to Sep 17

Native Tree & Shrub Sale

The best place for birds to find caterpillars is in native trees and shrubs because these woody species have co-evolved with our native butterflies and moths. Even if you have no other native plants in your yard, native trees and shrubs are a great way to get started. 

Order shrubs and trees in advance and they will be available for pick-up on September 24that 405 S Euclid Ave in Oak Park.  Fall is the ideal time to plant shrubs & trees to allow them to concentrate on building their root structure over the winter.  Trees and shrubs will be in 5 gallon pots unless otherwise noted.  We will have volunteers to help you load your trees and shrubs into your vehicle.

For more information and resources:  Green Community Connections & West Cook Wild Ones  For questions contact Sally at or 773-315-1109 

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9:00 AM09:00

Meet & Greet in Estelle's Edible Garden

by Bill Sieck, director of The Learning Gardens

Find our about The Learning Gardens ( activities, opportunities, sharing and networking with other gardeners. Tour an unusual front yard edible garden that combines home grown food and landscape plants. This is our first Saturday morning “Meet and Greet” garden events for 2016. We want to continue the successful Garden Meet and Greets wedid last fall. We hope to visit many more Oak Park gardens through fall.

MEET AND GREET: the front yard vegetable garden(er)
When: Saturday, August 6
Time: 9 – 10:30 am
Where: 323 S. East Avenue
Gardener: Estelle Carol
Refreshments will be served. 
You are welcome to bring some additional snacks and drinks.

Estelle is both an avid front yard vegetable gardener as well as the designer of our new web site. Find out how and why to grow your own, use rain barrels, devise irrigation systems, extend your season with hoop houses, and mix in flowers to beautify it all.  Looking for a web designer or help with your site? Then this meet-and-greet is a two-for. Find more details about Estelle’s garden on our website.

Book Raffle: We will raffle of a copy of “From Asparagus to Zucchini”, the best vegetable recipe, history, farmers’ market book I’ve ever seen. Just show up.

RSVP is greatly appreciated. Please email your RSVP or any questions to Bill Sieck, director of The Learning Gardens at


Let’s explore a partnership

by Estelle Carol, Co-founder of the Oak Park Area Edible Gardening Cooperative

How can The Learning Gardens and Oak Park Edible Gardening Co-op work together?
The Learning Gardens (TLG) would like to partner with the Oak Park Edible Gardening Cooperative

Maybe we could collaborate in stages. Since everyone is very busy can we start the decision-making process by email and phone calls. If there is interest I would be glad to host a potluck dinner and meeting in my garden to discuss the pros and cons of becoming a project of TLG. TLG board members would also participate in the discussion. 
TLG’s Edible Gardening Project would love start working with individual members of the Co-op as soon as possible. We may find that a formal partnership between the two groups may not be needed. Let’s explore the possibilities.

What are the advantages to partnership? Combining resources, people, and knowledge makes both groups more effective and stronger. Both groups are focused on education, advocacy and policy to promote healthy natural areas, local food, home grown food and the natural beauty of Oak Park.

Partnership advantages to Edible Gardening Co-op: 

  • The Co-op has no formal organizational structure and limited resources.  TLG has a formal nonprofit structure with a board of directors, membership system ($35 per year), a bank account, and 501c3 nonprofit status which allows tax deductible donations.. 
  • TLGwould like 2 people from the Co-opto join their board.
  • The Co-op has no track record of successful programs that are critical to getting volunteers, funding and grants. TLG has 2 successful projects – The Oak Park Municipal Arboretum and The Oak Park Botanic Gardens. TLG partners with the Village of Oak Park in several ways.
  • TLG has a beautiful new website ( with plans to expand it. There is a Directory of Local Groups on their website home page.. A calendar is coming soon that will list events from groups, schools, agencies, and programs with missions and goals related to TLG mission. A directory of sponsors will list supporting businesses and funders. 

Partnership advantages to The Learning Gardens:

  • TLG has three focus areas: Trees & Shrubs, Landscape Plants and Home Grown Food, But TLG needs volunteers dedicated to edible gardening to run their “Home Grown Food“ focus area – the least developed of their 3 focus areas.
  • TLG needs the savvy and experience about reaching larger audiences – websites, e-newsletters, social media and other digital outreach techniques. For example, my company WebTrax Studio designed and built the new TLG website.

Questions? Please email or call Estelle Carol if you have questions and went to explore this partnership further. 708-386-7197,

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