September 2013 Edition


September 2013 Edition

A note from our Chapter President

Wild Ones is growing rapidly! We’re excited by the enthusiastic response to our new West Cook chapter and the turnout at our first two meetings. There are many great events and interesting speakers planned for the months ahead. So keep an eye out for our emails and stay connected by liking our Wild Ones West Cook Facebook page.  If you’re not a member yet, you can join online at  Together we can make a difference by creating a wildlife corridor and providing habitat for the species that need our help.

Thanks for all you do,



Green Living Tour 2013


Let’s go a little wild on September 28th and visit the native side of Oak Park during the Green Living and Learning Tour 2013. This stop on the all-day tour serves as the West Cook Chapter Wild Ones September meeting; all are welcome to attend the event and/or to join the local chapter. Wild Ones promotes the use of native plants in landscaping in order to save eco-systems that nurture bees and butterflies – and vice versa.

On September 28th, starting at noon, visit Cheney Mansion in Oak Park and explore the potager (kitchen garden) there. Our host, Charlie Ruedebusch, will lead a guided tour of the Cheney garden from 1 to 2 p.m, describing how the garden has evolved over the past ten years and sharing the joys and benefits (and pop a few myths) of choosing native  lantings in the home landscape. Native plants attract beneficial insects to help pollinate the vegetable garden. Bring a few small paper bags and a pen – you’ll get to collect seeds of the native plants you most desire in your garden.


After Charlie’s tour, at 2:30 p.m. we’ll bicycle across Oak Park searching out food sources for bees, butterflies, and birds. This means finding gardens that have native plantings that serve these creatures well. Bees and butterflies sniff out the fragrance from the nectar of native plants because it’s a fragrance they’ve smelled for thousands of years. Birds chomp greedily on the seeds of these same plants. On our bike trip we’ll admire the diversity of these hardy natives and how well they manage in our soil. Parks, schools and churches offer great opportunities to use green space to feed the creatures that work so hard pollinating the food humans eat. Our bicycle tour will make stops at Scoville Park, Jackson Boulevard parkway, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Elmwood Street, Beye School and more.
The tour route will be published (check here for updates) so that automotive vehicles may stop by these locations as well. From big to small, parkway to front yard, all native to mixed plantings – you’ll see a variety that will inspire you to add some diversity to your garden. We also hope to have some sightings of butterflies, birds, and bees. Biking leisurely to find these treasures will be our only goal for the afternoon. Join us and feel the simple pleasure of going native.
As told to GCC by West Cook Chapter co-Founder Ginger Vanderveer.


Save the date

Save the date for Sunday October, 13.  Dr. Neafsey from Save the Prairie Society will speak about the history of Wolf Road Prairie (Westchester, IL), its restoration, the plants, and appropriate native plants in the home landscape.   The presentation will be held at Dominican University.

It is accessible by public transportation, bike, and we can also set up car-pooling too.

We’ll send you more information closer to the event.

Don’t forget the Wild Ones 2013 Photo Contest

The 2013 Photo Contest pictures are all uploaded to the members’ only webpage and ready for you to review. Please scan through these photos and vote for your favorite. This year we have 170 great photos so it may be very difficult to pick your favorite.You have until September 23rd to place your vote for the 2013 People’s Choice winner.  Here is a direct link to the voting page: