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.

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.

Featuring:

  • 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   

Save The Prairie Society’s July Event – Don’t Squash That Bug

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.

Gardens of the Desert: An Introduction to Illinois Prairies

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.