June 27th, 1:00pm
@ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester
Speaker: Jack Shouba, who worked tirelessly to Save Wolf Road Prairie before the State of Illinois’ IDNR and Cook County Forest Preserves stepped to insure that it would remain prairie.
Slide Presentation: Called “the most beautiful country imaginable” by French explorer Pierre Liette, and “gardens of the desert” by poet William Cullen Bryant, the Illinois prairie is all but gone and the word prairie has lost its meaning. We are still “the prairie state,” but today it is Silicon Prairie, not Silphium prairie. In this program we explore the question of just what is an Illinois prairie and we look at how the relationships of people to the prairie changed over time. We look at prairie plants and their adaptations, prairie animals, and the role of fire. We search for places that still contain scraps of prairie, and consider why we must save these precious remnants. The program includes “Prairie Reverie,” a humorous look at the (mis)use and misspelling of the word prairie.
July 25th, 1:00pm
Free event @ the Historic Prairie House, 11225 Constitution Drive, Westchester
Speaker: Insect specialist James Rowan
We see insects in our gardens and when we take our walks in the neighborhood. Most of us enjoy seeing the fireflies, the pollinators, and the butterflies. Our July guest speaker hopes to broaden our appreciation of those insects that are unfamiliar to us, even though they play an important role in keeping our ecosystem healthy. The more we know about the natural world the more interesting it is.
Note: The historic Prairie House is air conditioned.