Northtown Garden Society

Chicago, Illinois

NGS Jan 2021 Orr.jpg



Our monthly programs are usually held on the 1st Thursday of the month at 7:00 PM in the Warren Park Field House, 6601 N. Western Ave. Chicago.


We usually feature a social get-together with refreshments followed by a guest speaker.


Loyola Beach Dunes Restoration


Our guest speaker, Ann Whelan, is a long time resident of Rogers Park who took on the challenge of leading  the dune habitat restoration at Loyola Beach  on Lake Michigan on the north side of Chicago. Known as the Dune Steward, Ann leads a group of over 200 volunteers who have worked since 2003 to protect and restore the dune habitat at Loyola Beach Dunes, 1230 W. Greenleaf. The mission is to maintain a native wilderness in the city and restore the dunes as a native shoreline. 

Ann's presentsaion was totally captivating as she discussed the process of replacing non-native vegetation with grasses, flowering plants and trees that are native dunes inhabitants. Through the efforts of Ann, her volunteers and the Chicago Park District, beach erosion has been arrested in places and migratory birds  and wildlife are returning. They are continuing their efforts as they move north along the shoreline to tackle more beaches.

For more information and photos, you can visit the website, Loyola Dunes Restoration  which includes a link to their Facebook page.

Read more about it in the RogersEdge Reporter article  here



Our guest speaker, Michael Orr, is a native Chicagoan—grew up in Rogers Park and attended Whitney Young HS. Currently, Mike is Recycling Director for the City of Cambridge, home to Harvard and MIT. He oversees all waste diversion programs, with the goal of reducing trash 80% by 2050, with 2008 as a baseline. With a $1 million budget, he oversaw the expansion of curbside composting to 32,000 households in 2018. He has also implemented the City’s Zero Waste Master Plan, the plastic bag and polystyrene ordinances, and mattress recycling. Previously, Mike served as the sustainability coordinator for Lesley University. Mike is a Board member of a nonprofit, MassRecycle.   

Mike spoke about the Do's and Don'ts of home recyling and what happens to our recylclables after they leave our homes. To learn about Chicago's recycling rules, you can go to RecycleByCity.

Some recycling general rules are:

  • No p;astic bags or film should be recycled. If it's rigid plastic and a container, it can be recycled.
  • No shredded paper, napkins or paper towels should be reycled. They can be composted.
  • No styrofoam should be recycled
  • Leave small plastic caps on containers (like the caps on milk jugs) because they jam up the ecuipment.


Our trash goes to landfill so it's important to recycle that which you can.


If you want to see what happens at a recycling center, go to this YouTube video.



Would it kill you to compost?


Mr Al DeReu, program manager of TreeKeepers, was our guest speaker.  He discussed  the TreeKeepers course, Openlands TreePlanters Grant, tree pruning (with a brief discussion of the Derecho of last summer),and shrub pruning, 

Here are some links to organinzations he discussed:


Openlands TreeKeepers


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