The next Chicago Living Corridors Webinar will be November 16, 2023 at 7:00 pm. Legumes and Peas in Our Local Flora

Please register at:

Published by Carol Rice  · 23h  · 
Legumes and Peas in Our Local Flora

Join Chicago Living Corridors for our next webinar –
Thursday, November 16, 2023  at 7:00 pm
Legumes and Peas in Our Local Flora

Chicago Living Corridors

Published by Carol Rice  · 8m  · 

Legumes and Peas in our Local Flora

November 16, 2023, 7:00 pm

Laurie Ryan, Plant Ecologist with the McHenry County Conservation District, will share some of the more interesting traits of native legumes, and compare them with commonly seen non-natives and those used in agriculture.

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For those who have established native plant habitat on your property, if you have not already entered information about your property on the Homegrown National Park website, please visit the website and add to the growing number of properties on the map.

IMPORTANT UPDATEChicago Living Corridors’ webinars will be hosted by the Barrington Area Library on their Zoom platform.  The opportunity to work with the Barrington Area Library is an exciting partnership.  


CLC Next Webinar will be September 23, 2021, Native Plants through the Seasons

Please register at:…/native-plants…

Published by Carol Rice  · 23h  · 

Join Chicago Living Corridors for our next webinar – September 23, 2021 at 7:00 pm


Let’s take a look at native plants through all four seasons and see how they can work in your landscape.

Carol Rice and Debbie Groat will share with you plants from their own gardens as well as provide commentary regarding their experience with native plants. Debbie Groat always considered herself a gardener but didn’t know much about native plants when she enlisted the help of the Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee in 2005. As a member of the WPPC’s first mentoring class and with the help of an experienced native gardening mentor she planted her first prairie garden. She has since expanded her plantings to several other areas of her yard. She does not consider herself an expert by any means but is constantly learning and is committed to native plants not only for what they offer in terms of beauty and interest but also what they offer to the birds, insects and other creatures that visit her yard.

Carol Rice has been actively involved with the Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee since the late 1980s. She initiated the mentoring program in 2005. She has been involved with Chicago Living Corridors since its inception, and is the current president.She has been restoring the native habitat on her property for over thirty years.…/native-plants…

Chicago Living Corridors Next Webinar will be December 9, 2020 at 7:00 pm – Ecology and Conservation of Illinois Dragonflies

The next CLC webinar on December 9, Ecology and Conservation of Illinois Dragonflies, will provide an overview of the life cycle of dragonflies and damselflies, presented by Marla Garrison.  She is an instructor of biology at McHenry County College, and authored Damselflies of Chicagoland, published online by the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History.  
This popular speaker combines extensive knowledge, incredible photographs and an engaging style in her presentations.  Please plan on joining us.  

We have been very happy to bring you these free webinars, but would welcome donations to help offset the costs.  A suggested donation of $10 can be made here

Starting with our January 14 webinar, Chicago Living Corridors’ webinars will be hosted by the Barrington Area Library on their Zoom platform.  There will likely be some changes in schedule and other elements of the webinars, but we hope to minimize any disruptions.  We are grateful to Iris Caldwell and the University of Illinois Chicago for hosting the webinars up until now.

The opportunity to work with the Barrington Area Library is an exciting new partnership, and we look forward to a smooth transition.  The registration page for the January webinar – Native Shrubs for the Home Landscape – will be provided soon.
Access to the videos of previous webinars are available at:

October 14,2020, Landscaping for Birds 
September 23, 2020,  Native Bumble Bees in Your Yard
August 12,2020, Identifying and Controlling Invasive Species
July 22, 2020, “An Intimate Look at the Life Cycle of  the Monarch Butterfly”
June 17, 2020, “Invite Nature to Your Yard

Chicago Living Corridors Next Webinar will be October 14, 2020 at 7:00 pm Landscaping for Birds

The next Chicago Living Corridors webinar will be on October 14, 2020 at 7:00 pm. Landscaping for Birds will be presented by Lisa Maier, who has been active with WPPC’s mentoring group for several years and is an experienced birder, (officer of McHenry County Audubon). She will be sharing her knowledge of birds and native landscaping. And did I mention she has some terrific photographs.Please register at…/7546845912561068302 to join us.

Chicago Living Corridors Next Webinar, September 23, 2020 at 7:00 pm “The Native Bumble Bees in Your Yard: Reflections of a Backyard Bee Chaser”

Join us at 7:00 pm, on September 23 for our next webinar: “The Native Bumble Bees in Your Own Backyard: Reflections of a Backyard Bee Chaser”.
Our presenter will be Brandie Dunn, who has merged her love of native habitat and bumble bees with an interest in photography to highlight these very important pollinators. Please register at :

A Bird’s Eye View Inside Some Nests

Although our local weather may not be as spring-like as we’d like, birds are responding to their nesting timelines all over the country.  Below are links to several special opportunities to observe the nesting behavior of a bird species including hawks, osprey, peregrines, eagles and hummingbirds.  Several links have been provided for eagle cams; each of them offers a view of different stages in the nesting. These links include live cams as well as recordings (both from this season and from previous years).  The pages usually include some information about the project and the individual birds’ histories. Because of the file sizes and depending on your internet speed, there may be delay times as the live-streams load.

