Dear <<First Name>> 

June 28th: The Power of Observation: Making and Keeping a Nature Journal with Local Artist Sallie Wolf

Harness the powers of writing and observing nature (both of which have documented body and brain health benefits) by keeping a journal or sketchbook.  

In this workshop, we will create simple journal/sketchbooks and then explore different ways of working with them, in writing, drawing, and collage. These journals would be ideal for recording nature observations and keeping gardening notes.

No prior experience is required, and school-aged children are welcome if accompanied by an adult. If you already keep a journal or sketchbook, you might want to share your own sketchbook practice. All materials will be provided, and you are welcome to bring your own favorite drawing/sketching materials.

We will begin inside The Priory in Room 259 to make the journals and then move outside to begin to use them.

About Sallie Wolf:

Wherever she goes, Sallie Wolf takes her journal, fountain pen, ink, and watercolors. These are the tools she uses to record the world she sees. Her journals are a combination of an anthropologist’s field notes, a writer’s notebook, and an artist’s sketchbook.
Her children’s books grow out of these journals. Her most recent book is The Robin Makes A Laughing Sound: A Birder’s Journal, a collection of bird observations told in poetry, lists, questions, notes, and sketches.  Sallie lives in Oak Park, IL, where her garden is devoted to attracting birds. Her website is, and her studio is located at 331B Harrison St., in the Oak Park Arts District.

Where: Room 259, The Priory, Dominican University, 7200 W Division St., River Forest, IL (corner of Harlem and Division)
When: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM, June 28th, 2015

Free and open to the public

Upcoming July 19, 2015
Judy Pollack presents on Native Plantings to Attract Migratory Birds:


Living Landscapes Conference

The conference and the plant sale were great successes for us, especially since the conference was our first major one and run by all volunteers.  We were thrilled to see so many people care enough about the environment to come out and hear Dr Tallamy's forceful presentation.  Most of us have heard about how Tallamy found Chickadees feed their young 6,000-9,000 caterpillars over a 16 day period.  In his presentation, he showed us several of the caterpillars that chickadees fed their young, and so many of the caterpillars specialized on particular plants.  The point? There needs to be a large diversity of plants to support a large diversity of insects to support the rest of the foodweb and ecosystem services we derive from our ecosystems.  Pictures on our website: West Cook Wild Ones.  Mike Nowak's interview with him includes more details and facts that weren't in his presentation.  It's a nice complement to the lecture.  From the interview: Oaks can live to be 900 years old!

Some quick highlights:
  • 80-90% of a hummingbird's diet is insects
  • 90% of insects are specialists (meaning they can only eat a certain family of plants)
  • 23% of a bear's diet is insects (who knew?)
  • 230 species of North American species in danger of extinction
  • 92% of suburban space is lawn
  • We need to change the "plant fashion industry"
Media coverage:
  • Mike Nowak released his interview of Doug Tallamy, and also included segments from Dr Tallamy's presentation at the conference: Podcast or you can listen on the Green Diva's Green Radio Show this week at 1 pm: GDGD Radio
  • Deb Quantock McCarey mentioned West Cook Wild Ones and the conference in this article about butterfly gardening

Regional Backyard Habitat Corridor: Initial Meeting

One of the important events at the conference was a meeting that brought together more than 30 volunteers and representatives from organizations throughout the Chicago region to discuss how we can work together to create a regional backyard habitat corridor.  Participants offered their skills and brainstormed ideas on how to engage a large number of people in gardening with natives to create more habitat for birds, bees, butterflies, and other species.  By creating a corridor of gardens in backyards, schools, churches, and public spaces that link our preserves, we can each do our part to sustain biodiversity.  Are you interested in helping with this important effort?  Email and let us know if you’d like to be included in the next meeting.   

The Living Landscapes Conference was funded by a generous Communityworks grant from the OPRF Community Foundation.

Nurseries and Landscapers

We often get asked about where to get native plants and what landscapers to use who know about native plants and use eco-friendly maintenance practices. This last point is extremely important: the typical method of "scorched earth" ( as someone astutely put it) cutting, raking, blowing everything out of a garden is damaging to the soil and to the beneficial insects and therefore to the birds (no food left).  (Did you know fireflies NEED leaf litter when they are in the larval stage?). Photo: Butterflies like this Eastern Black Swallowtail overwinter as a chrysalis attached to a stem.  

You can go to our Resources page, and make sure they know that Wild Ones has sent you, and let us know how it goes.   If we have missed any nursery or landscaper, let us know.  A related note: Most of us also care that our plants be pesticide free; be careful when buying annuals or anything from the large box stores. Many have been treated with neonicotinoids.  Local stores like Green Home Experts and Good Earth have been carrying native plants grown and propagated responsibly.  

Native Plant Sale with Save the Prairie Society

Still looking for more native plants?  On June 28  at 1pm  Save the Prairie Society will be hosting Native Plants for Sale from Linda Loves Gardens at the Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester on the northern edge of Wolf Road Prairie. A wide variety of plants will be available. For further information, call 708-354-5512. Linda Walker was our speaker last February, and she showed us how to wintersow native seeds.  

Garden Tour Season Starts! 

Sugar Beet Edible Garden Potluck and Pechakucha
Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 6:00pm to 8:30pm
Oak Park Main Library- Veteran’s Room
Looking for a way to connect with other gardeners? 
Join members of the Sugar Beet Edible Garden Group for an informal potluck followed by three-minute talks and slideshows about members' gardens--bugs and all!
If you’d like to present your garden please contact Cheryl Munoz  Bring a dish to share and enjoy an evening of garden love!
Sugar Beet Edible 4th Annual  Edible Garden Tour
Saturday, July 25, 2015 - 10am - 3pm 
Enjoy a self-guided tour of over 10 area edible gardens.  Learn tips and tricks from local growers and connect with a vibrant network of people who are growing gardens to attract pollinators and feed their families!  Participants will enjoy activities for families and hand-on learning opportunities along the way.  
This year!  Boxed lunches from Sugar Beet Food Co-op will be available!  Buy your tickets now. 

Your Input is Needed.  You are Important to Us.  

Do you know of any speakers or presentations that you think would be relevant to Wild Ones?  Send an e-mail and let us know.  We are looking to plan for this later fall/winter.  Would you like to volunteer and connect more with like-minded people?  E-mail us and let us know what you would like to do.  We plan to be in the July 4th Parade in Oak Park, and we always have tabling opportunities and helping out with local public gardens--usually just light work, weeding, planting, collecting seed, eco-sensitive clean-up.   

Let's do some Garden Raising at Pilgrim Nursery School.  We need a few people with shovels to help us dig out some very tenacious groundcovers and put in a butterfly garden.  Send an e-mail and let's bring on the beauty!  

We'd love to hear from you. E-mail us at
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!  A lot more news there.   

Want to help WildOnes?

WildOnes is a 501c(3) Not for profit organization..

Together we can make a difference by creating a wildlife corridor and providing habitat for the species that need our help.

Thanks for your time and for your support of Wild Ones. You are receiving this e-mail because you came to one of our meetings or events.

Sincerely, The West Cook Wild Ones Team

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