Greater DuPage Chapter 2020 Program Recaps

Biomimicry: Looking to Nature to Solve Today’s Problems
Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

What does a Bur have in common with NASA? A Kingfisher with a high speed train? In this fascinating talk, Kim White, The Natural Naturalist, showed us many examples of when science and technology looked to nature to solve complex problems. Animal ambassadors: Axelotl, Dart Frog, Crested Gecko and hedgehog accompanied Kim in her wonderful presentation.

Kim has had a lifelong interest in the natural world. She spent 19 years associated with Brookfield Zoo’s Education Department as both a volunteer and employee teaching school groups. She is a master naturalist, a co-steward for the DuPage County Forest Preserve, education coordinator for the DuPage Monarch Project and avid gardener for both food production and habitat creation. Her summers are spent growing milkweed for the Monarch butterflies she raises from eggs and releases.

Annual Seed Exchange
Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:00 am – 12:00 pm 
The Growing Place (Aurora Location), Aurora IL

We got together for our Annual Seed Exchange at The Growing Place in Aurora. Thanks so much to The Growing Place for providing us a place to host our event! We collected over 60 unique species of seeds in spite of lower attendance due to COVID-19. Click here for a list of species that were offered this year.

To learn more about collecting seeds visit our Seed Harvest page. To learn more about sowing native plant seeds check out the Prairie Moon Nursery Cultural Guide and Seed Starting Basics which includes germination codes and instructions. The Seed Propagation Information page on the Prairie Nursery site is also a good source for starting seeds.

Dragonflies And Damselflies: Frequent Fliers Of The Wild Garden
Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm 

It was great to be able to meet with members on Zoom! We had the privilege of having naturalist, author, presenter and teacher, Cindy Crosby, present on the fascinating and bizarre lives of dragonflies and damselflies. We learned about their cultural history, their unusual life cycle of transformation, their bizarre sex life, mystifying migratory habits, and their struggle for survival, and ways to help care for these remarkable flying creatures. Cindy’s close-up beautiful photography of some of the dragonflies and damselflies in Illinois was amazing, she was very entertaining and kept us busy by testing our knowledge with dragonfly and damselfly trivia questions throughout her presentation.

If you missed Cindy’s presentation and would like to learn more about dragonflies and damselfiles check out her new book just released in June of 2020 Chasing Dragonflies: A Natural, Cultural, and Personal History. Here are some more references recommended by Cindy:

Damselflies of Minnesota, Wisconsin & Michigan (Naturalist Series) by Robert Dubois
Dragonflies of the North Woods by Kurt Mead
Dragonflies And Damselflies Of Northeast Ohio by Larry Rosche
Damselflies of Chicagoland by Marla Garrison by Marla Garrison – This Field Museum Field Guide is available online free as a pdf.
Dragonflies and Damselflies: A Natural History by Dennis Paulson
The Dragonfly-Friendly Gardener: Create a Garden Home for Dragonflies and Damselflies by Ruary Mackenzie Dodds
Backyard Ponds: Guidelines for Creating & Managing Habitat for Dragonflies and Damselflies By Celeste Mazzacano, Dennis Paulson, and John Abbott – This is available as a pdf for free on the Xerces Society’s website.

Also check out Cindy’s Tuesdays in the Tallgrass blog and her books on the tallgrass prairie, Tallgrass Conversations: In Search of the Prairie Spirit and The Tallgrass Prairie: An Introduction.

Garden Tour at the LeCroy’s Home From Saving Monarchs
Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:00 am – 6:00 pm 
LeCroy Home, Lombard IL

Joe, Sue, and Becky LeCroy from Saving Monarchs opened up their gardens for us to come explore and learn how they transformed their turf yard into a wildlife paradise with a beautiful pond and native plant prairie. They also showed us the three rain gardens they added to control their flooding problems. Other highlights of their tour were a cool Tiki Hut, many water features, native bee houses, rain barrels, a newly installed bat house and their Monarch butterfly nursery. It was nice to mingle with garden friends while socially distancing in the LeCroy’s beautiful chemical free environmentally friendly yard!

Click here to see more photos of the LeCroy’s garden tour.

Designing Your Landscape
Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm 
Naperville Municpal Center, Naperville IL

Lois Michel-Perry, one of our Wild Ones members with 20 years experience in the field of landscape design presented on how to adapt the basic principles of landscape design for native plant gardens

Movie – “America’s Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie”
Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm 
Naperville Municpal Center, Naperville IL

It was a fun movie night with friends, popcorn, and a great film on the history of the North American tallgrass prairie. In case you missed this event here is a description of the movie and options for watching it:

“America’s Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie” tells the rich and complex story of one of the most astonishing alterations of nature in human history.Prior to Euro-American settlement in the 1820s, one of the major landscape features of North America was 240 million acres of tallgrass prairie. But between 1830 and 1900 – in the space of a single lifetime – the tallgrass prairie was steadily transformed to farmland.

This drastic change in the landscape also brought about an enormous social change for Native Americans; in an equally short time their cultural imprint was reduced in essence to a handful of place-names appearing on maps.

The extraordinary cinematography of prairie remnants, original score and archival images are all delicately interwoven to create a powerful and moving viewing experience about the natural and cultural history of America.

Watch a trailer of this movie at