If you have information on other sites, please share with Carol Rice at

Red Tail hawk’s nest by All About Birds Article and live video 

Recorded videos of hummingbirds building their nest and their babies 

Peregrine Cam in Baltimore, MD

Osprey Cam in Charlotte and Lake Norman (both in North Carolina)

Eagle Cams in Washington, D.C,Decorah, Iowa, and Minnesota

Kestrel Cam in Utah

Peregrine nest in Evanston, IL 

Spring Gardening Inspiration, hosted by Darien Garden Club

On Saturday, March 10, Chicago Living Corridors was an exhibitor at the Darien Garden Club’s Spring Gardening Inspiration.  This event had 115 registrants and 11 exhibitors. The volunteers did a terrific job of planning, from greeting the exhibitors at the entrance to offer assistance, to providing an array of refreshments and lunch, and  wonderful perks. The best goody bag ever and a plant arrangement at every table. There were over thirty baskets of raffle prizes.

Of course, the speakers are the essential part of a good program, and the keynote was given by Dr. Abigail Derby Lewis, Senior Conservation Ecologist, Senior Program Manager, Chicago Region, Field Museum of Natural History.  “What You Plant Matters: the collective impact of urban habitat on people and nature.” She showed maps and graphs diagraming the amount of available open land in the Chicago region, and the opportunities that exist for increasing the habitat for monarchs. The challenges created by climate change were a major focus of her presentation, and the resulting impact on invasives, diseases, flooding, biodiversity, and mismatching of “pheno-phase”.  (meaning that plants will bloom too early due to warmer temperatures and not be available when the insects/birds arrive that depend on those plants.)

She recommended actions that can be taken to withstand the changes, and stressed the need for improving the health of the landscape: tree planting initiatives and the Biodiversity Recovery Plan of Chicago Wilderness were two examples.  Planting native habitat on private property was a key objective, and lines up perfectly with the mission of Chicago Living Corridors.

After the keynote, there were two tracks, with two speakers on native plant subjects and two speakers on vegetable gardening.

The variety of exhibitors was also a great feature – including tables for Conservation@Home, The Indian Prairie Public Library, Sunny Patch Farm, the Forest Preserves of DuPage County, a Seed Library (I missed the full name, but a terrific idea),  Downers Grove Organic Gardeners, the Garden Clubs of Illinois organization, and Wild Ones of Greater DuPage, as well as a table for the host organization and a few others.

The Darien Garden Club has a number of members that are growing native plants in their home gardens, and the club stands out as a leader in the garden club universe.  Chicago Living Corridors was very pleased to have been invited to exhibit at this function, and meet some of the principals of the Darien Garden Club. We will be exploring creating a connection between the garden club and CLC.  


Chicago Living Corridors promotes the idea that private landowners can be instruments of change by restoring natural habitat corridors between protected conservation areas in order to:

  • improve biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • diminish the effects of climate change


One good way to participate in this effort is to join a local organization.  See below for more information.  Additional ways to participate include:
Volunteer with Chicago Living Corridors
Become a Citizen Scientist

Join a CLC Partner Organization

Many private landowners have created native habitat on their property.  See here for an interactive map of some of those who have registered their native habitat.

The CLC partner organizations listed below promote the use of native plants and natural habitats on private landscapes. Become involved in the natural landscaping movement in your community. Join one of the organizations listed, or start your own organization, and tell CLC about it.  The first four organizations are founding partners.

For people in Chicago and Cook County who are seeking advice on establishing native habitat on their property, please contact the University of Illinois Extension.  Look for the “Contact Us” information in the right-hand bar. Valerie Kehoe is the primary contact for this program.  People in Oak Park/River Forest area could get involved with West Cook Wild Ones.
For those in Chicago or Cook County who already have native habitat installed on their property, and who wish to participate on the Chicago Living Corridors map, you can also connect with the U of I Extension, or one of our other participating partners (Illinois Audubon Society Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary program, West Cook Wild Ones, or other organizations  Check your habitat against the criteria listed for inclusion.

Citizens for Conservation (CFC)
Citizens for Conservation is a 48-year-old volunteer organization in the Barrington area whose mission is “Saving Living Space for Living Things through protection, restoration, and stewardship of land, conservation of natural resources and education.

  • Our Habitat Corridors program promotes planting native plants and earth-friendly yard practices. Knowledgeable volunteers make complimentary visits to home properties in the northwest suburbs to provide recommendations.
  • Our annual native plant sale, held the first weekend of May, provides a huge selection of local ecotype forbs, grasses, shrubs and trees.

Our websites, and provide many resources for individuals.

Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee (WPPC)
The Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee is a non-profit organization dedicated to:

  • Promoting the use of native plants in the landscape through preservation, propagation, and education
  • Advocating the conservation of open space, natural landscapes, wildlife habitat,
    scenic resources, and water in McHenry County and neighboring areas for the benefit of the general public
  • Engaging in and otherwise promoting the scientific study of and educating the public regarding local natural resources

Most of our members are in McHenry County.

