February 22, 2024 - Kathleen Garness - In person at the Prospect Heights Public Library and on Zoom.

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM to present “Inspiring Young Artists Through Nature and Conservation”.


We invite you to spend an evening renown Botanical artist, Kathleen Garness for her presentation, "Inspiring Young Artists Through Nature and Conservation".


Young people are wanting more active roles in conservation leadership, but often we need to be creative in outreach to identify and nurture them. The Chicago region, an epicenter of floristic diversity, offers many programs to engage youth in this growing field. Museums, conservation organizations, small and large not-for-profits, are seeing engagement in stewardship work via art programming to be a valuable tool in helping young people connect more deeply on a site-by-site basis to our local flora and fauna.


Kathleen’s talk will highlight many of the outreach efforts with which she’s been involved for the past fifteen years, and talk about new opportunities for young people to develop their capacity to see and understand the natural world around them through art and close observation.


Cypripedium parviflorum - Yellow Lady’s Slipper

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.

Kathleen worked as a commercial artist for over a decade before taking up the banner of natural history art. Classes in Morton Arboretum’s certificate program of botanical and scientific illustration allowed her to study with some of the best teachers in the Midwest.


She has worked with the Field Museum and The Nature Conservancy to produce educational materials for the growing community of natural areas restoration volunteers and collaborated with Gerould Wilhelm and Conservation Research Institute to illustrate a glossary to Flora of the Chicago Region and some regional genus-level guides.


Kathleen has received two grants from the American Society of Botanical Artists that allowed her to introduce botanical illustration to new and more diverse audiences. Her work may also be seen on the Smithsonian’s North American Native Orchid Conservation web gallery: http://northamericanorchidcenter.org/featured-botanical-illustration/



 Participation in the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Plants of Concern program offers Kathy a unique window into the artistic connections between ecology and the lure of the beautiful as well as the tensions between wildlife under pressure and the demands of human need.


Admission is free of charge but you must register for in-person or Zoom presentation.


Galearis spectabilis Showy Orchis

Vanilla study

Cypripedium acaule Pink Lady’s Slipper

Glossary 8 from Flora of the Chicago Region

Common Plant Families - Field Museum

Platanthera peramoena Purple Fringeless Orchid

Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission

8 N. Elmhurst Road

Prospect Heights, IL. 60070

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