Working to restore and care for natural areas along Evanston's North Shore Channel

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Visualize green

Visualize green

With landscapes drained of color and temperatures plummeting, this is an ideal time to start planning for spring. Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, suggests two simple goals. Anyone with a yard, he says, should “replace half of the area dedicated to lawn with […]

Climate action from the ground up

Climate action from the ground up

Last Monday, the Evanston City Council voted unanimously to adopt an ambitious Climate Action & Resilience Plan that makes Evanston the first city in Illinois to commit to achieving carbon neutrality. Reaching that goal will require action on many fronts, from building codes to waste […]

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 […]