Past Speakers

July 17th, 2024


Nimkii Brad Howie


Available only on Zoom. This program will not be recorded so be sure to attend on Zoom or in the Library Meeting room.


7:00 PM - 8:30 PM to present “Aanii, Our Relationship with Insects and the Plants they Pollinate”.


So much of our interactions with the environment have to do with our relationships and our perspectives of the beings within the environment. In Western culture insects are often seen as a nuisance but to the Anishinaabe we see these beings as teachers and ones that deserve just as much respect and reciprocity as other beings......


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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”.


Young people are wanting more active roles in conservation leadership, but often we need to be creative in outreach to identify and nurture them.


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


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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.



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January 26th, 2023 - Kevin Griebenow

A Zoom Presentation 7:00 - 8:30                          

"Understanding Floods and Water Management -  How Much is it Going to Rain and When Will the Water Come Roaring Through Here?"


Hydrology, the movement of water across land is important to the history of our location and the shaping of the land. The city of Chicago (and Prospect Heights) is here because of hydrology.


Join us as we welcome Kevin Griebenow, P. E. as he will present his highly informative presentation on Hydrometeorology and Hydrology and how it affects us.


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October 20th, 2022 - Dan Jaffe Wilder

A Zoom Presentation 7:00 - 8:30

"Kill Your Lawn"


Dan Jaffe Wilder is an ecologist, horticulturist, and botanist with over fifteen years’ experience working with native plants and their associated ecology.


In this presentation, Dan Jaffe Wilder will talk about the various options available to us, from whole lawn replacement to strategies for reducing inputs and increasing ecological value.


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June 23rd, 2022 - Dr. Robert Zarr


A Zoom Presentation 7:00 - 8:30

"Making the Case for Nature Prescriptions: What’s New and What’s Next"


Dr. Robert Zarr, Founder of Park Rx America is the leading proponent of prescribing Nature to patients as part of an overall approach to wellness and prevention. In this presentation Dr. Zarr will focus on making the case for nature prescriptions, the numerous health benefits derived from nature and how and why you should write your own prescriptions.


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April 21st, 2022 - Dr. David Schwaegler An In-person and Zoom Presentation 7:00 - 8:30 "Lake in the Hills Fen" David Schwaegler has been a volunteer at Lake in the Hills Fen since since the late eighties, before it achieved Illinois Nature Preserve status. His numerous roles include bird monitoring, butterfly monitoring, conducting plants inventories, phenology studies, tour guide and Steward, among other things. His presentation, Lake in the Hills Fen, will unravel and expose the unparalleled beauty and complexity of this most magnificent and best kept secret in Illinois. Click Here to learn more 

January 20th 2022 - Dr. Alice Bell


A Zoom Presentation 1:30 - 3:00 PM.

"Our Biggest Experiment - The Epic History of the Climate Crisis"


It was Eunice Newton Foote, an American scientist and women's rights campaigner living in Seneca Falls, New York, who first warned the world that an atmosphere heavy with carbon dioxide could send temperatures here on Earth soaring. This was back in 1856. At the time, no one paid much attention.


Traversing science, politics, and technology, Our Biggest Experiment shines a spotlight on the little-known scientists who sounded the alarm to reveal the history behind the defining story of our age: the climate crisis.


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September 23rd, 2021 - Dr. Allison Sacerdote-Velat


"Direct Effects of an Invasive buckthorn Metabolite on Amphibian Embryo Survival and Development."


Most  people know Dr. Sacerdote-Velat as one of the leading authorities on Green Snakes but did you know she is one of the foremost authorities on buckthorn?  Please join us for this most informative talk on Prospect Height's public enemy # 1, buckthorn!


The NRC receives more calls and questions about invasive buckthorn than anything else. We invite residents to zoom in and learn first hand just how bad this guy is and why we all want to remove it!


June 24th 2021 - Stanley Temple

7:00-8:30 PM - “Wilderness Preservation, Natural Resource Management and Harmony with Nature”


Please join us as we welcome Stanley Temple, Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation in the Department of Forest at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wildlife Ecology and a Senior Fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation as he gives his presentation, "Wilderness Preservation, Natural Resource Management and Harmony with Nature”.


Professor Stanley Temple will discuss the complex history of how American thinking about conservation and our relationship with nature has evolved over the past 200 years.


Initially conservation was not perceived as necessary when European colonizers mistakenly thought the continent's natural resources were superabundant and inexhaustible. By the 19th century this misconception began to give way to the inescapable realization that many natural resources were being depleted.


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April 22nd, 2021 - Dan Shilling

7:00-8:30 PM - “Aldo Leopold Listens to the Southwest”


Please join us as we welcome Dan Shilling - PHD, Author, Lecturer and Historian for his presentation, "Aldo Leopold Listens to the Southwest".


Forester Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) is considered one of the founding voices of environmental ethics, although the discipline did not exist when his book, A Sand County Almanac, was published posthumously in 1949. His collection of essays popularized the idea of a “land ethic,” and, like Henry David Thoreau, Leopold eventually became required reading across the curriculum: conservation, philosophy, history, literature.


Rather than focus on Leopold’s Midwestern years, this presentation maintains that the seeds of Leopold’s revolutionary thought can be found in his years in Arizona and New Mexico (1909-1924). In particular, the talk explores how indigenous attitudes toward nature helped shape Leopold’s nearly 40-year intellectual journey.


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January 28th, 2021 - Chris Helzer

7:00-8:30 PM - “All the Little Things”


Please join us as we welcome Chris Helzer, author of The Prairie Ecologist blog and the Director of Science for the Nature Conservancy in Nebraska for his presentation, "All the Little Things".


When people think about nature, they tend to focus on the big charismatic animals we learned about as children.  However, ecosystems function because of much smaller organisms, including plants and invertebrates (and many others).


Those ‘little things’ and their complex interactive networks are worth knowing and appreciating.  This photo-heavy presentation will introduce you to some of those little creatures, including a diversity of plants, ants, grasshoppers, plant hoppers, and much more, and explain how they form and maintain resilient and healthy ecosystems.


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November 19th, 2020 - Dr. Doug Tallamy

7:00-8:30 PM - “Nature's Best Hope”


Please join us as we welcome the celebrated Author, Educator, Researcher and Naturalist, Dr. Doug Tallamy as he gives his presentation "Nature's Best Hope".


Recent headlines about global insect declines and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us.


Such losses are not an option if we wish to continue our current standard of living on Planet Earth.


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October 22nd, 2020 - Gavin Pretor-Pinney

12:00pm - 1:30pm Zoom Presentation


“Cloudspotting for Beginners”


Please join us as we welcome Gavin Pretor-Pinney from England as he presents his zoom presentation, "Cloudspotting for Beginners".


Gavin will tell you we have forgotten the wonderment of looking up at the clouds as kids and there has never been a more important time than now to rediscover the pleasures and experience the calm that it it brings.


The founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society, will take us on an illustrated tour of the sky.


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Photo courtesy of Bill Bradshaw

Tuesday, September 29th 2020 - Tricia Bethke

Illinois Forest Pest Outreach Coordinator at the Morton Arboretum. 7:00- 8:30 PM


Please join us as we welcome Tricia Bethke as she presents her Nature Speaks talk, “2020 International Year of Plant Health: Protecting Plants, Protecting People”


Every year 40 percent of our agricultural crops are lost to pests, whether insect or disease, they affect the air we breathe and the food we eat.  Changes to our climate and human activities have created new opportunities for pests to persist, reduced biodiversity, altered our natural resources and agricultural systems.  Plant health is necessary to protect our ecosystems and our food supply.


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Thursday, June 25th 2020 - Izabella Redlinski

Conservation Ecologist at the Field Museum.

7:00- 8:30 PM


“Restoring in the Face of Climate Change”


Climate change is here and it is affecting our everyday life as well as the ecosystems surrounding us and the organisms that live in them. At the same time people are realizing all the benefits natural areas provide - including carbon storage as a way of combating climate change. There are many local, regional and national efforts to restore native habitat, but how is the work being performed?


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Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - Bob Dean


"Flooding in the Region and What You Can Do
  About It”


Bob Dean has really great ideas about urban flooding. “Urban flooding is an increasingly important problem, and affects many residents of Prospect Heights.  Please join us as we welcome Bob Dean for his presentation "Flooding in the Region and What You Can Do About It”.



June 26, 2019 - Bill Kleiman


"Nachusa Grasslands:  30 Years of Protecting and Restoring Habitat"


Please join us as we welcome Bill Kleiman for his presentation "Nachusa Grasslands:  30 Years of Protecting and Restoring Habitat".


Thirty years ago, it was a radical notion to attempt to purchase and restore a semblance of the lost Illinois landscape. Today because of the efforts of people like Bill Kleiman, it has become more commonplace.


Under Kleiman's guidance, Nachusa Grasslands project (located in Franklin Grove, Illinois) has grown to over 4,000 acres and has become  a mecca for science. Today, with staff and a vigorous volunteer cadre, The Nature Conservancy has protected sizable remnant prairie, wetlands and woodlands; weaving them together with over 100 habitat...



April 16th, 2019 - Terry Miesle


"Chasing the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee"


Please join us as we welcome Terry Miesle for his presentation " Chasing the Rust-Patched Bumblebee".


Once very common throughout the Eastern US, the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis) populations have dramatically decreased in the past few decades.  Added to the US Endangered Species List, this bee has become the recipient of substantial attention.  We'll discuss some of the reasons for this decline, how we can help, and how we can report information as Citizen Scientists.




January 24, 2019 - Dan Thompson

Wildlife Ecologist with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County


"On the Brink of Extinction, Efforts to Save the Endangered Blanding’s turtle in DuPage County"


Join us for an evening with Wildlife Ecologist Dan Thompson. His presentation "On the Brink of Extinction, Efforts to Save the Endangered Blanding’s turtle in DuPage County",  takes a look at the his efforts to save this reptile. The Blanding’s turtle is an Illinois state endangered species.  The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County started......




November 29, 2018 - Joel Greenberg

Author and Naturalist.


"Hope is the Thing with Feathers: American and Three Birds"


Join us as we welcome renown  Author and Naturalist, Joel Greenberg. His presentation "Hope is a Thing with Feathers: Americans and Three Birds",  takes a look at three birds, each representing a different outcome at the hands of people.




June 28, 2018 - Dr. Gerould Wilhelm

Director of Research at the Conservation Research Institute in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.


"Consilience, Concinnity, and the Way"


Consilience means “jumping together” and is typified when all the elements of an ecosystem are working in harmony. The health of an ecosystem is directly related to consilience.  If one acknowledges that plants and animals grow in habitats to which they are adapted....




April 19, 2018 - Allison Sacerdote-Velat


"Smooth Greensnake Conservation in Northern Illinois."


Dr Sacerdote-Velat, one of the leading authorities on Green Snakes, will focus on the known threats to conservation of smooth green snakes. An Illinois species in great need of conservation she will focus on her research, their ecology, and applied conservation techniques being used to aid the persistence of the species in the region.



January 23, 2018 - Stephen Packard

"Rare Animals. Rare Plants. Rare People. Adventures in Chicagoland Conservation"


Master story teller and restoration/conservation icon Steven Packard joins us for an evening of intimate conversation of how Stewardship is making a difference in rescuing species and communities......




Photo by Eriko

November 30th, 2017 - Rachel Goad

Manager of Plants of Concern, headquartered at the Chicago Botanic Garden.


"Botanical Citizen Science, its Impacts, and How to Get Involved."


A host of threats face native plants, including habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change.  Data...




July 10 2017 - Dr. Abigail Derby Lewis

Senior Conservation Ecologist and Senior Program Manager for the Chicago Region at The Field Museum of Natural History.


Dr. Derby Louis's  presentation entitled “Building Resilient Communities in a Changing Climate: Why urban nature (really) matters", takes a look at how a changing climate is affecting people and nature in the Greater Chicago Region.....



September 19th, 2017 - PHNRC Commissioners

"Slough 101: The History and the Restoration"


Join PHNRC Commissioners Agnes Wojnarski, Dana Sievertson, Jill Moskal, Edd Madden and John Kamysz as we take a look back at the history, the drama, the collapse and restoration of the Prospect Heights Slough.






January 26, 2017 - John McCabe & Kristin DaPra


The Forest Preserves of Cook County, in partnership with WYCC PBS Chicago and Juneteenth Productions, is proud to present “Chicago’s True Nature: The Forest Preserves of Cook County.”


The hour-long documentary captures the sights and sounds within the Forest Preserves as it marked its 100th anniversary throughout 2015. Audiences will see and learn about the benefits of nature, the impact of open land to our quality of life and what lies ahead in the next century for the one of the oldest and largest forest preserve systems in the nation.


Join us as John McCabe - Director of the Department of Resource Management for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and Kristin DaPra - Stewardship Aid/ Volunteer Resources for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County present this fantastic documentary and take questions and answers immediately after.



September 27, 2016 - Kurt Dreisilker

Head of Natural Resources  at the Morton Arboretum


Dreisilker's presentation entitled "Invasive Plant Prevention at Morton Arboretum" will look at how this public garden controls invasive woody species by using several unique resources, such as:



June 22, 2016 - Chris Anchor

Senior Wildlife Biologist for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.


Anchor's presentation entitled "Wildlife of the Chicagoland Area" is an overview of wildlife and wildlife habitat management over the past three decades.



April, 19 2016 - Doug Taron

Curator of Biology and Vice President of Research and Conservation at Chicago Academy of Sciences’ Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.


Taron's  presentation entitled “Butterflies of the American Prairie" explores the butterfly species of northeastern Illinois, their life cycles, and their ecology, with special emphasis on the relationship between caterpillar food plants and habitat.



January 26, 2016 - John McCabe

Director of the Department of Resource Management for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County


McCabe's  presentation entitled “Fire and the Forest Preserves of Cook County”, will discuss some of the history behind prescribed fire and fire in general at the forest preserves.  The presentation will focus on prescribed burning in the urban environment and how the Preserve applies this critical management tool safely and effectively across our holdings.



September 22, 2015 - Bruce Shackleford

President and principal project director of Environmental Consulting Operations, Inc. (ECO, Inc.) of Benton, Arkansas.


Shackleford’s presentation entitled "Life Abounds Beyond The Burning Prairie" will cover adaptive management tools for ecological restoration of prairies and wetlands via selective herbicides, prescribed burning, hydrological controls, mowing, flame torching, seeding/planting and will include the showing of a television documentary he wrote and narrated "Woolsey Wet Prairie – After The Burn".





April 20th, 2023 - Peter Cairns

A Zoom Presentation 1:00 - 2:30 pm

"SCOTLAND: A Rewilding Journey"


Please join us as we welcome Peter Cairns, Executive Director of SCOTLAND: The Big Picture for his presentation SCOTLAND: A Rewilding Journey".


It wasn’t so long ago that vibrant, wild forests stretched across much of Scotland. Beavers and cranes were at home in extensive wetlands. Salmon and trout filled the rivers. Lynx, wolf and wild boar stalked wooded glades. Today, although it’s easy to be seduced by the raw beauty of the landscape, