Regular Meetings

Note Change of Meeting Location 

For our September 2017 meeting, we will meet in the atrium of the Student Center at Rock Valley College, 3301 N. Mulford Rd., Rockford, Illinois 61114. Park in the same lot as usual and the Student Center is adjacent (just southeast) of our usual meeting building (the PE Center).

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, September 21 Meeting, 7:00 PM

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

Oak savannas were once the most common ecosystem in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. They almost vanished both from the landscape and from public and scientific consciousness. Unrivaled for their richness in beauty and diversity of wildflowers, birds, butterflies, and other biota, they are now re-emerging from back yards to restoration mega-sites. Rediscovering the richness of their flora and wildlife – and how to conserve and restore them – has been a life’s adventure for this month’s speaker, Stephen Packard.

Packard started his conservation career working for Rockford’s Natural Land Institute and later was Science and Stewardship Director for the Illinois Nature Conservancy where he helped launch the Volunteer Stewardship Network, Wild Things, Nachusa Grasslands, and many other conservation initiatives. He was a key figure in the re-emergence of the savanna.


2017 Event Schedule

We usually 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.

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.