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

Native plants

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. […]

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 […]