Chapter Events

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January 2017


Owls - The Silent Hunters

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017
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Special meeting day.  Do to library scheduling conflicts our meeting program will take place on the second Tuesday- January 10 2017 
We?ve all heard the haunting call of owls at twilight ? can you name the species you hear?  Could you identify the elusive bird if you were lucky enough to see it? 
Lake County Forest Preserve District environmental educator Eileen Davis will help us learn about the mysterious life of this fascinating bird of prey, who's specialized feathers, beaks and talons help them rule the food chain. This is a wonderful opportunity for adults and children to get a close-up look at a live owl in addition to other owl educational tools. 
Our speaker, Eileen Davis  has worked in the field of environmental education for 19 years and teaches a wide variety of nature-related topics for groups ranging from preschool through adult. Her areas of special interest include birds, native plant landscaping and gardening.
Families Welcome. No fee or registration required. 

February 2017


Urban and Suburban Meadows: Bringing Meadowscaping to Big and Small Spaces

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017
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With over 48 million acres of lawn in the U.S., Urban & Suburban Meadows is a film aimed at helping people just say NO to thirsty, pesticide ridden, energy consuming lawns. 

This independent film outlines the problems caused by the extensive planting of pesticide-ridden, non-native grass lawns across America.  Meadow experts Michael Nadeau, Larry Weaner, and Neil Diboll walk the viewer through meadow site preparation, design, planting, and maintenance. Plus Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, explains the intricate connection between native plants, native insects, and the soil food web. 
Author and photographer, Catherine Zimmerman combines her expertise in photography, storytelling, environmental issues, horticulture, and organic practices to offer meadowscaping as an alternative to reduce lawn.  The film brings into focus the amazing diversity of life inhabiting meadows and prairies and the beautiful imagery inspires meadow and prairie creation! 
Families Welcome. No Fee or registration required. 

March 2017


A Wealth of Possibilities for Native Shade Gardens

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017
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Diversify the shady spots in your yard! Do away with hostas as you discover the many beautiful native woodland plants, shrubs and trees that thrive in shade. Showing the delightful spring ephemerals, summer blooming plants, and trees and shrubs that provide interest in all seasons, this program will expand the possibilities for your shade gardens.
Peggy Simonsen of Citizen's for Conservation, has been diversifying her shady yard with native plants for over 20 years. From encouraging remnant species to seeking rare trilliums, she has almost 200 species of native plants in her yard. Peggy will show photos of woodland gardens with beautiful plants and discuss the conditions in which they thrive. 
Speaker: Peggy Simonsen 
Peggy Simonsen is past president of Citizen's for Conservation (CFC), a volunteer-driven land trust in Barrington, Illinois with the mission of "Saving Living Space for Living Things." As president she led the Board of Directors and oversaw the multi-faceted work of the organization. She is a frequent restoration volunteer on CFC preserves and is co-chair of CFC's Native Plant sale, which is annually in May. Peggy now heads CFC's Community Education Committee. The committee manages the Habitat Corridors program, which provides assessments and recommendations to homeowners for improving habitat and increasing biodiversity on their property.


Families Welcome. No fee or registration required.

April 2017


Using Natives to Create a More Traditional-Looking Suburban Landscape

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017
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Due to the April 4 election day our meeting program will take place on Tuesday April 11, 2017.  
April Nielsen will share her passion for using native plants in the home landscape. This presentation will provide plenty of ideas and suggestions for landscaping your space with emphasis on creating a more tended, traditional look including example layouts, pointers for hydrology and sizing, plus recommended native plant lists. 
April is a environment manager with Integrated Lakes Management working with municipalities, Lake County Forest Preserve District, homeowner associations and private residents in the restoration of their lands or waters. 
Families Welcome. No fee or registration required.

May 2017


Water Doesn't Lie: A Native Plant Solution to Drainage Problems

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017
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Stormwater runoff is a major cause of water pollution in urban areas. It can bring on erosion and flooding in urban streams, damaging habitat, property, and infrastructure. Rain gardens and bioswales can be a simple and beautiful solution to slowing, collecting, and filtering stormwater while providing needed habitat for wildlife.
Jim Futransky and Amy Dickinson faced standing water and a flooded basement after every heavy rain. They turned to bioswales and native plant rain gardens to solve their problems. Join us for an evening with Amy and Jim as they share their story about the challenges they faced and how they successfully found a solution to their flooding issues.
Speakers: Amy Dickinson & Jim Futransky
Families welcome. No fee or registration required.

June 2017


A Walk with the Wild Ones: Illinois Beach State Park North and Spring Bluff Nature Preserve

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017
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This is the third in our series of walks at the Illinois Beach State Park with our guide, IBSP steward Don Wilson.
Meeting at North Point Marina, our walk this time will begin at IBSP north and then move on to Spring Bluff Nature Preserve. Both are part of the Ramsar certified Chiwaukee-Illinois Beach Lake Plain.
As we move through oak woodlands, sand prairie ridges, wetlands, and along a portion of Dead Dog Creek we should see migrating birds, hear the singing of frogs and toads nearing the end of the mating season and view a variety of spring flowering plants that include puccoons, sand cress, marsh marigolds, shooting stars, and possibly lupines. 
Bring your binoculars! Marsh birds and some flowers may be in inaccessible areas. We will be on a grass path as we move through the wetlands. Long pants and socks are suggested as well as repellant.

