The History of the Forest Preserves

Sunday, June 4, 1:00 to 3:00pm
Free event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

Speaker: Brian Winters

Learn about the men and women who dedicated their time and efforts to create a forest preserve district.

Find out when the first piece of land was legally protected from development! How many acres of land are now part of our forest preserves?

May Flowers

Sunday, May 28, 3:00pm-5:00pm
Free event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

May is the best time to see the Prairie in Bloom. So join us as we take a walk on the South side of the Prairie. Jack Shouba founding father of Save The Prairie Society, will lead the walk. Enjoy the beauty of the Prairie flowers and learn from Jack what is unique about each species of flowers.

Meet at the Prairie House or park right on the 31st street lots. Even though we will be staying on the path, long pants and sturdy shoes are suggested.

All About Frogs!

Sunday, April 30, 1:00pm
Free event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

Our guest speaker, Spencer Cortwright, Associate Professor of Biology at IU Northwest, will be sharing what he has learned in his years of observing frogs. The more Spencer studied them the more he wanted to know about them: how they survived, what they eat, how do they manage cold weather, how do males attract female frogs and much more. Spencer will be using a slide show so that we can appreciate a wide variety of frog species.

Wolf Road Prairie is home for the Chorus Frogs. The males are now calling the females. It is something to hear them calling all at once. They can be heard in the southwest end of the Prairie.

The more you know about frogs, the the more you will appreciate them. Hope to see you at the Prairie House on the 30th @ 1pm.

I Will Fight No More Forever

Sunday, February 26, 1:00pm
Free event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

The Story of Chief Joseph – 1 hr 45min · Action/Drama Movie

As more and more settlers moved into territory long occupied by the Nez Perce Tribe, friction grew between the settlers and the Nez Perce. The government sought to solve the problem by demanding that Chief Joseph move his people onto a reservation.

Joseph decided that the only way he could save his people from a constricted way of life, was to flee to Canada.What followed for the Nez Perce was a journey filled with danger and hardship.

Find out what became of their desperate attempt to keep their way of life.

Identifying Trees in Winter

Sunday, January 29, 1:00pm
Free event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

Guest Speaker: Jack Shouba (Founding Father of Save The Prairie Society)

Join us, as we learn the names of trees by learning what is interesting and unique about each tree we encounter on our walk with Jack.

Your winter walks will be more interesting, especially if you can share your new knowledge with family and friends.

Meet Jack at the Prairie House. Hope to see you there.

Holiday Traditions and Celebrations

Sunday, December 4, 1:00pm
Free event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

Come celebrate the holiday season with a presentation on the “Origins of Christmas Lore” from STPS Director Patricia Reaves. Open house and holiday treats to follow!

Zoom Webinar: The Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Bison Project

On Tuesday, November 1st, at 6:00 p.m. central time, the LaSalle Public Library will virtually host Christina Henderson, Prairie Supervisor at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, for a presentation that celebrates National Bison Day.

There was once so much prairie in Illinois that it became known as “The Prairie State.” Now, less than one-tenth of one percent remains. At Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, located at the site of the Joliet Arsenal, volunteers, partners, and employees are working with over 275 species of native Illinois prairie plants to increase and improve this natural habitat for pollinators and other important species. As part of the restoration project, a small herd of bison was introduced in 2015. In this virtual program, Ms. Henderson, will discuss how bison are helping to restore the prairie, and where the best places are to look for bison.

National Bison Day honors the ecological and cultural contributions of the United States National Mammal. It is celebrated on the first Saturday in November. This program is free, open to the public, and will be presented via Zoom. Registration is required. For more information, please contact the LaSalle Public Library at 815-223-2341

Registration link

Illinois was once home to Woolly Mammoths

Sunday, November 13, 1:00pm
Free Event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

Common in Illinois 40,000 to 10,000 years ago, the Woolly Mammoth left behind remnants of its existence. For thousands of years, it was not unusual for humans to cross paths with these huge, heavily furred animals.

How did they interact with humans? Why did the Mammoths disappear?

Find out more as speaker Jack Mac Rae shares his research.


Illinois Heritage Music with Chris Vallillo

Sunday, October 9, 1:30-2:30pm & 3:00-4:00pm
Adults $10, Seniors (62+) $8, Children under 12 $5
@ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

Chris Vallillo is a folk artist like no other who shares his enthusiasm and knowledge of Illinois and the heritage of the Midwest from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. Hear the songs, stories, and vintage instruments of the pioneers and farmers and the time of Abraham Lincoln. Clap your hands and sing along while you learn and have fun at the same time! (Lawn chairs are also welcome.)

Chris will be performing two sets, one from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm, and a second from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Separate tickets for each performance can be purchased ahead of time (at the Prairie House during Open House on Sundays from 3:00 to 5:00 pm) or at the door, starting at 1:00 pm on Sunday, October 9, 2022.

Refreshments will be available. This event will be held outdoors, if weather permits. If not, the performance will be held indoors, with smaller capacity limits.

Taking precautions against Covid spread will be encouraged.