Some teens post on Instagram or tweet on Twitter. Henry Griffin also tweets…to real, actual birds. The Oak Park 17-year-old has become locally famous for leading bird walks during spring and fall migration seasons. He has been birding since a Cooper's Hawk flew into his backyard in 2012, when he was 11 years old.
As the lemony leaves of local trees blossom into a robust, dark green, we enjoy the aesthetic and spiritual benefits of ambling under this canopy.
But there are also scientific advantages to this glorious arbor. Morton Arboretum encourages Tree Tagging in order to understand the quantifiable benefits for each and every tree, both environmentally and monetarily.
This summer, Openlands will offer The TreeKeepers Program, a series of classes, at Austin Gardens Environmental Center, 167 Forest Ave., in Oak Park. Classes will be taught by world-renowned experts covering topics such as physiology, soils, pruning, planting, and mulching and will take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. throughout the month of June.
Looking for a way to keep warm this winter that doesn't involve you sitting in front of the TV in your pajamas? Join a new book club exploring John Muir, father of the National Parks and founder of the Sierra Club. The book club, sponsored by the Oak Park Park District, will meet once a month for three months on Tuesdays, Jan. 24, Feb. 21, and March 21, at Austin Gardens Environmental Education Center, 167 Forest Ave., in Oak Park. There is no charge, but please register here.
Who has not experienced delight and awe when they catch sight of a monarch butterfly? But the population of this beloved species has declined by 90 percent over the past 20 years. Communities locally and nationally are mobilizing to increase monarch habitat. That’s where you come in. It turns out that urban and suburban areas are the monarch’s best hope for recovery. Join us to launch this initiative on January 31st!
On August 17, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a group of civic leaders gathered at the WMS Boathouse on the banks of the north branch of the Chicago River to release Our Great Rivers, a vision produced through a community-wide collaboration led by the Chicago Community Trust, Friends of the Chicago River and the Metropolitan Planning Council.
If you have an irritating wet area in your yard or are trying to disconnect your downspouts, you won't want to miss Jeff Swano, owner of Dig Right In Landscaping, Inc., at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, at LaGrange Park Public Library, 555 N. LaGrange Rd. He will describe what causes drainage problems and present solutions in his presentation, "Yard Drainage Problems," sponsored by Salt Creek Watershed Network.
We've all heard of capital. It's king, right? Plus, there's venture capital: wealth that creates new businesses. Human capital? Yep, we know that by the sweat on our brow.
And then there's natural capital. Ever heard of it? Paddy Woodworth, author of Our "Once and Future Planet," will come to Oak Park to help us understand the concept of restoring natural capital and how this idea is transforming the way the world values and uses nature.
The Village of Oak Park has been flooded with requests for rain barrels since announcing a new give-away program. Already, Environmental Services Manager Karen Rozmus has ordered 536 rain barrels from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago, the partner and financial backer for the project. Up to four 55-gallon rain barrels (in blue, gray, terra cotta or black) are available for each qualified household. The Village of River Forest also has a program that offers discounted rain barrels. Read on for more details. There are several benefits to using rain barrels.
Oak Park might become the second town in the country, and the first in Illinois, to be certified as an arboretum. Oak Park Village Forester, Robert Sproule, made this announcement on Sunday, March 22, at the meeting of The Learning Gardens of Oak Park. The Village of Oak Park in cooperation with the Park District of Oak Park submitted an application on March 13, to the Morton Arboretum to have the trees in the parks and on the parkways of Oak Park certified as an arboretum and are awaiting final approval.