Chicago Living Corridors Webinars

August 24, 2023, Native Seed Harvesting

May  25, 2023 Restoration of the Hill n’ Dale Preserve

February 23, 2023  Designing Your Native Plant Garden 
November 17, 2022  The Wonderful World of Moths
August 25, 2022  Exotic Invasive Plants, What You Should Know and What You Should
May 26, 2022  The ABCs of Green Infrastructure
February 24, 2022 Carrots, The Good, The Bad and the Toxic
November 18, 2021  Backyard Wildlife and Native Habitat
October 28, 2021  Butterfly Host Plants
September 23, 2021  Native Plants through the Seasons
August 26, 2021, How to Collect and Sow Your Native Seed
June 24, 2021, Behind the Scenes at Prairie Moon Nursery  
April 22, 2021  Native Plants for Shade Gardens.
March 25, 2021  Backyard Trees
February 25, 2021 Creation of a Native Plant Gar
January 14, 2021  Native Shrubs in the Home Landscape 
December 9, 2020  Ecology and Conservation of Illinois Dragonflies
November 11, 2020, Unexpected Pleasures 
October 14, 2020, Landscaping for Birds
September 23, 2020, Native Bumble Bees in Your Yard
August 12, 2020, “Identifying and Controlling Invasive Plants”
July 22, 2020, “An Intimate Look at the Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly”
June 17, 2020,  “Invite Nature to Your Yard

Other Videos and Webinars
Doug Tallamy YouTube video on The Nature of Oaks
Chris Benda video on Life as a Field Biologist
Ryders Woods Virtual Spring Wildflower ID with TLC

Recommended Links

Homegrown National Park 
The Homegrown National Park is a website created by Doug Tallamy and Michelle Alfandari to gain collective information on properties being dedicated to native habitat.  Readers are encouraged to provide information on their own property – to add it to the national map.  Site also provides information on Tallamy books and presentations.

National Wildlife Federation – Native PlantFinder

Based on the research of Doug Tallamy, this site provides zip-code specific recommendations for native plant species that are hosts for butterflies and moths.  Information is available by plant or butterfly, and personal lists can be created.  Once you enter your zip code, you can find the top lepidoptera species associated with plant species (flowers and grasses, or trees and shrubs) , or vice versa.  

Audubon Guide to Plants for Birds
Grow these native plants for birds

Audubon has organized the information by type of bird.  The site lists the plants that are favored by certain groups of birds. is a plant website whose goal is to mobilize people to document, preserve, protect, and restore plant biodiversity, and through this, insect and other biodiversity as well. aims to achieve these goals through collecting and presenting information on plant distribution and ecology, educating people on plant identification, and helping people make choices that preserve local native plant populations.

Floristic Quality Assessment Calculator

This site provides an opportunity to obtain a comprehensive analysis of all the flora on a site, and the floristic quality of each species.  Floristic quality is an assessment or a rating of the conservative value of a particular species.  Common plants that would grow almost anywhere would have a low number, and species that require high quality habitats would have a high number. (Up to 10.). The site will provide you with a selection of resource lists to choose from.   Flora of the Chicago Region, 2017 would be an excellent choice. This selection provides the database that will be matched up with the plants you enter.  Some lists won’t have as many matches as others.

Register on the site (free). and then fill in some of the specifics about the site. (The form asks for transect info.  If you don’t have it,  it doesn’t affect the function.) Species can be entered  by  the scientific name, the acronym, or the common name.  The site will take care of analyzing the data and provide a very detailed report that covers the types of species, native/non-native, conservatism-based metrics, species richness, species wetness, and plants’ life cycles (annual, perennial, biennial). You can add to your list by clicking on “edit”, or delete a species, and keep updating your information over time.  If you are just getting started, you can watch the species list grow, as you add over time. is a site providing distribution maps of vascular species.  You can choose to see information by county or state.  Many options.  A list of the organizations/companies utilizing their maps is on the lower right of the landing page.  You may have seen these maps on Prairie Moon’s online catalog.

Native Seed Gardeners guide to collecting seeds.

Science Mag article explains how linking fragmented habitats can help save endangered species here

Xerces Society blog archive for Conservation Comes Home, is here. Many posts on Plants for Pollinators.

Bumble Bees of the Eastern United States
This is a link to a really excellent guide on bumblebees.  Included are photos, information on preferred food plants, nesting, phenology, distribution maps, and diagrams showing color distribution of the various bumblebee species.  The document is a little over 100 pages, but most of the content is graphic, and a quick read.  If you are interested in learning more about bumblebees, this is a highly recommended resource.

Common Bees and Wasps of Ohio Field Guide
Excellent resource for identification of bees and wasps.  Ohio source, but much information will be relevant in Chicago area.

Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative  A statewide consortium of organizations dedicated to conserving the monarch butterfly.  Very good site with helpful information and a variety of resources.

