Living Landscapes Conference and Native Plant Sale Press Release


Doug Tallamy to Present at West Cook Wild Ones Native Garden Conference

For more information: contact Pam Todd or Stephanie Walquist at [email protected]

If you’re part of the rapidly growing number of gardeners and homeowners who have developed a passion for native plants, you’ll find all of the information, inspiration—and plants—you need at Living Landscapes, West Cook Wild Ones first native plant gardening conference. The conference is scheduled for 11 AM to 5 PM, May 17, 2015 at Lund Auditorium, Dominican University, 7900 W. Division St., River Forest, IL.

Keynote speaker is Doug Tallamy, PhD, who has captured national attention for his call to create a “Homegrown National Park”—a wildlife corridor of native plant habitat in our own backyards—in order to slow the rate of extinction of bird and butterfly populations. Our gardens, he says, may be “the last chance we have for sustaining plants and animals that were once common throughout the U.S.”

The conference provides a rare opportunity to attend 7 workshops in one day for every level of experience on gardening for butterflies and birds, rain gardens, roof gardens, native shrubs and rare plants for home landscapes, and more. The goal is to help homeowners become part of a local wildlife corridor of native plant gardens.

Getting started has never been easier, because you can pre-order native plants online from Wild Ones and pick them up on the day of the conference, May 17. Orders can be placed online from now until March 31, 2015 at

Early-bird prices on registration for the conference ($20 for non-members/$10 for members) are also in effect until March 31. The price will be increased to $25/$15 after that and $30/$20 at the door. Register online at

About Living Landscapes Native Garden Conference

The conference kicks off with a compelling presentation by Doug Tallamy, PhD, an entomologist who has helped make gardening with natives one of the top 10 trends of 2015. In his book Bringing Nature Home, Dr. Tallamy explains why using native plants in our landscapes is essential for saving our rapidly diminishing bird, bee, and butterfly populations and creating a healthy environment for humans and animals alike.   Dr Tallamy is Chair of the Entomology and Wildlife Ecology Department at University of Delaware, and co-author with Rick Darke of The Living Landscape, Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity.

After Dr Tallamy’s speech, there will be 7 workshops led by experts on a range of topics that are relevant for everyone, whether they’re just starting out or are experienced native gardeners. Speakers include Landscape Architect Trish Beckjord of Midwest Groundcovers on designing beautiful native gardens; PhD candidate David Lowenstein on beneficial insects for food gardens; Illinois Native Plant Society President Christopher David Benda on rare plants of the Chicago region for the home garden; Possibility Place Owner Connor Shaw on landscaping with native shrubs and trees; Landscape Designer Julia Bunn on rain gardens; Monica Buckley and Denise Sandoval on playing host to butterflies and moths; and Pizzo Marketing Manager Grace Koehler on native plants for green roofs.

The conference has been generously sponsored by Dominican University and the Oak Park – River Forest Community Foundation.

About Native Plant Sale

West Cook Wild Ones is also staging their second annual native plant sale, with orders due by March 31, 2015. Plants must be pre-ordered online. Pick-up is conveniently scheduled at Dominican on the day of the conference, May 17.

Plants are local eco-types (adapted to our soils, weather, precipitation levels) and will provide many ecosystem services (support beneficial wildlife, sequester carbon, manage storm-water, purify water, improve soils).  Please visit our site:

About Wild Ones

Wild Ones is a non-profit devoted to helping people create beautiful native plant gardens and landscapes to provide habitat for birds, bees, and butterflies, increase biodiversity, eliminate pesticides and reduce labor, energy, and water use.

West Cook Wild Ones, a chapter of the national organization, received a generous grant from the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation to engage citizens, schools, churches, and park districts in the creation of a wildlife corridor of native gardens connecting Thatcher Woods to Columbus Park. Along with their yearly conference, plant sale and native garden tour, West Cook Wild Ones hosts monthly meetings at Dominican University that feature compelling speakers, plant and seed exchanges, and “show me, help me” days.

Learn more at