The September 7th Birds, Bees & Butterflies: A Native Garden Tour hosted by West Cook Wild Ones and Green Community Connections drew more than 140 experienced and beginner native plant gardeners and those wanting to learn what this was all about. They came from near (Oak Park, River Forest, Forest Park, Berwyn and Cicero) and farther—Plainfield, Downers Grove, Elk Grove Village and various parts of Chicago — to visit 11 residential and public gardens. More than 40 homeowners, master gardeners, volunteers, sponsors and Forest Preserve staff members also helped to make the afternoon a rich, educational – and fun! – event.
The West Cook Wild Ones Wildlife Corridor also received a lot of attention at the event, and more people pledged their gardens to be part of it. The Wildlife Corridor is envisioned as a contiguous swath (at least 2 per block) of native gardens in residential and public spaces from Columbus Park in Chicago to Thatcher Woods in River Forest. Watch for more detail and ways to be involved in this unique and important project which will be coming soon.
After the garden tour, we informally surveyed participants and volunteers. We thought we’d share some of their enthusiasm, in hopes that through the upcoming, long winter, you might get inspired to plan some new native plantings in your own yard: