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

January 2022

Jan
10

Board meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Monday, January 10th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Members Only Free Event Chapter Board Meeting

Board meeting

Jan
10

What is Wild and Why It Matters (Virtual Program)

This event has ended
Monday, January 10th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Limited Access Recording Free Event Chapter Meeting Program/Speaker Presentation

This virtual program will take place on Zoom.  To register for this program, click HERE.   We encourage you to register early as space is limited.  We also encourage you to submit questions for Rick Darke in advance of the program by using this FORM.  We will also be able to take some questions using the CHAT feature after the program. 

 Program Description: Inviting a bit of authentic wildness into your garden is the most rewarding way to create a truly vibrant landscape - one that will sustain both the gardener and a stunning array of regional biodiversity. Rather than maintaining plants in fixed patterns, the modern wild garden relies on the resiliency of managed, self-perpetuating plant communities. Rick Darke will explore the dynamic nature of wild gardening and will show how this approach is genuinely ecological and eminently practical for Midwest landscapes.    

Presenter Bio: Pennsylvania-based consultant, author and photographer Rick Darke's work is grounded in an observational ethic that blends ecology, horticulture and cultural geography in the design and care of living landscapes. His collaborative projects include parks, post-industrial sites, transportation corridors, conservation developments, botanic gardens and residential landscapes. His many books include The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, co-authored with Doug Tallamy, and Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes co-authored with Piet Oudolf. For further info visit: www.rickdarke.com. 

February 2022

Feb
14

Board meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Monday, February 14th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Members Only Free Event Chapter Board Meeting

Board meeting

Feb
22

Native Plant Q & A (Virtual Program)

This event has ended
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Will be Recorded Free Event Program/Speaker Presentation

Because we are meeting by Zoom, our members have not been able to chat with each other and get answers to their garden and native plant questions. We have scheduled a special Zoom panel discussion for Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m.   Register now for this program.

Our panel members and their expertise are:  

Cathy Bilow: landscape design  

Jack Pfaffmann: large scale restoration, trees & shrubs  

Sherrie Snyder: growing native plants from seed, removing invasive plants, selecting locally native plants for various landscape situations  

Pre-submit questions by Feb. 19 using this FORM. Pre-submitting questions will enable the panelists to prepare more complete answers.  If there is additional time, our panelists will also take questions from participants during the program.  

     

March 2022

Mar
14

Board meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Monday, March 14th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Members Only Free Event Chapter Board Meeting

Board meeting

Mar
14

50 Ways to Improve Habitat in Your Yard (Virtual Program)

This event has ended
Monday, March 14th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Will be Recorded Free Event Chapter Meeting Program/Speaker Presentation

This virtual program will take place on Zoom.  Register now for this program.  Program Description: Celebrating Citizens for Conservation's 50th anniversary, Peggy Simonsen created this program. She will share important ways to use shrubs, trees, native plants in all seasons, water resources and earth-friendly practices. The outcomes are welcoming habitat for birds, pollinators and other useful critters; improved water and air quality, and beautiful landscapes. Presenter Bio:  Peggy is the Chair of Citizens for Conservation's Community Education Committee, on the Board of Directors and former president of Citizens for Conservation. She is a frequent restoration volunteer and has improved habitat in her yard with over 200 species of native plants.  

Mar
26

Field trip to Mehl's Bluff Nature Preserve Members Only

This event has ended
Saturday, March 26th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Mackinaw River Wildlife Management Area, Mackinaw, IL, 61755 Map

Members Only Free Event Nature Walk/Hike Free Public Parking Lots of Physical Activity

We will be hiking in a deep, secluded ravine adjacent to the Mackinaw River and look for Snow Trillium, Blood Boot, Spring Beauty, Sharp-Lobed Hepatica and Dutchman’s Breeches. We might also spot deer,turkeys, eagles, and pileated woodpeckers.
Plan on hiking approximately 3 miles in 3 to 4 hours. Expect rough terrain and wet trails. We will bushwhack down a ridgeline and along a small stream. The hike will also include open prairie and second growth wooded trails. There is an outhouse in the parking lot where the hike begins.

April 2022

Apr
9

Field trip - Sugar Grove Nature Center Members Only

This event has ended
Saturday, April 9th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Sugar Grove Nature Center

Members Only Free Event Nature Walk/Hike Public Restroom Free Public Parking Lots of Physical Activity

Barry and Mary have planned a 2-hour hike to explore the northern trails at Sugar Grove, looking for the spring flowers that will ignore the recent bad weather and bloom in spite of it.  

Apr
11

Board meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Monday, April 11th, 2022
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 Drinking Fountains

Board meeting

Apr
11

Native American Use of Plants in Illinois

This event has ended
Monday, April 11th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S Cottage Ave, Normal, IL, 61761 Map

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

Note:  This is currently planned as an in-person program. To participate in the live-stream of this program at 7:00 pm (Central Time), please use this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwDlttPoVw0 Please see bottom of this page for information on current Covid-19 protocols for in-person programs.  No plants, no people. Consider our basic needs�"food, water, air, and shelter�"and how each one involves plants. To illustrate the role of plants in human history, this program will explore the use of plants by Native American societies in Illinois over the past 12,000 years. Using a combination of methods of study�"archaeobotany, ethnobotany, and oral tradition�"this program will illustrate a history of Native American plant use over time and how it changed not only their lives, but the lives of human beings throughout the world. Presenter Bio: Dr. Michael Wiant studied anthropology and archaeology at Illinois State University and Northwestern University. For more than 50 years, he has explored Native American history, primarily in the Illinois River valley. In 1982, he joined the staff of the Illinois State Museum, an institution dedicated to exploration, discovery, knowledge, and teaching. He retired in 2017 as the Director of the Illinois State Museum�"Dickson Mounds. In retirement, he continues his museum way-of-life, exploring Native American history and sharing his knowledge with colleagues, students, and the public. In addition to his work at the museum, Dr. Wiant also taught courses in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Illinois State University. Current Covid-19 Protocols (subject to change): Our program venue is currently mask optional. Wild Ones current Covid-related protocols related to in-person events are as follows: I attest that the following is true: �" I have no cold or flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath. �" I have not received instructions from a medical provider to self-quarantine in relation to COVID-19 in the last 10 days. �" I have not received a COVID -19 diagnosis in the last 10 days. �" If I recovered from COVID-19, my symptoms have been resolved for more than 10 days. �" No member of my household tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days. If any of the above is not true, I will not enter the facility or the event space and I will not participate in the event.

Apr
25

Creation of a Native Garden: Beauty, Habitat and Problem Solving through Design (Virtual Program)

This event has ended
Monday, April 25th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Will be Recorded Free Event Chapter Meeting Program/Speaker Presentation

This program was originally scheduled for February 14th.  If you previously registered for this program, you do not need to re-register.  This virtual program will take place on Zoom.  Register now for this program. Program Description: Join a virtual walk with Red Stem Native Landscapes as we design and build a large, strictly native plant garden in a Chicago suburb. The garden has sunny and shady areas, and wet and dry ones. You will gain insight into what we consider on an initial visit, and how those considerations affect design. Then we take you with us through the installation process and visit the garden as it develops. Note: This program is a great starting point for planning your shopping list for our chapter plant sale in May.  What considerations exist in your own landscape and which plants are likely to thrive there?  See the list of the species we plan to offer at our native plant sale by visiting our Plant Sale page and get a jump on your 2022 garden plan during this informative program. Presenter Bio: Monica Buckley is owner and founder of Red Stem Native Landscapes, a native plant landscaping firm that designs, installs, and maintains Chicago area gardens, established in 2013. A butterfly enthusiast from childhood, she was blessed by the generous mentoring of Art Gara, whose Art and Linda's Wildflowers was creating gardens with natives before it was cool. After several years of following Art from garden to garden she began taking classes at the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Morton Arboretum, and the College of DuPage and finally left a long career in publishing to found Red Stem. She continues to be thrilled by the endless learning, through Red Stem's work, others working in the field, and through books and seminars.  

