Chapter Events

The chapter holds monthly programs on various topics related to native plants. The chapter also sponsors and organizes a variety of other events throughout the year. These include volunteer opportunities and social events. For full details about all of the chapter’s events, view the programs and events listed below. The Volunteer page lists the various activities where we need help from members.

Programs & Events are free and open to the public (unless otherwise designated as a members-only program).  Some of our programs are being held online via Zoom.  To register for a specific virtual program, visit the individual program links below.

Recordings of some of our past programs can be found on our YouTube Channel.

Events Archive: 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022 | 2023 | 2024 | Upcoming Events

March 2024

Mar
11

Board Meeting Members Only

Monday, March 11th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S Cottage Ave, Normal, IL, 61761 Map

Members Only Free Event Chapter Board Meeting Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking

Regular monthly board meeting

Mar
11

Dragonflies and Damselflies: The Garden's Frequent Fliers

Monday, March 11th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S Cottage Ave, Normal, IL, 61761 Map

Public Welcome Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

Note: This program will not be live-streamed or recorded.

Discover the fascinating and bizarre lives of these fliers--with plenty of group fun and lively interaction during the presentation. From their unusual life cycle of transformation, mystifying migratory habits, and their struggle for survival, there is plenty to discover and marvel about! Hear their cultural history, including some of the myths and superstitions that surround them. See close-up beautiful photography of some of our dragonflies in Illinois. Then discover how you can garden to attract these remarkable flying creatures.

Presenter Bio:

Cindy Crosby is the author, compiler or contributor to more than 20 books. Her most recent book is “Chasing Dragonflies: A Natural, Cultural, and Personal History” (Northwestern University Press, 2020). Her full-color book of photographs and essays is “Tallgrass Conversations: In Search of the Prairie Spirit” with co-author Thomas Dean (2019). She is also the author of “The Tallgrass Prairie: An Introduction” (Northwestern University Press, 2017). Cindy earned her master’s degree in natural resources from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She is a Master Gardener, a steward for the Schulenberg Prairie at The Morton Arboretum and at Nachusa Grasslands, a Nature Conservancy site with bison in Franklin Grove, IL.  When she's not out working in her garden, she speaks and teaches on natural history topics in the Chicago region. Cindy blogs each week at Tuesdays in the Tallgrass, and you can find her classes and events at www.cindycrosby.com.

The following books authored by Cindy Crosby will be available for purchase at this program.  Cash, check, and credit cards will be accepted forms of payment.

·    Chasing Dragonflies: A Natural, Personal, and Cultural History (Northwestern University Press) $25 (Sale price at event: $20).  

·    Tallgrass Conversations: In Search of the Prairie Spirit (Ice Cube Press), $25 (Sale price at event: $20).

·     The Tallgrass Prairie: An Introduction (Northwestern University Press) $20.

·     By Willoway Brook (Paraclete Press) $17.99 (Sale price at event, $15)

·     Waiting for Morning (Baker Book House) $15 

Mar
19

"Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants" with Robin Wall Kimmerer

Hosted by Wild Ones National
Tuesday, March 19th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Online and in person at Reeve Union, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 748 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh, WI, 54901 Map
Live Stream Available

Public Welcome Limited Access Recording Paid Event Program/Speaker Presentation Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains Assistive Hearing

This will be a paid event for both in-person and remote viewing. Virtual registrants will receive a link to watch Dr. Kimmerer's talk live as well as a link to the recording. The recording will only be available for a limited time. 

Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
Ecological restoration can be understood as an act of reciprocity, in return for the gifts of the earth. This talk explores the ecological and ethical imperatives of healing the damage we have inflicted on our land and waters. We trace the evolution of restoration philosophy and practice and consider how integration of indigenous knowledge can expand our understanding of restoration from the biophysical to the biocultural. Reciprocal restoration includes not only healing the land but our relationship to land. In healing the land, we are healing ourselves.

Wild Ones is excited to cohost this event with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh's Earth Week 2024 and the Wild Ones Fox Valley Chapter. 

Register Read More

April 2024

Apr
15

Board Meeting Members Only

Monday, April 15th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S Cottage Ave, Normal, IL, 61761 Map

Members Only Free Event Chapter Board Meeting Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking

Regular monthly board meeting

Apr
15

Plants of Concern: A Rare Plant Monitoring Program

Monday, April 15th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S Cottage Ave, Normal, IL, 61761 Map
Live Stream Available

Public Welcome Will be Recorded Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

Note:  This program will also be live-streamed and recorded.  Check back here closer to the program date for the link to join the livestream.

The unglaciated terrain of extreme southern Illinois is home to a variety of plant species not found in the rest of the state, making many of them rare in Illinois.  Yet the resources available to monitor and protect them are more limited.  To alleviate this, the Plants of Concern (POC) program based out of the Chicago Botanic Garden seeks volunteers to help monitor rare plants.  Housed in the Gibson lab at Southern Illinois University, coordinator Chris Benda organizes volunteer community scientists to monitor rare plants and report population data to POC, and ultimately, the natural heritage division at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  Join us as Chris explains the goals of the program and hopes for the future of the effort.

Presenter Bio:

Chris Benda is a botanist and past president of the Illinois Native Plant Society (2015-2016).  Currently, he works as a Researcher at Southern Illinois University, where he coordinates the Plants of Concern Southern Illinois Program and teaches The Flora of Southern Illinois.  Besides working at SIU, he conducts botanical fieldwork around the world, teaches a variety of classes at The Morton Arboretum and leads nature tours for Camp Ondessonk.  He has research appointments with the University of Illinois and Argonne National Laboratory, and is an accomplished photographer and author of several publications about natural areas in Illinois.  He is also known as Illinois Botanizer and can be reached by email at [email protected].

Chris plans on having some of his native plant-related merchandise for sale after this program.

May 2024

May
13

Board Meeting Members Only

Monday, May 13th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S Cottage Ave, Normal, IL, 61761 Map

Members Only Free Event Chapter Board Meeting Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking

Regular Monthly Board Meeting

May
13

Flower Bugs

Monday, May 13th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S Cottage Ave, Normal, IL, 61761 Map
Live Stream Available

Public Welcome Will be Recorded Program/Speaker Presentation Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

Note:  This program will also be live-streamed and recorded.  Check back here closer to the program date for the link to join the livestream

Extensive field surveys of flower-visiting insects over the past 6 years have revealed that many true bugs show preferences for one or more native plants. Using her background in plant ecology Angella Moorehouse has put together a book on “Flower Bugs” with hundreds of photos to aid in field identification along with information on the plant associations and how to find these bugs. Learn more about this book and highlights from it in this presentation. 

Presenter Bio:

Angella received a master’s degree in avian and plant ecology from Western Illinois University in Macomb. For the past 27 years she has worked as a field representative for the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission in west-central Illinois where she works with landowners to protect and manage high quality natural areas through permanent conservation easements. She was mentored in the field by several entomology professionals and acquired the skill of butterfly identification in the late 1990s. This passion later expanded to include other groups of insects with a focus on pollinators. Angella is an avid photographer and uses her photographs to document natural diversity and shares her enthusiasm for nature through educational outreach.

Angella hopes to have a limited number of copies of her book "Flower Bugs" available for purchase after the program.

May
18

Native Plant Sale

Saturday, May 18th, 2024
to (Central Time)
White Oak Township Community Buidling, 202 Lincoln St N, Carlock, IL, 61725 Map

Public Welcome Seed/Plant Sale Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

For more information, please visit https://illinoisprairie.wildones.org/nativeplantsale/

June 2024

Jun
10

Donovan Park: Program and Tour Members Only

Monday, June 10th, 2024
to (Central Time)

Members Only Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation Nature Walk/Hike Free Public Parking

Chapter members will be emailed information about this program.

July 2024

Jul
8

What You Should Know About Herbicide Drift

Monday, July 8th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S Cottage Ave, Normal, IL, 61761 Map

Public Welcome Limited Access Recording Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking

Herbicide drift is a major threat to health and integrity of our forest and prairie ecosystems.  Prairie Rivers Network has been monitoring and documenting herbicide injuries to broadleaf plants on both public and private lands for 6 years.  This presentation will provide background on the issue of herbicide drift, discuss the monitoring data and tissue analysis results, as well as provide insight into ecological consequences of chronic exposure to herbicide drift, especially to our trees, and discuss possible solutions to the issue.

Presenter Bio:

Kim Erndt-Pitcher is Prairie Rivers Network’s (PRN) Director of Ecological Health. She works with numerous partners around the state to protect the integrity of our ecological systems. She also leads PRN’s pesticide and pollinator habitat conservation programs.

She has worked for Prairie Rivers Network for over 12 years. Before coming to PRN she was a crew member and environmental educator at Living Lands and Waters based in Moline, Illinois, and she also worked as a technician with the USGS in Kansas City, Missouri. She has spent most of her career working to promote and advocate for the protection of biodiversity and the integrity of natural systems.

Kim has a B.A. in Biology and M.S. in Biology with a focus on Ecotoxicology from the University of Central Missouri and was a NSF IGERT Fellow - Watershed Science and Technology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

August 2024

Aug
12

Land Stewards: Thier Volunteer Work and Experiences

Monday, August 12th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S Cottage Ave, Normal, IL, 61761 Map

Public Welcome Program/Speaker Presentation Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking

Details TBA

September 2024

Sep
9

Bats of Illinois

Monday, September 9th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S Cottage Ave, Normal, IL, 61761 Map

Public Welcome Will be Recorded Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

Learn about the bats of Illinois in this presentation by Dr. Joy O'Keefe, including steps you can take to provide habitat for bats in your backyard or neighborhood. Understand threats to bats and simple ways you can help to protect your local bat populations. Hear about the international effort to count and monitor bats across North America and how to get involved with this program.

Presenter Bio:

Dr. O’Keefe is an assistant professor and wildlife extension specialist in natural resources and environmental sciences at UIUC. She has been studying bats for 23 years. Her research program tackles applied questions and yields solutions to conservation challenges facing imperiled bat populations.

October 2024

Oct
21

Monarchs vs Milkweeds

Monday, October 21st, 2024
to (Central Time)
Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S Cottage Ave, Normal, IL, 61761 Map

Public Welcome Program/Speaker Presentation Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

Details TBA

November 2024

Nov
18

Annual Meeting and Native Seed Exchange Members Only

Monday, November 18th, 2024
to (Central Time)
Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S Cottage Ave, Normal, IL, 61761 Map

Members Only Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

Details will be emailed to chapter members.