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

Native plants

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Getting ready for spring

Getting ready for spring

City crews have cut back the Civic Center garden, and Doug and Peter stopped by the other day to see how the plants had weathered the winter months. So far, it looks as if there have been few losses from frost heave or rabbits. Allison’s […]

Plant lists for armchair gardeners

Plant lists for armchair gardeners

Days are growing longer, but winter is far from over, and it will be a while before we see our new plants in bloom. In the meantime, if you need a dose of green, or are looking for inspiration for your own garden plans, you […]

Under the snow

Under the snow

As snow fell earlier this week, we were finishing the final step in this season’s planting: scattering a mix of seeds in bare patches along the channel banks in the Ladd Arboretum and around the Twiggs Park overlook. It was too dark to take a […]