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November’s Program and Seed Swap

West Cook Wild Ones will bring Jack MacRae, a Naturalist from the DuPage Forest Preserves, to present “Behind the Scenes at a Wild Animal Hospital."  This presentation gives a look at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center, the oldest and largest wild animal hospital in the U.S. Mr. MacRae will speak to us about the animals that come to the rehabilitation center, what happens to them while in care, and about what we can do to help out the wildlife in our region.  

Willowbrook Wildlife Center opened in 1952 as a rehabilitation and refuge center for injured and orphaned animals, and in 1983, it added an education facility.  You can visit the more than 80 live permanently injured animals that are native to IL there (including birds, foxes, and eagles).  Mr. MacRae has spent more than 34 years in interpreting the natural and cultural history of the Chicago region.  

Free and open to the public; no RSVP required

When: November 16, 2014   2:30-4:30 pm
Where:  Room 259, The Priory, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division (corner of Division and Harlem, right next to Priory Park, NOT on the main campus), River Forest, IL
After the presentation, please feel free to bring your native seeds to share for an informal seed swap.  Bring envelopes and pen.  


October’s Program on Coyotes


We had a great turn-out with many people who were eager to learn about our urban coyotes.  Wildlife Biologists from Cook County Forest Preserves have been studying a group of coyotes out by O’Hare and have some interesting findings.  Most of the coyote diet is comprised of rodents, fruit, Canadian Geese, and white-tailed deer (domestic cats make up 1% of the diet).

Aggression to humans is very rare (1 vs 3 million/year by dogs) and is usually provoked by the human.  Nuisance coyotes are often created by people, generally by feeding wildlife or pets outdoors.  Usually these activities will attract rodents, which then attract the coyotes who prey upon them.  In fact, coyotes avoid humans when possible.  They will only attack untended small dogs and cats, so always make sure your small dog and cats are not unsupervised in the yard or off-leash in the woods.  

If you come across one, it is most likely identifying who is in its territory, or it could be a young coyote who now has to leave its pack and find its own territory. The packs are formed by a mated pair, who seem to remain monogamous, along with the current and past year’s litters; the older pups help to care for the new pups.  The Forest Preserves also follows and documents the health of the coyotes and other wild animals in our community for human safety.  Coyotes are a part of urban landscape, and they have figured out how to coexist with us.    

Plant Sale

Our 2nd annual plant sale is in the planning stages.  Please let us know if you would like to help out prior to the sale or during the sale.  We are also interested in hearing about what plants you think would be of interest to people.  Stay tuned for pre-ordering information.  

Doug Tallamy

Doug Tallamy will be here in June to speak about the importance of landscaping with native plants as an effective way to support biodiversity and the environment.  As with the sale, we will be sending more information soon.  There will be many volunteer opportunities with this very special event.  

Fall clean-up

Just a reminder that leaving your garden standing as much as possible offers many benefits to the overwintering species that share our yards.  Birds rely on the seeds/berries and cover that remain; many beneficial insects are also finding homes in our yards, whether it’s in hollow plant stems, in garden duff, under foliage, at the base of their host plants, or attached to a stem.

If you do have to cut something down (and it’s necessary sometimes), keep the cut material in your garden as much as possible; put it in little piles in places where they aren’t visible.  Eventually the material will decompose, enriching your soil and ensuring that beneficials will be able to complete their life cycles and perform their ecosystem services for you next year.  

Introduction to Biomimicry

Have you wondered how to make the leap from today to a sustainable future?

Biomimicry may be the answer!

Join others interested in developing a sustainable future for our families, neighborhoods, communities, and world at this interactive workshop on:

Sunday, November 9th
2:00 - 4:00 PM
Oak Park Conservatory
615 Garfield Street
Oak Park

Register online at: or by phone at: 773-315-1109
Cost is only $20

You will learn how biomimicry is rewriting the sustainability story in this interactive workshop guided by Rachel Hahs, a Certified Biomimicry Professional Candidate with a decade of public and private sector environmental and sustainability experience. Through an introductory presentation, hands-on activity and group discussion, you will gain an understanding of how to begin to apply the biomimicry methodology to the challenges we face in our homes, places of work and communities.

A cooperative offering from:

Your Input

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 next summer

We'd love to hear from you. E-Mail us at


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.

Sincerely, The West Cook Wild Ones Team

Copyright © 2014 West Cook Wild Ones, All rights reserved.