By Laurie Casey
People who are curious about easy, affordable ways to add beauty to their home landscapes or who want to attract more beneficial wildlife to their yards can attend the “Birds, Bees & Butterflies: A Native Garden Tour” from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, August 10, in Oak Park and River Forest.
Appropriate for beginning to advanced home gardeners, the tour will feature eight enchanting Oak Park and River Forest native gardens featuring Illinois native plants, including shade, sun and rain gardens, according to Pamela Todd, director of West Cook Wild Ones, the tour’s organizer.
“The world of native plant gardening is such an exciting, easy and satisfying way to add year-round interest and function to your yard,” says Todd. “These plants are highly adapted to our Midwestern growing conditions and don’t need a lot of fuss or extra watering once they are established. Plus, butterflies, birds and other beneficial wildlife use them for food and habitat, so it’s a two-for: you get to enjoy the beauty of the plants and the wildlife.”
At each stop on the tour, attendees can meet and learn from the passionate enthusiasts, inspired designers, ecology experts, master gardeners and naturalists behind the gardens. Attendees can discover easy, approachable ways to add beauty to their yards, fight climate change, save money on water bills, and create a healthier home for children and wildlife.
Advance tickets are $7 for members; $10 for non-members. Kids 18 and younger are free. Advance registration is available now at http://westcook.wildones.org. Participants can also register on the day of the tour at Trailside Museum at 738 Thatcher Ave. in River Forest. Day-of tickets are $12 for members; $15 for non-members.
“Birds, Bees & Butterflies: A Native Garden Tour” is a joint effort between the West Cook chapter of Wild Ones, PlanItGreen Environmental Sustainability Plan and the Interfaith Green Network. West Cook Wild Ones provides free monthly educational opportunities for home gardeners and organizes a Wildlife Corridor linking Thatcher Woods with Columbus Park through residential native gardens. Learn more about West Cook Wild Ones at www.facebook.com/wildoneswestcook and http://westcook.wildones.org/
The Interfaith Green Network is a faith-based sustainability initiative made up of the green teams from 20 area congregations working together to amplify our efforts to educate, inspire and motivate others to engage in caring for our common home.
PlanItGreen is a sustainability planning and implementation project seeded by the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation’s Communityworks Partnership. PlanItGreen engages residents, businesses, and institutions in implementing a two-community, ten-year sustainability plan for the Villages of Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois.