The Fascinating World of Insects

Wednesday, April 27, 6:00pm
Free event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester


Volunteers at Wolf Road Prairie have been observing fewer insects such as bees and butterflies on site. How do scientists measure insect populations and their health? What is the diversity of insect specialists we can expect in our preserves? Forest Preserve naturalist Negin Almassi will discuss ways of monitoring insects and what we know about insect populations. She will offer insight into global insect populations and what declines have and have not been observed. A talk will be followed by the opportunity to examine Forest Preserve insect collections and enjoy a walk in the prairie.

Daring flight of WRP’S male woodcocks at dusk

Saturday, March 19th | Sunday, March 20th |  Friday, March 25th | Saturday, March 26th AT DUSK
Free event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

Join our Woodcock experts at dusk to see the male woodcocks perform their daring courtship flight.

Every spring, our male Woodcocks return to an area a little north of the Prairie House deck. From that vantage point, one can watch their dramatic and dangerous flights. It is their way of attracting a female. They are showing off their courage. Just before the male takes off, he makes loud nasal peent calls that are preceded by soft throaty notes. Periodically, the male launches into flight flying higher and higher, about a hundred feet from the ground.

No other bird performs a more dangerous courtship flight. Join us and see and hear this unique and daring courtship flight from the deck of the Prairie house.

STPS Board Director Widmer selected as Person of the Year

Every January, The Village Free Press announces their choice for People of the Year. It is quite an honor to be recognized by this popular local newspaper.

It is with great pride that Save The Prairie Society can announce that our Prairie Steward and board director, Wyatt Widmer, was included on this year’s list of People of The Year. The paper
dedicated half a page to Widmer, highlighting his successful efforts to stop development on 15 acres of buffer land adjacent to Wolf Road Prairie.

The Village Free Press quoted Widmer’s own words:

“To disrupt the land near the prairie would also disrupt the land’s benefits to Westchester’s community, particularly as climate change poses more and more threats.”

“The prairie also works as one of the most effective forms of flood control, retaining water from flood events and preventing the surrounding properties from being overwhelmed by uncontrolled discharges.”

Winter Trees: How to tell your ash from a pole in the ground

Sunday, February 27, 1:00pm
Free event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

Guest Speaker: Jack Shouba (The first president of Save The Prairie Society)

You know the old joke: “How do you tell a dogwood? By its bark.” This presentation on local trees shows how you can identify many trees by their bark, but also by their shape, color, branching pattern, habitat, leaves, flowers, and fruits. A close look at winter buds and twigs reveals fascinating details.

Everyone loves oak trees, but do you know how to tell our state tree from the other common oaks? You will if you know the oak song.

Suitable for anyone with an interest in trees.

An Old Fashioned Christmas

Sunday, December 12, 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Free event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

Enjoy hot chocolate, spiced cider, Christmas music & Christmas decor that beckons back to the distant past.

The Peopling of the Americas

Sunday, November 14, 1:00pm
Free event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

Presenter: Dr. E.J. Neafsey

15,000 years ago, a warming period melted the thick ice that had long covered the Bering Strait. To the hunter-gatherers of Asia, it meant access to a new world. This meant new hunting grounds had opened up for them, a society that relied on animals for food and clothing. Once they crossed the Straits, how far south did they travel? What do we know about them? Can their descendants be traced? Find out what scientists have learned about them using DNA samples and by studying the ancient artifacts traced to the time of their exodus.

A Remarkable Man: Carl Ethan Akley (1884 – 1926)

Sunday, October 24, 1:00pm
Free event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

With only a 3rd grade education Akley became an inventor, nature photographer, explorer, and adventurer (one who never lost his cool). He was a highly respected conservationist, taxidermist, sculpture and biologist. He had a major influence on the Field Museum as well as other prominent museums. But creating the first gorilla sanctuary in Africa gave him the most satisfaction. Our presenter, Jack MacRay, has narrated many of our programs and has never disappointed us.

Insect Safari

Sunday, September 12, 1:00pm
$5 for adults, children are free @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

Join in the fun with Professor Michael Rush. Using the nets provided by Save The Prairie Society, participants will be able to catch a variety of insects. We will then identify and study them. In the end, we will release them back onto the Prairie.

Note: wear sturdy shoes and long pants.

The Annual Old Fashioned Prairie Fest

Saturday, September 11, 10:00am to 4:00pm
Free event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester

Save the Prairie Society’s invites you to a free community event: The Annual Old Fashioned Prairie Fest! at the parkway of the Prairie House. Rain date September 18.


  • Cold-blooded animals exhibit from Cross Town Exotics
  • 20 crafters and artists selling hand-made articles
  • Dulcimer players
  • Shannon Adam’s band
  • Display of beautiful, hand-made quilts
  • Spinning wheel demonstration
  • Prairie volunteer tent
  • Enjoy good food and drinks
  • Buy tickets to win one of our 8 gift baskets
  • Guided tour of the highest quality mesic prairie east of the Mississippi
  • The Historic Prairie House will be open to all – learn about the history of the house and the people who lived there as well as the architecture and history found in the enclosed 1853 schoolhouse