Wild Ones Chapters
West Cook Wild Ones (WCWO) and
Northern Kane Wild Ones (NKWO)

West Cook Wild Ones and Northern Kane Wild Ones promote the use of native plants and natural landscapes.

Barrington Area Conservation Trust preserves our community’s rare and exceptional open spaces for current and future generations.   

  •     Preserve open spaces in perpetuity through working with homeowners on conservation easements.
  •     Restore habitat at our nature preserves and spread the word to community members. Furthering local, regional and national conservation efforts that are vital to our future.   
  •     Inspire our future environmental stewards through high school programming, summer internships, and teen board.   

Come join us! Volunteers and members help us preserve, restore and inspire


The Conservation Foundation (TCF)
The Conservation Foundation is a non-profit land and river protection organization founded in 1972. The support of more than 3,500 members and 500 volunteers helps us carry out our mission to preserve and restore open space and natural lands, protect rivers and watersheds, and promote stewardship of our environment in DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will Counties, Illinois.

The Conservation@Home program in Cook County is a unique joint partnership with the Forest Preserves of Cook County and University of Illinois Extension.  The goal is to bring native habitat beyond Forest Preserves borders and promote healthy, sustainable, native landscapes to residents, schools, and communities in Cook County.

Forest Preserves of Cook County

Explore the natural beauty of Cook County for an hour, a day or even a night. When you’re surrounded by 70,000 acres of prairies, woodlands, wetlands and savannas, there’s no better place to feel free. In the Forest Preserves of Cook County, create your own adventure on trails, at nature centers and campgrounds, and much more.

University of Illinois Extension

Extension is founded on the belief that knowledge can change lives.  Through practical education we help individuals and businesses solve problems and develop skills to positively impact their future. Under the value statement of Appreciating and Improving the Environment,specially trained volunteers can provide free unbiased research-driven information to residents within their communities. This can be a contributing factor in protecting our environment by preventing unnecessary pesticide and fertilizer use, and providing native and more-suitable plant choices that ultimately provide a habitat for local wildlife and help preserve the local ecosystem.

The Illinois Audubon Society was established as an independent, state-wide, educational and scientific organization in 1897. It is Illinois’ oldest non-profit conservation organization. Today’s Illinois Audubon Society operates as a land trust. The Society’s mission is “to promote the perpetuation and appreciation of native flora and fauna of Illinois and the habitats that support them.” Fundamental to this end are the control of pollution, the conservation of energy and all natural resources, a sound ecological relationship between human populations and their environments, and the education and involvement of the public in such efforts. The Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary Certificate  program furthers this end by encouraging private landowners to use native plants and practices which reduce water consumption and the use of pesticides and fertilizer.  The Society believes that private landowners have the ability to increase native plant diversity, and in doing so restore habitat for wildlife.

The Land Conservancy of McHenry County, a non-profit land trust, has been preserving and restoring natural areas since 1991. Over 2,000 acres have been saved and are cared for with the help of almost 1,800 volunteers. Public programs and events are held to celebrate our connection to the land and community while providing valuable education opportunities.

The Natural Land Institute, an accredited land trust, is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit land conservation organization based in Rockford, Illinois, which has preserved and protected more than 17,300 acres of natural land in Illinois since 1958. NLI’s current service area covers twelve counties: Winnebago, Boone, northern DeKalb, Ogle, Lee, Bureau, Henry, Rock Island, Whiteside, Carroll, Jo Daviess and Stephenson Counties. NLI currently owns 26 preserves (2,728 acres) and holds 49 conservation easements (3,817 acres). There are five full-time and one part-time staff with nearly 200 volunteers per year to help carry out their mission to create an enduring legacy of natural land in northern Illinois for people, plants and animals.  For more information:

Openlands – Founded in 1963, Openlands protects the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region to ensure cleaner air and water, protect natural habitats and wildlife, and help balance and enrich our lives.

Learn about Red Stem Native Landscapes __

The mission of Red Stem Native Landscapes, Inc., is to create beautiful garden spaces using only native plants and natural materials such as clay brick and wood. We take great pleasure in demonstrating the charm and beauty of our native species in home gardens and the exteriors of businesses, houses of worship, libraries–wherever there is space for the plants and the wildlife that always shows up for the food, shelter and opportunities to reproduce. We work on Chicago’s northside, in the northern suburbs, and in Oak Park and nearby suburbs designing, building, and maintaining these vibrant gardens with the hope that the plants and the species they support will continue to survive and thrive into the future.

Red Stem Native Landscapes
3057 N. Rockwell St.
Chicago, IL 60618
Online Nursery with In-Person Pick Up


Tell Us About Your Organization

Is your organization not listed above, but is helping private landowners to support pollinator populations, conserve clean water, increase biodiversity and restore soil? We would like to hear about it. Please contact us at The CLC support region includes the counties in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana listed below.


Boone Kenosha
Cook Racine
DeKalb Walworth
DuPage Waukesha
Iroquois IN
Kane Jasper
Kankakee Lake
Kendall LaPorte
Lake Marshall
LaSalle Newton
Livingston Porter
McHenry St. Joseph
Will Starke