Classes & Events

Interested in hosting a gardening event or class series? Email us —we would love to work with you!

This spring, we're hitting the road! Come join us for FREE classes coming to a CPL branch near you.

UPCOMING CLASSES

NBN_WorkingwithNativeSeeds

What: Working with Native Seeds

Seeds are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get native plants in your garden…and one of the most intimidating! Join North Branch Native's expert horticulturists to demystify seed germination and learn techniques to grow native plants for your garden on a budget. We will talk about the function of various species that are good for bees and butterflies and that provide flowers from spring through fall.

PLUS Each attendee will get free seeds, soil, growing tray + instructions to make it easy for you to get in on the native gardening fun.

Let’s grow, Chicago!

When: Saturday, February 24, 10-11am
Where: Albany Park Branch, Chicago Public Library (3401 W. Foster Avenue, Chicago)
Who: ages 18+
Cost: FREE 
This event is full and registration is closed.

AND

When: Saturday, March 23, 10-11am
Where: 
Richard J. Daley Branch, Chicago Public Library (733 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago)
Who:
 ages 13+
Cost: FREE

AND

When: Saturday, March 30, 12-1pm
Where: 
Humboldt Park Library (1605 N. Troy Street, Chicago)
Who:
 ages 13+
Cost: FREE
This event is full and registration is closed.

 

What: Butterfly Gardens- All Seasons, All Stages

Join North Branch Natives and Chicago Public Library to learn how to bring butterflies to your yard this summer and throughout the year. This class will delve into butterfly biology and life cycle and teach you how to provide habitat from caterpillar to chrysalis.

PLUS (we will have plenty of FREE SEEDS from butterfly host and nectaring plants 🌱 for you to take home to sow in your garden + instruction on seeding into a new or existing garden)

When: Saturday, March 9, 10-11am
Where: Manning Branch, Chicago Public Library (6 S. Hoyne Avenue, Chicago)
Who: ages 18+
Cost: FREE 

 


AND

When: Monday, April 15th, 5:30pm-6:30pm
Where: Bucktown-Wicker Park Branch, Chicago Public Library (1701 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago)
Who: ages 18+
Cost: FREE 
- Registration info to be posted soon!

 _____________________________________________________

PAST CLASSES

 

Get to Know Your Garden's Ecology

with Leslie Shad, Natural Habitat Evanston

Where do bees and butterflies overwinter? How do I plan for migrating birds? Do I cut the stems, leave the leaves, rake, trim and tidy? Leslie will share her vast knowledge and help you get on track for a healthy habitat garden.

When: Saturday, December 2, 10-11am
Where:
 Eugene Field Park (field house), 5100 N Ridgeway Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

Cost: $30

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED FOR THIS CLASS

 

SEEDS_Gathering & Saving 

What: SEEDS!

Gathering & Saving (Part 1)

Seeds are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get native plants in your garden…and one of the most intimidating! In our two-part Seeds series we break down all the seed collecting terminology and techniques for any level gardener to understand. Join us for part one (Gathering & Saving) where we head out to Eugene Field Park natural area to discuss how to gather your own seeds and what to do from there! 

You will collect, label and store seeds from this event.

Sowing & Growing (Part 2)

You’ve collected or bought your seeds…now what? Direct sowing, overwintering, stratifying—what does it all mean? In part two of our Seeds series, learn the next steps to rearing your own native plants from seed and the ins and outs of bringing them to life using low cost, DIY methods.

When: Saturday, September 23 & 30, 9:15-11:15am
Level: Beginner and intermediate
Where: Eugene Field Park (field house): 5100 N Ridgeway Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Price: $75

 

Fall Garden To-Dos

What: Fall Garden To-Dos

Fall is not only a critical time for the gardener to put their landscape to bed, but also for the bees, butterflies and other insects that live in your plant stems and leaf litter —not to mention the birds that are stopping by! Learn how to tidy your garden while also promoting habitat for the creatures that share your space.

When: Saturday, October 14, 9:15-10:15am
Level: Beginner and intermediate
Where: Eugene Field Park (field house): 5100 N Ridgeway Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Price: $25

(Sign up for both classes on Sept 2 and take home 3 FREE plants to help make your fall garden shine.) 

DesigningFallColor

What: Designing for Fall Color

Full of bright yellows, fiery reds and chestnut browns, the colors of fall are a spectacle in the garden. Learn how to incorporate these colors into your space with native plants and take advantage of the last flush of bright hues before winter.

When: Saturday, October 14, 10:30-11:30am
Level: Beginner and intermediate
Where: Eugene Field Park (field house): 5100 N Ridgeway Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Price: $25

(Sign up for both classes by October 6 and take home 3 FREE plants to help make your fall garden shine.) 

Tackling Garden Weeds

What: Tackling Garden Weeds

What makes a plant a weed and how can you tell the difference? In part one of this two-part class, learn the basics of weed identification and techniques to save your time (and your back!) so you can enjoy your garden in leisure. For part two, join us out in the landscape at Eugene Field Park to put your new knowledge to the test!

When: Saturday, September 9, 10am-noon
Level: Beginner and intermediate
Where: Eugene Field Park (field house): 5100 N Ridgeway Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Price: $35

What: How to Build a Butterfly Garden

Join North Branch Natives and Chicago Public Library to learn how to bring butterflies to your yard this summer and throughout the year. This class will delve into butterfly biology and life cycle and teach you how to provide habitat from caterpillar to chrysalis.

PLUS (bring a container to take home FREE SEEDS from butterfly host and nectaring plants 🌱)

This project is partially supported by a grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and presented as part of the Culture In My Neighborhood initiative. #CultureInMyNeighborhood

When: Tues, June 6, 6:30-7:30pm.
Where: Lincoln Park Branch, Chicago Public Library,
1150 W. Fullerton Avenue, Chicago
Who: ages 18+
Cost: FREE - 

 

What: No-fuss Native Gardens

Wondering what all this talk of drifts and matrix plantings is all about? Not sure how to go about starting a new garden or how to add to an existing one?

Bring your garden questions and join us for No-fuss Native Gardens to learn methods to make a beautiful and low-fuss native planting that evolves throughout the year —and that brings you a sense of joy and wonder with each new garden visitor you see.

When: Saturday, May 20, 10am-12pm
Level: Beginner and intermediate
Where: Eugene Field Park (field house): 5100 N Ridgeway Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Price: $25

 
.

What: Native Seed Starting at CPL - FREE

Registration for this event is full
(join our email list and get updates on new classes!)

Join fellow gardeners for this quick and fun event to learn how to germinate seeds to grow native plants for your garden. We will talk about the function of various species that are good for bees and butterflies and that provide flowers from spring through fall.

Seeds, soil, growing tray and instructions will be provided to make it easy for you to get in on the native gardening fun. Let’s grow together!

When: Tues, April 4, 6:30-7:30pm.
Where: Albany Park Branch, Chicago Public Library,
3401 W Foster Ave, Chicago
Who: ages 6+
Cost: FREE

 

 Seeds we will be sowing at this event:

  • Zizia aurea (golden alexanders): blooms Jun-Jul, grows to 3’ in height, full to part sun
  • Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower): blooms Jul-Aug, grows to 3’ in height, full to part sun
  • Sporobolus heterolepis (prairie dropseed): blooms Aug-Sept,  grows to 3’ in height, full to part sun
  • Symphyotrichum oblongifolium (aromatic aster): blooms Sep-Nov, grows to 2’ in height, full to part sun

 

    What: Grow Wild Native Gardening Series

    The Grow Wild Native Gardening Series is SOLD OUT (add your name to the wait list)

    This is a 6-part garden course where beginning and intermediate gardeners will learn the basics of native gardening design & techniques and a whole lot about awesome species that are sure to make you and your neighbors happy. 

    This is a small informal conversation-style class with limited seats (but plenty of time to ask your important questions).

    Course Topics

    March 5: Garden Design I: Designing habitat
    March 12: Plant ID I: Wildflowers, grasses & sedges
    Guest speaker Monica Buckley Red Stem Native Landscapes
    March 26: Garden Design II: Design process, composition and aesthetic
    March 19: Techniques I: Planning, prepping, planting
    April 2: Techniques II: Permaculture practices
    Guest speaker Annamaria Leon Love Blooms Here
    April 9 (no class)
    April 16: Plant ID II: Trees & shrubs
    Guest speaker Allison Sloan Shady Grove Wildflower Farm
      
    When: Sunday, March 5 - April 16, 2-4pm (no class April 9)
    Level: Beginner-intermediate
    Where: in-person at Complimentary Cafe (4933 Oakton St, Skokie, IL 60077)
    Price: $282 for the 6-class series

     

     Meadow-Garden-with-Verbena-and-Zizia

    What: Meadow Gardens Learn at Lunch

    Close your eyes and picture the buzz and sway of a meadow in the warm summer sun, the smell of prairie dropseed and purple coneflower, and the sound as a breeze whispers through the leaves.

    Awaken your senses and join us for a look at how to plant and care for a meadow garden. We will bring seeds to share and some great info on how to sow them.

    When: Thursday, February 16, 12-2pm
    Level: Beginner-intermediate
    Where: Perkolator (6032 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60634)

    REGISTRATION IS CLOSED FOR THIS EVENT