The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge (MPGC).  This project established the target of a million gardens, which has now been exceeded. Details about the MPGC are at
The map of the participants is on the Pollinator Partnership website at

American Bird Conservancy is one of several organizations that provide information about supporting birds. One key area of information is about preventing window strikes.  This is an area of bird conservation where homeowners can make a significant difference by creating patterns on your windows.

See bird-friendly planting recommendations from Great Lakes Audubon

Partnering for Birds is an online booklet created through a partnership between Chicago Audubon Society, the Forest Preserves of Cook County, and the Bird Conservation Network.

Ultraviolet View of Flowers – See them as Bees See Them
Flowers have markings that are visible under UV light that provide bees with indicators to the pollen.  Fascinating.  Site shows comparison of flowers under visible light and under UV light.

The Chicago Region Tree Initiative “urges you to care for trees where you live”. Some of the recommendations include checking for soil moisture, and correctly mulching the trees (not piling the mulch against the trunk).
It is a coalition of institutions, municipalities, and the tree industry.  It is being administered out of the Morton Arboretum.

Links on Invasive Identification and Control

Management of Invasive Plants and Pests of Illinois Really good site, with a number of full-  page photos
Pleasant Valley Conservancy, Management Activities is included in panel on left hand side. section on plants Site has information on a number of invasives, including plants.
YardMap site has good visuals.

Recommended Book List

Tallamy, Douglas W. – Bringing Nature Home, and Nature’s Best Hope
The author makes a compelling case for the ways in which utilizing native plants in our gardens helps to sustain wildlife.  Bringing Nature Home has been called “the Silent Spring of the 21st Century” in terms of the impact it has.

Nowak, Mariette – Birdscaping in the Midwest
A guide to gardening with native plants to attract birds, this book describes 9 different habitat gardens for bringing various bird species to your home. The book is full of useful sidebars and lists.  

Ladd, Doug (2 Books)

Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers
This is a Nature Conservancy field guide to flowers of the tallgrass prairie (and some of the grasses).  

North Woods Wildflowers
Field guide to more than 300 wildflowers conveniently arranged by flower color for easy identification. Includes vibrant color photos and descriptions.

Tylka, Dave – Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People
This book includes tips on how each plant helps wildlife, what’s special about it, what sun/soil conditions it needs. The subtitle of the book is “How to use native Midwestern plants to beautify your property and benefit wildlife.”

Wasowski, Sally – Gardening with Prairie Plants
This book has everything you need to know to create a native prairie landscape from site evaluation to plant selection.  It includes descriptions of prairie grasses as well as savanna trees and shrubs.

Johnson, Lorraine 100 Easy-To-Grow Native Plants
This book works to provide a fail-safe guide to beautiful low-maintenance plants native to many regions. The features include: Handy profiles of each native plant, Maintenance requirements, Creative suggestions for plant pairings, Propagation and cultivation tips and more.

Czarapata, Elizabeth J.  – Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: An Illustrated Guide to Their Identification and Control
This guide includes more than 250 color photos that will help identify problem trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, sedges, and herbaceous plants.  Other details of plant identification; manual, mechanical, biological, and chemical control techniques; information and advice about herbicides; and suggestions for related ecological restoration and community education efforts.

Nowakowski, Keith Gerard  – Native Plants in the Home Landscape
This book includes a brief history of our area as well as gardening tips, planting plans, and information on forbs, as well as trees and shrubs.

Holm, Heather  – Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants
This book illustrates the specific relationships between native pollinators and native plants. Organized by plant communities, the book profiles over 65 perennial native plants.  Provides the reader with information on how to attract, plant for and identify pollinators with native plants.
Other titles by Heather Holm are  
Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide and Wasps: Their Biology, Diversity, and Role as Beneficial Insects and Pollinators of Native Plants.  These books are also highly thought of.

Hill, Patricia  – Design Your Natural Midwest Garden
This book offers a wide variety of designs for front-yard gardens, patios and terraces, borders, hillsides, woodlands and water, as well as specialty gardens whether sunny or shady.  The designs are helpful and the advice practical.  Photos are not the best quality but overall good resource.

Charlotte Adelman & Bernard L. Schwartz
 The Midwestern Native Garden and Midwestern Native Shrubs and Trees
Two titles by Adelman and Schwartz.

These books are organized by season, with different sections explaining the non-native plants and their appearance each season.  The books serve as a “Plant this, Not that” for gardening, providing alternative options to nonnative, invasive and exotic plants. The book distinguishes natives and non-natives by color-coding them. Each page shows a non-native plant, with a brief description, followed by 1-3 native alternatives, providing dense descriptions of their physical characteristics, common & Latin names, and the benefits to birds, butterflies and bees of including these plants in your garden. The books also have colorful photos or illustrations of the plants.

NOTE:  Local Libraries can be excellent resources to borrow some of the pricier books such as William Cullina’s – The New England Wildflower Society Guide to Growing and Propagating Wildflowers in the United States and Canada.