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Spring Gardening Inspiration 2019


Featured Speakers

Are you sure you know everything there is to know about the birds, the bees, the flowers and the trees?

Join us to learn more...




Paige Embry has a BS in geology from Duke University and an MS in geology from the University of Montana. She has worked as an environmental consultant, taught horticulture and geology classes, and runs a garden design and coaching business. She has written articles for Horticulture, The American Gardener, and other magazines.

Masons, Miners & Thieves—The Real Lives of America’s Bees

Did a bee go extinct because of greenhouse tomatoes? Why is a bee nicknamed Cinderella? Follow a gardener’s adventures into the field with bee scientists and farmers to explore the lives of bees. Tucked into stories where bees build turrets and paint walls are lessons on how bees live—and how our gardens can help them. Based on her book Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them. She will focus on Midwest bees for us.

Paige Embry is the author of "Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them" (Timber Press 2018). Her multi-year obsession with the lives of America’s native bees began with a gardening epiphany—honey bees, which came from Europe with the colonists, can’t pollinate tomatoes--but certain native bees can. She has written for Scientific American, the Food and Environmental Reporting Network, Horticulture and others. She lives, gardens, and stalks bees in Seattle, Washington.

You can reach her through her website:

Lydia Scott is the Director of the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI).  The CRTI was founded by The Morton Arboretum, an internationally recognized arboretum with the mission to collect and study trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum maintains living collections and has a cohort of scientists studying a wide variety of issues related to trees.

Trees & the Quality of Life—What We Know About Where We Live

The CRTI is a regional collaborative of organizations working together to improve the health of the urban forest in the Chicago Region. CRTI has the goals to inspire people to value trees; increase the Chicago Region’s tree canopy; reduce threats to trees; and enhance oak ecosystems with the end result improved quality of life for people in the Chicago Region.  The CRTI provides training, education, and outreach to communities and public and landowners and managers; works to improve policies, local and regional plans, and promotes the preservation and protection of trees and their ecosystems. The CRTI has the most in depth and extensive urban forestry dataset in the U.S. This data base informs the action and direction of CRTI.

Lydia holds a Master's of Science degree from the University of Illinois in Environmental Science and has 25 years of experience in conservation and urban forestry. Learn more at:







For our afternoon session we'll have Pam Karlson join us.

Pam Karlson is a career artist, gardener/landscape designer and a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer who has been rescuing migratory birds for 15 years. Residing in Chicago, she co-owns Waxwing Studio, Inc. with her artist husband Mike Edsey, specializing in design, illustration, gardening, and landscape watercolor painting. 

Birds in the Garden: Tips for Creating & Enjoying a Bird Oasis

Creating and enjoying a bird oasis connects us to nature and helps sustain bird populations. This presentation will showcase a small Chicago bird garden to illustrate how it is possible to attract more than 100 bird species. Tips include landscape enhancements, practices, and plant selection, with an emphasis on natives/nativars. We will also discuss migration, bird species diversity, habitat, diet, nesting, supplemental feeding, and citizen science.