Remnants of The Illinois Wilderness

Monday, May 13, 2019, 7:30pm
Presenter: James Rowan, Naturalist and Historian

When Marquette and Joliet passed through what was to become Illinois, they were greeted with a wilderness of prairie, forests and wetlands untouched since the retreat of the last ice-sheet thousands of years earlier. By visiting Illinois’ many state parks, forest preserves and Nature preserves we will get a glimpse of what these explorers experienced. Mr. Rowan’s program visits those natural areas where the wildlife they experienced can still be found.

Mr. Rowan studied zoology and geology at Northeastern Illinois University He was an animal keeper at
Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago for seventeen years, his photograph exhibit, “Planet of the Arthropods”,
has been exhibited in a number of museums and nature centers around the country.

$5 for non-members @ The Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester


2019 Prairie Fest

Save the Prairie Society’s Annual Prairie Fest will be held Saturday, August 24 – 10 am to 4 pm at the parkway of the Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Dr., Westchester at the Northern edge of Wolf Road Prairie.

Enjoy this FREE family-friendly event that celebrates the cultural history of the Midwest and the beautiful Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve. This festival has something for everyone to enjoy:

  • Explore the newly restored Prairie House
  • Enjoy an interactive live raptor program from 10:30am – 12:30pm
  • Learn the history of the 1853 school house and other local history
  • Historic re-enactors
  • Crafters and artists
  • A quilt display
  • Basket raffles
  • Brats, hot dogs and refreshments
  • Genealogy advice

Exploring Wolf Road Prairie: Talk and Guided Tour
11:00am and 2:30pm

  • Learn about the unique ecology of this rare nature preserve from a local ecologist and how you can help to restore it!
  • Take a guided tour with a knowledgeable guide.
  • To sign up for the tour, visit

WANTED: Crafters, Artists and Vendors for the 2019 Prairie Fest

$30 reserves a 10 ft. by 10 ft. space, $25 if you commit to a Sept. 14 rain day.

Entry Form (PDF)

Email for more information or to reserve a space.

Woodcock Spotting

At Dusk, Fridays – March 29, April 5, April 12

Join us on the deck of the Prairie House to witness the sky dance of the male woodcock. For most birds this is the mating season, and the Woodcock is no exception. To impress a female the male will strut about on the ground and then perform a flight to behold, described by Audubon as “ a high twisting flight, with chirping, twittering, bubbling sounds.” After reaching a height of about 100 ft., the male will then return to his take off spot, in a fast zigzagging descent.

Wolf Road Prairie is one of the few places in Cook County where this ritual can still be observed. The deck is an ideal place for spotting this unusual bird, and if you feel a chill, you can warm up in the historic Prairie House.

Free Event

Yoga at the Prairie House

Sunday, March 17 from 9:30 – 11:30am
11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

Wake up from deep winter hibernation and welcome Spring!  We will practice a special Yoga Class in the newly renovated Prairie House overlooking Wolf Road Prairie! The focus of the morning will be geared toward the beginning of Spring Cleaning, in our bodies! Together we will appreciate and let go of the last bits of winter, take a walk through the Prairie and witness the beginnings of new growth. The morning will finish with a tea ceremony calling in new blessings for a new season. Welcome back sunshine to our land and our lives!  Please be prepared to take a short walk even if the weather is cold.

What to bring: Yoga mat, comfy clothes to wear while practicing, clothing layers appropriate to the season for a short walk including sun, insect and tall grass- long pants, sturdy footwear, hats and water bottle, etc.

About the teacher: Marie offers unique guidance through Yoga and Forest Therapy weaving the various traditions she has studied and practiced for the past 20 years; Yoga, Shamanistic Cranial Sacral Therapy, Bodywork, Art and Dance, Natural Living Systems, Sustainability, Permaculture, Ecological Psychology, and Nature Therapy. She is passionate about restoring internal and external ecosystems so they are in harmony with the web of life.

There is a $30 fee. For more information or to register, call Marie at 630-947-5977.

Go The Motor Coach Way – The Chicago Motor Coach Company

March 24 from 2-5pm
The Historic Prairie House
11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

You are cordially invited to a presentation by author Jack Doyle on his latest Arcadia book, Chicago Motor Coach Company. Afterwards, Jack will be available for book signing.

Chicago Motor Coach Company chronicles an era when buses first traversed the city’s boulevards. Street Cars were not allowed on Park District streets, thereby paving the way for motor bus operations. Chicago’s first bus route, Sheridan Road in 1917, would be purchased by John D. Hertz in 1921, later franchises to operate over the south and west boulevards would also be secured. By 1927, after General Motors had gained controlling stock, Hertz’s Yellow Coach Chicago based manufacturing was moved to Pontiac, Michigan, where Yellow-GM would become the largest transit bus builder in the world.

With the Motor Coach operating on Chicago’s scenic Park District streets, this book showcases Chicago architecture, museums, The Magnificent Mile, State Street, “The Great Street,” and more, including photographs that have never been published.

Mastodons and Woolly Mammoths; four giants found in four local suburbs

March 10 – 1 pm
The Historic Prairie House
11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

Save the Prairie Society is hosting naturalist Jack MacRae who will give a slide show presentation on the interesting and humorous stories behind the unearthing of the Woolly Mammoths and Mastodons that were found in four of our suburbs in: 1954, 1963, 1977, and 2005. Come too, to see the Newly renovated Historic Prairie House surrounded by a native tall grass prairie. Refreshments will be served. $5 admission for non-members.


Sunday, December 2 at 2 pm
The Historic Prairie House
11225 Constitution Drive
Westchester, IL 60154
Wreath frames, Christmas adornments, supplies, and Christmas refreshments will be provided.
Free for members and $5 for non- members.
Call 708-562-3280 to reserve a wreath frame.

.The Fundamentals of Using a Spinning Wheel

Thursday, November 29  at 12:30
The La Grange Park Library
555 N La Grange Road
A long time spinning wheel expert will demonstrate how to use a spinning wheel in the Library Community Rm.
See close up the ancient, but still popular craft of wheel spun wool. Mickey will answer your questions and advise
you how to get started.
Image result for spinning wheel images public domain




…………………………………………………..Image result for old german script

…...Discover methods for deciphering old documents, church records,

..civil registers, and old letters. Learn the latest genealogy tips
………....for finding records from German speaking areas.
……….…Hosted by German Language Teacher Patricia Reaves
…………Sunday, September 23 at the La Grange Park Library
…………………555 North LaGrange Road
September 23 at 2 pm La Grange Park Library
Sponsored by Save The Prairie Society Free Event
Hosted by Patricia Reaves – German Language Teacher