Regular Meetings

We meet the third Thursday of the month in the Physical Education Center (PEC), room PEC 0110 at Rock Valley College, 3301 N. Mulford Rd, Rockford, Illinois 61114. Directions to the meeting location.

The meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. Come at 6:30 p.m. to socialize before the meeting, browse merchandise, check out the lending library and information booth. Most programs are free and open to the public. Programs are suject to change. for more information contact the program chair.

Thursday, June 15 Meeting, 6:30 PM

Gardening with Nature

Acclaimed author, educator, and naturalist Ray Wiggers relates how the vast array of wildflowers, grasses, and woody plants native to the Upper Midwest can successfully grace our gardens, as well as our prairies, wetlands, and woodlands. Included in this popular talk is an overview of how human beings have radically changed our living landscape in the past 200 years, and why it is crucial to recognize our state’s three main soil types and use them as a guide in selecting the best indigenous plants for residential settings. Top native plant species for Illinois gardens will also be identified and discussed in this richly illustrated and fact-filled presentation.

This program is free and open to the public. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. Come at 6:30 p.m. to socialize before the meeting, browse merchandise, check out the lending library and information booth. For more information, call (815) 332-3343.

July 13, 15 and 16 Lecture and Yard Tours

Save the date for the Wild Ones Rock River Chapter lecture and natural landscape tour! It’s never too early to start getting the word out, so feel free to share this far and wide. The theme of this year’s event is Inviting Nature Home: The Pollination of Native Plants.

Some of you may remember how awesome our last tour was a few years ago, so mark your calendar for what will most certainly be another exciting event. Note that this event will take the place of the chapter’s regular monthly meeting (which otherwise happens on the third Thursday of each month).

Download the brochure.


The events will be as follows:

  • Thursday, July 13: Lecture by Heather Holm, Northern Illinois University – Rockford, 7 p.m. She is a nationally renowned bee and pollinator scholar, and the author of books on the subject.
  • Saturday, July 15 and Sunday July 16: Eight yards and landscapes will be open for tours.

To pull off an event of this magnitude, we will need your support. Please spread the word, and plan to attend the events and volunteer for a few hours if you can.

Look for more information in future issues of the chapter’s newsletter and on this website. Information is provided about the yards and landscapes, as well as about how you can learn and volunteer. For more information on volunteering, please contact Khrisa Miskell at (815) 298.5449 or Volunteer Coordinator.

2017 Event Schedule

Download a printable PDF version of the Event Schedule.

(Meetings and events listed in green, plant sales listed in brown)

Meeting room at Rock Valley College

January 19, 2017 (Thu)

Seed Collection and Propagation of Native Plants
Ed Cope, Restoration Ecologist, Natural Land Institute

Mid February to April 20

Woodland Plant Sale
Orders due: April 20
Pickup dates: April 28 & 29
See the brochure for plant list and order form.

February 16, 2017 (Thu)

Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers of Illinois
Chris Benda, Botanist on his own (Illinois Botanizer) and works part-time at the Illinois Natural History Survey

Mid March to May

Prairie Plant Sale
Orders due: April 30
Pickup dates: May 19 & 20

March 16, 2017 (Thu)

Conducting a Woodland Prescribed Burn
Russell Brunner, Byron Forest Preserve District

April 20, 2017 (Thu)

Trends in Backyard Wildlife
Jack MacRae, Natural Historian of the Chicago Region

May 18, 2017 (Thu)

Ornamental Invasive Plants: Their threat to natural areas and native communities
Chris Evans, Forestry Extension and Research Specialist University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

June 15, 2017 (Thu)

Gardening with Nature
Ray Wiggers, Author and science educator

July 13, 2017 (Thu) 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

The Pollination of Native Plants
Heather Holm, Author of books and lecturer on insect pollinators
Free to members, all others, suggested donation of just $5.
Northern Illinois University 8500 E. State St. Rockford

July 15 & 16, 2017 (Fri & Sat)

Yard Tours
Free and open to the public.
Download the brochure which lists the sites.

Mid-July to September

Tree & Shrub Sale
Orders due: August 25
Pickup dates: Sept. 1 & 2

August 17, 2017 (Thu)

Member Potluck/Yard Tour
Members and invited guests of members tour a member's yard and share a potluck dinner.

September 21, 2017 (Thu)

Oak Savannas: Ecology, History, and Restoration
Stephen Packard, Wild Ones Honorary Director, Ecologist, Conservationist

October 19, 2017 (Thu)

Backyard Kids "Wild" About Nature
Don Miller, Nature Educator and Grandpa

November 16, 2017 (Thu)

Member Pot Luck, Seed Exchange & Annual Meeting
Members only, all members welcome with or without seeds. Bring a dish to share.

December - No meeting, Happy Holidays.