Working to restore and care for natural habitat along the North Shore Channel

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Winter underground

Winter underground

As temperatures drop and color fades from the landscape, life continues underground. One of the amazing facts about prairie plants is that roots grow very deep—as much as 15 feet deep, in some cases. Like trees, their deep roots store carbon and help stormwater percolate […]

Planting for diversity

Planting for diversity

Saturday was cool and wet, but a truckload of plants awaited, so our tough band of volunteers got to work with shovels and trowels. Four hours later, several hundred plugs—young wildflowers, grasses, and sedges—were in the ground at sites along the channel banks stretching from […]

Celebrating pollinators at the Ladd Arboretum

Celebrating pollinators at the Ladd Arboretum

Wildflower plantings at the Ladd Arboretum were abuzz with bees and butterflies on Saturday during the Ecology Center’s Pollinator Fest.  Orange butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is beginning to set seed, while obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana), prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya), and rosinweed (Silphium integrifolium) are […]

Clearing the way for less aggressive plants

Clearing the way for less aggressive plants

One of the misconceptions about native plants is that you can sow seeds and let nature take its course. In reality, it takes planning, good advice, and work to establish a thriving community of native plants. Some of that work involves clearing and managing other […]

A place to chill

A place to chill

By mid-summer, tall trees cast cooling shade along the channel-side path through the Ladd Arboretum.  Frequent visitors will recognize the big cottonwood that’s just beyond the Ecology Center. Cottonwoods favor damp areas and streamsides so they are often found growing along the North Shore Channel. […]

“All of us could join and try to help the earth”

“All of us could join and try to help the earth”

Our friends at Quest4Earth wrapped up their spring season last week as they shared with their families a series of multimedia projects  that capture what they’ve been learning about birds, habitat restoration, and environmental stewardship. In his presentation, Therry says: “Making bird feeders, bird houses—that […]

In bloom

In bloom

A year ago the space at the northeast corner of the Civic Center was a wet, weedy lawn. This month, the garden that took root there last summer has demonstrated that native plants are attractive not only to birds, bees, and butterflies, but to people, […]

Pitching in on Chicago River Day

Pitching in on Chicago River Day

Another section of the channel banks was transformed on Saturday as the community came together to plant native trees and shrubs in front of the Ecology Center. It was part of Chicago River Day, an annual event organized by our partners at Friends of the […]

Migratory birds are here: come watch at the Ladd Arboretum

Migratory birds are here: come watch at the Ladd Arboretum

How are the birds liking the habitat work along the North Shore Channel? Come on a bird walk with Judy Pollock next Tuesday and find out! This is the height of migration and we should have some interesting sightings. Learn a bit about the habitat […]

Mayapple season

Mayapple season

On Earth Day, celebrated by the City of Evanston on April 21, a group from Dewey Elementary joined TreeKeepers and other volunteers in mulching trees and planting wildflowers in the Ladd Arboretum. More than 50 pots of mayapples went into the ground along shady stretches […]