October 19, 2023 - Gerould Wilhelm - In person at the Prospect Heights Public Library and on Zoom.

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM to present “A Conversation with Dr. Gerould Wilhelm”.


We invite you to spend an evening in conversation with renowned botanist, research taxonomist, educator, and co-author of “Flora of the Chicago Region”, Dr. Gerould Wilhelm. The conversation will be centered around rare and endangered habitats in the Chicagoland region, climate change and species migration, and why land Stewardship is more important than ever. Dr. Wilhelm will express his views on these issues and open the evening for a discussion. Audience participation is encouraged.


Dr. Wilhelm will point out that post-colonial cultural views on our relationship to the land and the living warp and weft of life around us is quite different from that of the aboriginal inhabitants.

Our interaction with the air, land, and water has set the trajectory of landscape evolution on a very different course than our native plants and animals experienced
in the coevolution with human culture throughout much of the Holocene.


These existentially different views clearly have had an impact on the diversity of species, collapse of remnant cohorts of genetic memory of life in the region, the transformation and depauperization of living systems, and the introduction of species whose autecological imprint is

not for a sustained relationship with others.  Then there is the inevitable spiritual disconnect that occurs in a

culture whose epistemological sense

from birth is that all vital things can be made or improved by Man and that the

life force and biosphere conceived and created by our maker is progressively irrelevant.


Opuntia at Bell Bowl Prairie - Photo Courtesy of Cassi Saari

The idea that we can obliterate irreplaceable systems such as the recent annihilation of Bell Bowl Prairie, for example, can bubble up into the minds of people living today, in 2023, knowing what we know, is tragic in the classical sense. It also represents the tip of a very large iceberg.

All programs take place at the Prospect Heights Public Library's AB meeting room and on Zoom. Talks start promptly at 7:00. Nature Speaks is free admission but registration is necessary.

Sporobolus heterolepis at Bell Bowl Prairie - Photo courtesy of Cassi Saari

Bell Bowl Prairie and Midfield Air Cargo Development area

Map courtesy of Cassi Saari

Dr. Wilhelm currently is the Director of Research for the Conservation Research Institute, where is principal research is on the lichens of the Southern Lake Michigan Region. He was once part owner of Conservation Design Forum, Inc., the pioneer company devoted to changing water doctrine in the United States. He believes that water should be regarded as a blessing, not a bane. He is also noted for his development of the Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) methodology, which has become widely adapted for use in many states and provinces. Dr. Wilhelm is a master story teller/educator and teaches classes on plant identification to people with diverse backgrounds, from professional wetland biologists to volunteer stewards.


Dr. Wilhelm will be leading the conversation about these critical issues that affect the wellbeing of our natural world and ultimately, of course, ourselves. We invite you to submit your ideas and or questions in advance by sending them to info@phnrc.com for inclusion in the conversation. Admission is free of charge but you must register for in-person or Zoom for this highly informative and interesting evening.

Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission

8 N. Elmhurst Road

Prospect Heights, IL. 60070

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