Wild Ones Rock River Valley Chapter recipient of the 2014 Seth B. Atwood Award for Parks and Conservation in the Organzational category by the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District!

Become a Member! Only $37. Use your credit card and join on-line, click here.

Native Prairie Plant Sale brochure is available, click here to download. Orders due April 27, 2015.
..See the the Plant Sale page for the latest information and updates.

Our Next Event:

Thursday, May 21, 2015 7:00 p.m.:

Local Ferns for Native Gardens

CopeEd Cope, Restoration Ecologist for the Natural Land Institute, will give us a peek into the fascinating world of ferns and the many ways they can benefit our native gardens and landscapes. Ferns are one of the most ancient plant groups dating back 300 million years. His program will provide a detailed look into landscaping with native ferns.  Ed will educate us a bit on this plant group’s distinguishing characteristics, complex reproductive cycle, and how they differ from most of more highly evolved plants that we work with in our gardens. He'll discuss the benefits of planting ferns, the ins-and-outs of propagation, and how to make them thrive in a garden setting.  An overview will also be given on which species are native to the region, and where they may be enjoyed in a natural setting.

Ed has extensive education and experience in restoring and managing northern Illinois native vegetation and ecosystems. He has volunteered for and been employed by the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County, and currently, the Natural Land Institute. As a seasonal natural resource employee at FPWC, Cope produced photo field guides to the Orchids of Winnebago County and the Ferns of Winnebago County.

Cope received a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife and habitat management and land rehabilitation in May 2013 from Montana State University. After graduation, he spent a year in Alaska working for a dog-sled team. Cope says he came back to Winnebago County because his calling is in the Midwest. “There’s a lot of good work to be done here. I’ve spent time (out west), but their point of view (on the environment) is so different. There’s still so much land left. There’s not so much here.”

We meet at Rock Valley College, 3301 N Mulford Rd, Rockford, Illinois 61114, in the Woodward Technology Center (WTC). Look for the signs. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. Come at 6:30 p.m. to socialize before the 7:00 meeting, browse the merchandise tables, check out the lending library and Wild Ones information booth. This program is free and open to the public.