OAK BROOK – The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County invites gardeners to plant local and think global by placing presale orders for its Native Plant Sale taking place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 10 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 11 at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook.
People can peruse the sale catalog and also find links to upcoming district programs and blogs on native landscaping at dupageforest.org/native-plant-sale, a news release stated. Presale orders are limited to the first 350 customers, with a five-plant minimum.
Pickup dates are 2 to 7 p.m. May 9 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 10 at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St. All proceeds will support educational programming at the Forest Preserve District.
“This year we will be offering eight new plant species, including two additional milkweeds,” Anamari Dorgan, district director of community services and education, stated in the release. “We are also expanding presale pickup hours and our educational opportunities during the tent sale to accommodate busy schedules.”
Most plants at this year’s sale originate from seed collected within 100 miles of DuPage County and are not treated with insecticides containing neonicotinoids, which are harmful to bees and other insect pollinators, the release stated.
“The Native Plant Sale is intended to raise public awareness, spark interest and deepen knowledge about the many benefits of gardening with native plants – from healthy habitat for wildlife and people to resource conservation and climate benefits to simple beauty,” Dorgan said.
Gardeners can learn about landscaping with native plants and attracting pollinators at several Forest Preserve District programs.
• Native Landscaping: Design, 6 to 8 p.m. April 10, Fullersburg Woods. Bring digital or hand-drawn pictures of your landscaping plan to a 40-minute customized session with experts, and leave with a design for your own backyard habitat. Cost is $15. Register online or at 630-850-8110.
• Native Landscaping: Wild Suburbia, 1 to 3 p.m. April 13, Willowbrook Wildlife Center. Learn how to attract pollinators and other wildlife to your yard using native plants, and make a wildlife-safe project for your garden. Cost is $10. Register online or at 630-942-6200.
• Native Landscaping: All About Plants, 1 to 2:30 p.m. April 7, Fullersburg Woods. Learn about the benefits of native plants and how their root structures differ from those of ornamentals. Cost is $5. Register online or at 630-850-8110.
• Climate Change and Habitat Restoration, 6:30 to 8 p.m. April 16, Mayslake. Join the director of natural resources to learn about habitat restoration projects, how they affect biodiversity, and what we can do to help natural areas adapt as climate gets warmer and drier – or wetter. Cost is $5. Register online or at 630-206-9566.
• Wildflower Walk, 10 to 11 a.m. April 24 or May 1, Fullersburg Woods. Find out how to identify different spring flowers, and discover which varieties you can grow at home during a leisurely walk with a plant expert. Cost is $5. Register online or at 630-850-8110.
• Native Landscaping: Yikes! What’s Wrong with my Plant?, 7 to 8 p.m. April 25, Mayslake. Learn diagnostic steps that can help you pinpoint what’s killing your plant’s branches or chewing on its leaves. Cost is $5. Register online or at 630-206-9566.
• Native Landscaping: For Birds, Bees and You, 9 to 10:30 a.m. April 27, Fullersburg Woods. Learn how to create a beautiful, lower-maintenance, highly productive, resource-conserving backyard landscape. Cost is $5. Register online or at 630-850-8110.
• Eco Wind Chime Workshop, 10 a.m. to noon May 2, Mayslake. Make a wind chime from repurposed materials, and get inspiration for other upcycled projects. Supplies are included. Cost is $20. Register online or at 630-206-9566.
• An Evening for the Oaks, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 15, Woodridge Park District Community Center. Learn what you can do to help the county’s rare oak communities. The joint event with the Park District will have a brief presentation by local experts on planting and caring for oaks followed by a Q-and-A session. The free program is open to all ages. Register online or at 630-933-7248.
• Wellness Stretching for Gardening, 9 to 10 a.m. June 12, Mayslake. Explore ways to keep your muscles and joints flexible as you work in your garden. Be ready to stretch and move at this active beginner’s program, and learn easy ways to keep your whole body and mind fit. Cost is $3 per person in advance; $5 at the program. Register online or at 630-206-9566.
To learn more about programs and district attractions, visit dupageforest.org.