Northtown Garden Society
Nancy Wieting, Lauren Umek and Eva Mannaberg
Liatris ligulistylis with Monarchs at West Ridge Nature Preserve
Speaker, Doug Taron and NGS member, Kathy Kirn
Shelly Greenberg and Nancy Weiting, seed exchange
The Monarch and Its Migration
Speaker, Doug Taron, of the Peggy Notebaert Museum, enthralled his audience with the breadth and depth of his knowledge and research on the migration patterns of the Monarch butterfly. Did you know that the butterflies who arrive in Chicago in May-June are not the same ones that leave on their winter migration to Mexico via Arizona? The ones who migrate in September are the "grandchildren" of the ones who arrive here in the summer. And, in Mexico, they winter by the millions in the same area northwest of Mexico City near Quadalajara.
Monarchs lay their eggs exclusively on milkweed where the caterpillar hatches and feeds on the leaves. The adult monarchs feed on sweet nectar provided by plants such as Butterrfly Bush or Liatris.
Following the program, we conducted a seed exchange.
Photo from PHNRC website
Chicago River Restoration
Our featured October meeting guest speaker was Lauren Umek who joined the Chicago Park District in 2014 as a Project Manager in the Department of Cultural and Natural Resources working on the Natural Areas team. She has 15 years of experience in natural area restoration and recently completed her PhD in Plant Biology and Conservation at Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Lauren discussed the River Riparian Restoration along the North Branch of the Chicago River. Along with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Chicago Metropolitan Sanitary District, the Chicago Park District is working to restore the North Branch of the Chicago River to its pre-1910 state by removing the last dam on the river where it joins the North Shore Channel at Foster Avenue. The dam is being replaced by a series of rock "dams" to gently lower the river level to the level of the channel as well as aerate the water. Native plantings are planned along the shoreline to stabilize it as well as attract birds, insects and people. It will mean you can get your kayak or canoe and go all the way from the Skokie lagoons to the Riverwalk.
We appreciate NGS members who brought seeds and perennials to share.
Sandy Wentworth, Ruth Melulis and Eva Mannaberg
Prospect heights Slough Restoration
Five members of the Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission led by Agnes Wojnarski amazed us with their descriptions of the process of restoring a slough to its native state. This all-volunteer group went from concept to gaining city support to obtaining funding to removing non-native invasive plants to slough restoration. The actual slough restoration started in 2014 and in 3 years, native plants and wild life are back!
For more information visit their website.
Sandra Wentworth from Proven Winners, a developer and supplier of patented annuals and perennials to nurseries, spoke to us about their process for developing and sustaining new plant varieties. We learned that:
It was a most informative discussion.
NGS members, Gordon Stromberg, Ruth Melulis and Ginny Davis, answered a variety of gardening questions posed by audience members. There were a few "stumpers" but other NGS members jumped right in and shared their knowledge.
Patricia Weiner is a retired CPS teacher, photographer, naturalist, gardener and avid traveler. Patricia shared stories and photos of her trip to the Pantanal which is an immense tropical wetland located mostly in Brazil. It is home to hundreds of species of birds and fauna such as jaguars, caimans and capybaras. Patricia has won numerous awards for her photographs of animals and birds.
A beautiful selection of mounted photographs of Ms. Weiner's travels was available for sale.
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.
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