We've Moved the Meeting Location!

Beginning with the May 19 meeting, we have relocated to the Physical Education Center (PEC), at Rock Valley College. Directions to meeting location.

May 19 Meeting

Thursday, May 19, Prairie Plants Close-Up: The Hidden World of Flowers and Fruits

Presented by Ken Robertson who is a retired botanist from the Illinois Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois. He received B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. from Washington University and the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. He came to Illinois after spending six years with the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

"Everyone has many associations with a flower, the idea of flowers. You put out your hand to touch the flower, lean forward to smell it, maybe touch it with your lips almost without thinking, or give it to someone to please them...." — Georgia O'Keeffe, 1939.

Photo of Ken Robertson surrounded by Rattlesnake Master.Flowers are indeed special to humans, yet why do plants make flowers in the first place and why the tremendous variation in size, shape, color, and fragrance? Basically, to reproduce. Flowers are pollinated and become fruits. Inside the fruits are seeds, which ensures future generations. Much of the diversity of flowers and fruits is the result of adaptations to pollination or dispersal, usually to attract some kind of animal to visit the flowers to either carry out pollination or to carry away the seeds.

In this presentation, Dr. Robertson will use close-up and detailed macro photographs of flowers and fruits of prairie plants, showing their beauty and structure. These are then used as examples of how flowers are pollinated and how fruits are dispersed. This basic knowledge will help prairie enthusiasts understand some of the complexities of the prairie ecosystem. Dr. Robertson will concentrate on species found at Harlem Hills Nature Preserve and other prairies in northern Illinois, especially in the spring and early summer. The program is free and open to the public. For additional information, call (815) 332.3343.

Download the handout from Dr. Robertson's presentation here.

June 16 Meeting

Thursday, June 16, The Balance of Design and Nature

Presented by Michael Herrenbruck, Co-owner of Eco Harmony Landscape & Design LLC, Mequon, WI.

Our Meetings


We meet the third Thursday of most months in the Physical Education Center at Rock Valley College, 3301 N Mulford Rd, Rockford, Illinois 61114. Most programs are free and open to the public. See Monthly Meetings for more information.

Directions to meeting location.

Click here to view the 2016 Calenar of Events.


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