved to Illinois from California in 2004 and received a Master's Degree in Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign in 2007. He was a regional ecologist for the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory Update in southern Illinois from 2008-2012. Chris teaches the Flora of Southern Illinois at Southern Illinois University in the summer and a variety of classes at The Morton Arboretum. He is an accomplished photographer and author of several publications about natural areas in Illinois. He is also known as Illinois Botanizer and can be reached by email at [email protected].