Book Review: Braiding Sweetgrass

Book Review: Braiding Sweetgrass

Join a book discussion of "Braiding Sweetgrass" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Sponsored by the Forest Preserves of Cook County’s Nature Book Club.

This collection of essays was a favorite of GCC’s co-founder, Sally Stovall, who passed away a little more than a month ago. “It opened up a whole new way of looking at things,” she said about the book a few years ago, when she organized a five-week reading group around it. Later, in writing a brief review, Sally wrote, “The stories in each chapter have delighted and nurtured me in a way that I find hard to describe. From the first essay on, I have been sharing my enthusiasm for this book like an evangelist!”

Parts of Monarch Migration 'A Great Mystery'

Parts of Monarch Migration 'A Great Mystery'


When monarch butterflies migrate over 2,000 miles to Mexico during the winter, they head to the same places within the fir forests each year. This fact may not sound impressive, but the monarchs who fly to Mexico may be fourth generation butterflies who have never seen the mountain forests and do not have any living ancestors to lead the way from experience.
 
Doug Taron, chief curator at Chicago Academy of Sciences’ Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, will speak about the life cycle and migration of monarch butterflies at a West Cook Wild Ones monthly meeting from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 26, at the Oak Park Public Library Maze Branch, 845 Gunderson Ave.

A Dirty Deal for McKinley Park?

A Dirty Deal for McKinley Park?

It happened suddenly, almost overnight. Just 700 feet from young children playing, MAT Asphalt, LLC appeared on the southern border of McKinley Park, at 2055 W. Pershing Rd., in Chicago, in early 2018. The plant produces up to 890,000 tons of asphalt per year.

Almost as quickly, Neighbors for Environmental Justice (N4EJ) formed in response; they are a group of local citizens who claim the plant brings dust and fumes, which could damage children’s lungs, increase rates of asthma, and possibly worse.

Book Review: 'How to Be a Good Creature'

Book Review: 'How to Be a Good Creature'

Not many people would let a tarantula crawl across their hand and consider it a “magical” experience. Nor allow an octopus to grasp their arm with its suckers, but author Sy Montgomery did both, telling stories about the animals in “How to be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals.”

The Nature Book Club of the Trailside Museum of Natural History will hold a free discussion of “How to Be a Good Creature” at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2. The museum is located at 738 Thatcher Ave. in River Forest. For details, contact 708-366-6530 or trailside.museum@cookcountyil.gov. “How to Be a Good Creature” is a New York Times bestseller, and Montgomery is a National Book Award finalist.

Book Review: A Sand County Almanac

Book Review: A Sand County Almanac

If you curl up with A Sand County Almanac by a window, you may soon be looking outside and seeing a passing dog as a “professor” of scents. You may imagine how if a nearby chickadee worked, it would have a “Keep calm” sign above its desk. Aldo Leopold’s classic book combines such memorable and humorous observations of flora and fauna on his Wisconsin sand farm, as well as his thoughts and philosophy on conservation.

Add a Green-Themed Activity to Your Block Party

Add a Green-Themed Activity to Your Block Party

Planning a block party in Oak Park for July, Aug or Sept? Check out these green-themed “show & tell” activities offered by Green Community Connections and partners.

Explore the Magical World of Native Plants

Explore the Magical World of Native Plants

Have you ever walked by a beautiful garden brimming with blooms and butterflies and thought, I wonder how they did this? The upcoming Birds, Bees & Butterflies Native Garden Tour in Oak Park and River Forest will give you a chance to satisfy your curiosity and talk to the people behind their own gardens. Passionate native plant enthusiasts, master gardeners, professional designers and experienced naturalists will guide you through 12 enchanting gardens that creatively incorporate native plants.

It's Time to Plan a Green Event for Your Block Party!

It's Time to Plan a Green Event for Your Block Party!

Spring has sprung, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming.

Host a green show & tell event at your block party to explore ways we can do our part to support Mother Nature. You can choose from one of the following topics offered by Green Community Connections and friends or design your own event.

Review: ‘The Genius of Birds’ by Jennifer Ackerman

Review: ‘The Genius of Birds’ by Jennifer Ackerman

If you’ve ever wondered about pigeons’ navigational abilities, parrots’ linguistic skills or the musical memory of mockingbirds – and even if you haven’t -- it might be time to pick up a copy of The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman.

Students Create Monarch Garden at Morton Freshman Center

Students Create Monarch Garden at Morton Freshman Center

Students at Morton High School worked to solve the real-world problem of the declining monarch population by building a 5,000-square-foot monarch habitat and native garden at the Freshman Center in late April.