May 2022

May
7

Field trip - Shady Hollow Trail Members Only

This event has ended
Saturday, May 7th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Comlara Park

Members Only Free Event Nature Walk/Hike Public Restroom Free Public Parking Lots of Physical Activity

This wooded trail is about 1.5 miles in length. The terrain is
mostly level unless we decide to wander off trail. We will
be looking for late spring ephemerals: Prairie Trillium,
Wild Geranium, Jack in the Pulpit and Dwarf Larkspur to
name a few. We could easily spend two hours enjoying
this trail. Consult the online map to see all the Comlara
Park trails.

May
9

Tour of Ewing Manor Grounds and Hedge Apple Woods (Members-only) Members Only

This event has ended
Monday, May 9th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Ewing Manor/Hedge Apple Woods, 48 Sunset Rd, Bloomington, IL, 61701 Map

Members Only Free Event Chapter Social Public Restroom Free Public Parking

Attendees were led on a walk about the Ewing Manor Grounds to view the gardens. They enjoyed a walk through Hedge Apple Woods to see native woodland plants.

May
21

Native Plant Sale

This event has ended
Saturday, May 21st, 2022
to (Central Time)
White Oak Township Community Building, 202 Lincoln Street North, Carlock, IL, 61725 Map

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

Please visit our Plant Sale page for more information.

June 2022

Jun
4

Field trip - Keith Horn Prairie

This event has ended
Saturday, June 4th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Keith Horn Prairie

Public Welcome Free Event Nature Walk/Hike Free Public Parking Lots of Physical Activity

Here’s a great find. In the early 2,000s Keith Horn bought a 40-acre remnant prairie from a farmer who did not value what he had. Keith nurtured it. Other botanists and scientists from the state came out to help him identify
plants. He has found over 600 species. Some are rare. We may even see a couple: the Indian Paintbrush and Mimosa.

Jun
13

Board meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Monday, June 13th, 2022
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 Drinking Fountains

Board meeting

Jun
13

Designing with Native Plants (Virtual Program)

This event has ended
Monday, June 13th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Public Welcome Will be Recorded Free Event Chapter Meeting Program/Speaker Presentation

This virtual program will take place on Zoom.  Register now for this program.  In this virtual program, learn the basics of selecting native plants for your next project. Design themes, site programming, and maintenance needs will be considered along with physical site conditions, plant availability, and green infrastructure services. An overview of art and design principles will be included to help the audience visualize how native plants can be used to achieve any look in the developed landscape. Presenter Bio: Ronda Burnett has been a Community Conservation Planner with the Missouri Department of Conservation since 2005. She helps communities connect to nature and enjoy the enhanced quality of life made possible by healthy fish, forest, and wildlife resources. She currently serves as Chair of the Missouri Prairie Foundation's Grow Native! committee. Ronda holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University and a Master of Urban, Environmental, and Land Use Planning from the University of Kansas.  

July 2022

Jul
11

Yard Tour and Potluck (Members-only) Members Only

This event has ended
Monday, July 11th, 2022
to (Central Time)

Members Only Free Event Chapter Social Home Garden Tour

Members will have a potluck and participate in a tour of a member's native garden.

Jul
16

Field trip - Sun Trail Members Only

This event has ended
Saturday, July 16th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Friends Creek Conservation Area

Members Only Free Event Nature Walk/Hike Free Public Parking Lots of Physical Activity

A moderate hike that will last about an hour. Total distance of the Sun Trail is 1.5 miles. It’s a gentle excursion in keeping with a warm July day, and it’s sited in such a way that views of local farm fields or sounds from area roads just seem to disappear. It’s a popular site in Macon County for bird watching, too.

Jul
18

Board meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Monday, July 18th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Members Only Free Event Chapter Board Meeting

Board meeting

August 2022

Aug
8

Board meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Monday, August 8th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Members Only Free Event Chapter Board Meeting

Board meeting

Aug
13

Tour of Mclean County Greenways Sites (Members-only) Members Only

This event has ended
Saturday, August 13th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Members Only Free Event Chapter Social Nature Walk/Hike

Tour of 2 Bloomington/Normal Greenways sites: Tipton Trails and Hidden Creek. Tipton Trails is a public park with a paved walkway, a lake, a pond, and native plantings. Hidden Creek is a public park just off of Constitution Trail. There's a picnic grove and a natural path through the park with various trees and other native forbs. Both parks are maintained by the city.

