Green Living: Enjoy the Birds, Bees & Butterflies on a Native Garden Tour

Purple bee balm Green Community Connections and West Cook Wild Ones will present the first-ever “Birds, Bees & Butterflies: A Native Garden Tour” on Sunday, September 7, 2014, from 2:00 to 4:30pm.  The tour concludes with a Native Garden Fair, from 4:00 to 5:30pm at the Forest Preserve District of Cook County located at the northwest corner of Lake and Harlem in River Forest.  REGISTER NOW!

The Birds, Bees & Butterflies garden tour will feature 11 Oak Park and River Forest home and public landscapes that showcase various ways of integrating native plants, including:  starter gardens, full-fledged prairie gardens, gardens designed to attract wildlife, those that harness rain water, and plants that invite children's involvement in the garden. Unique plants for shade, sun, rain gardens, clay soil and other applications will also be highlighted.  Learn more about the specific gardens here.

A guided bike tour for a limited number of participants will be available.   Or design your own self-paced tour with family and friends on foot, by bike, or by car, rickshaw or other vehicle of your choice. A donation of $7 per adult is suggested to help cover costs.  Children are free.

Tour organizers want to encourage and support the rapidly growing interest in native plants and their important role in our ecosystem.  Here are 5 reasons to join the tour:

  1. Get inspired and meet others in the community who share an interest in native plants.

    Doug's parkway

  2. Learn how to get started with native plants if you've never used them before and get tips on maintaining a native plant garden.
  3. Learn how to integrate native plants into traditional landscaping.
  4. Find out where you can purchase native plants, and meet professionals who can help you.
  5. It will be fun!

The tour wraps up with a drop-in Native Garden Fair at the Forest Preserve District of Cook County General Headquarters at Lake and Harlem Avenues in River Forest from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Participants can enjoy refreshments, mingle with fellow native gardeners, learn more about native gardening and where to get native plants, obtain seeds to start now or in the spring, and sign up to be part of the exciting OPRF Wildlife Corridor, which will link Thatcher Woods with Columbus Park through residential native gardens.  There will also be games and children's activities.

Free parking is available behind the Forest Preserve headquarters building, accessible from Bonnie Brae Place, one block west of Harlem.

Participants can register and pick up a map on the day of the tour at Cook County Forest Preserve at the northwest corner of Lake & Harlem.

Advance registration and additional details are available HERE.

We are looking for volunteers to help us put on this fun event.  The volunteer slots are for various, short activities the day of the event.  Please help us make this first-ever OP/RF tour a success!

Sign up to volunteer NOW.

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