We will be meeting in the North Point Marina parking lot. 
Directions:  Sheridan Road to 7th St in Winthrop Harbor. Take 7th St east to North Point Marina. At the stop sign turn right and then turn into the first parking area on the right.   
Families Welcome  No fee or registration required


The Buzz on Native Bees

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
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While there is quite a buzz these days about protecting our honeybees  many people don?t realize the importance of our native bee populations. There are over 20,000 named species of bees in the world, and 4,000 of these species are found in the United States.  In the Chicagoland region alone, there are over 400 named bee species which include bumble bees, leaf cutter bees, sweat bees, carpenter bees and squash bees, to name just a few.  
Native bees are a vital part of our ecosystem, and they have an especially important relationship to our native plants. Just like honeybees, a number of factors including pesticides, habitat loss and climate change are contributing to the decline of native bees.  It is essential that individuals and organizations learn more about our native bees and what we can do to protect them.  One example is the rusty patched bumble bee, Bombus affinis, which is now listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 
Current bee conservation efforts, such as and the U.S.G.S. Bee Monitoring and Inventory Lab, are helping to identify native bees and monitor their populations.  Find out what you can do in your own gardens to help protect and conserve these beautiful creatures that are an essential element of our ecosystem. 
Jean Foley has her Bachelor?s degree from Northern Illinois University.  She works at the College of Lake County where she recently completed an Associate?s Degree in Horticulture Production and is now working towards a Landscape Design Certificate.  Through her studies, she has had the opportunity to be involved in research on native plants and their pollinators. Jean is very interested in spreading the word about the importance of native bees, as well as native plants.
Speaker: Jean Foley

Families Welcome. No fee or registration required

July 2017


Made in the Shade

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017
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Due to the July 4th holiday our meeting program will take place on Tuesday July 11, 2017
Shady yards can be lovely sanctuaries for people, birds, butterflies, and a host of other wildlife. They can also present significant challenges. Learn the secrets of using native plants to enhance your shady and woodland garden areas and landscapes in this presentation with  Charlotte Adelman and Monica Buckley.
Charlotte is the co-author of The Midwestern Native Garden and it's companion book,  Midwestern Native Shrubs and Trees: gardening alternatives to non native species, her newest publication. Books will be available at the meeting.

Monica Buckley, is owner of Red Stem Native Landscapes Inc., a company located in Chicago that designs, installs, and cares for native plant gardens. 
Speakers: Charlotte Adelman and Monica Buckley
Families Welcome No fee or registration required

September 2017


Bees, Bugs and Butterflies

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017
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We all have them in our backyards, but have you really looked at and studied them? Using macro photography, this presentation will give you an unbelievably close-up view of the many different species to be found here in Lake County, Illinois. With some scientific facts added to the mix, you will come away with a greater appreciation for the insects we live with but often never see.
Joan Sayre first took up photography 10 years ago and is a member of the Riverwoods Nature Photographic Society. Since then, she has had her nature prints appear in Lake County exhibits and publications and has several of her photographs on permanent display at the Lake County Forest Preserves headquarters. Each year, Joan and her husband Jim donate hundreds of photographs to Conserve Lake County and the Lake County Forest Preserves for educational purposes and for use in printed materials.  Joan gives frequent presentations to Garden Clubs, the Audubon Society, Wild Ones, Citizens for Conservation, church groups, and to organizations dedicated to conservation and planting with native specie.
Families Welcome. No fee or registration required. 


A Walk with the Wild Ones: Reed-Turner Woodland Preserve

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017
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Reed-Turner Woodland is a preserve that is ideal for nature walks, birding, and photography.  The beauty of this site is its extensive array of flora and fauna.  There is something in bloom from April way into the fall. 
Thousands of years have passed since the retreat of Ice Age glaciers.  The ravine topography of what is now the Reed Turner Woodland has actually changed little since then. Oaks and hickories dominate the upland areas while the floodplain contain basswood, black walnut and a restored sedge meadow. Adding to the preserve's diversity is a small prairie restoration started in 1965 by Barbara Turner. Over 116 species of birds have been observed in the preserve.  
Birds, woodland mammals, fall wildflowers, beautiful trees,?...what a lovely way to spend an early fall morning! Bring your binoculars. Walking will be on wood chip paths with some incline as we hike up and down the ravine.  

Guide:  Sarah Schultz, habitat restoration volunteer for the Lake County Forest Preserve District and Reed-Turner Woodland Preserve.
Families Welcome. No fee but registration is required. RSVP by 9/18/17

October 2017


Growing Natives Through Seed Collecting

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017
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Jim Keenan, Chairman of The Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee will be presenting an overview of the collecting, processing, and sowing of seed collected from local sources.  Information will be provided on readiness for harvesting,  the tools and techniques used and the process for drying, cleaning and storage of seeds. 

Jim?s presentation is based on his experience hand collecting seed with a local seed sharing group and with the McHenry County Conservations District.  He began with the seeding of his 4 acre prairie restoration 14years ago, and now has over 170 species of native plants growing in what had been a corn/bean field.  Photos of his and other plantings from local seed sources will be shown to illustrate.
About our speaker
After retiring from 33 years of teaching physics, Jim Keenan turned his energy and attention to prairie reconstruction on a farm field adjoining original remnant prairie. He obtained his Ecological Restoration Certificate from the McHenry County Conservation District, and has worked with their native plant ecologist since the start of the district?s volunteer seed collecting program.  

Jim also works with The Land Conservancy (TLC) on their seed sharing day; collecting, processing and mixing seed distributed to members doing restoration on their properties. He is chairman of the Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee (WPPC), which has an annual Native Plant Seminar, a Spring Plant Sale, a mentoring program, school grant program, and ?Walks on the Wild Side? tours for the general public. 
Families Welcome   No fee or registration required