September 2022

Sep
12

Board meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Monday, September 12th, 2022
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 Drinking Fountains

Board meeting

Sep
12

Seasonal Activities for the Native Garden

This event has ended
Monday, September 12th, 2022
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 Chapter Meeting Program/Speaker Presentation Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

In this program we will have four panelists that will each present a 15 minute mini-session on a topic related to seasonal activities for a native garden.  Following each mini-session there will be 5 minutes for questions.

Season, Presenter, and Topic:

Fall: Amy Woodrum: Seed Collection & Garden Cleanup 

Winter: Sherrie Snyder: Seed Starting

Spring: Sheri Glowinski: Converting Your Lawn into a Native Garden, Her Experience

Summer: Bill Inks of AB Hatchery: Native Plants for Pollinators After all have presented, we will end with 15 minutes of questions for the whole panel. This program will also be live-streamed and recorded. 

Use this LINK to join the live-stream.

Sep
24

Field trip - Emiquon Nature Preserve Members Only

This event has ended
Saturday, September 24th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Illinois Nature Conservancy

Members Only Free Event Nature Walk/Hike Public Restroom Free Public Parking Lots of Physical Activity

Member Doug McCarty will start at the Nature Conservancy Offices with a tour through laboratories. After our tour of the lab visit, plan on hiking outside around the office in search of beautiful Cup Plants, Compass Plants, Big and Little Bluestem. Doug says the prairies are a sea of yellow. Then leaving the
Nature Conservancy Office area, Doug will lead us down to Emiquon Preserve and a perambulation through the wetlands.

October 2022

Oct
10

Board meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Monday, October 10th, 2022
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 Drinking Fountains

Board meeting

Oct
10

Illinois Pioneer Cemetery Prairies

This event has ended
Monday, October 10th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S Cottage Ave, Normal, IL, 61761 Map
Live Stream Available

Public Welcome Limited Access Recording Free Event Chapter Meeting Program/Speaker Presentation Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

Despite being called "The Prairie State" Illinois has very little pristine prairie remaining.  A majority of the highly productive black soil prairie has been converted to agricultural uses.  Many small high-quality examples currently exist in pioneer cemetery prairies and some are protected as Illinois Nature Preserves.  Learn about this priceless component of Illinois' natural heritage during this program by botanist Chris Benda.

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 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].

Note: This program will also be live-streamed.  Use this LINK to join the live-stream.

November 2022

Nov
14

Annual Meeting and Native Seed Exchange Members Only

This event has ended
Monday, November 14th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S Cottage Ave, Normal, IL, 61761 Map

Members Only Free Event Chapter Meeting Chapter Social Seed/Plant Swap Wheelchair Accessible Public Restroom Free Public Parking Drinking Fountains

Chapter members are invited to join us for appetizers and desserts to celebrate the incredible learning opportunities and efforts of the past year. Please bring an appetizer or dessert to share, a beverage if you want to drink something other than water, and your own place setting (plate, utensils, cup/mug), to cut down on one-time-use waste.

There will be a short annual meeting with highlights of the year and voting for next year’s officers. 

Lastly, everyone’s favorite, we will have a native plant seed exchange.

For the Seed Exchange
�-� Bringing seeds is not a requirement to attend the meeting or to take seeds. Please only bring seeds of plants native to central Illinois.
�-� Small zip lock bags will be provided for you to take seeds home.
�-� Any seeds you bring, please clean them as best you can.
�-� Place a large number of seeds (hundreds) in a container. Smaller numbers of seeds can be separated into small bags (fifty or less in each 
bag).
�-� Label seed containers and bags with the common name and, if you know it, the scientific name.

Members that ordered the book, “The Pollinator Victory Garden” by Kim Eierman, will be able to be pick-up the book at the Annual Meeting.

December 2022

Dec
12

Board meeting Members Only

This event has ended
Monday, December 12th, 2022
to (Central Time)
Online/Virtual

Members Only Free Event Chapter Board Meeting

Board meeting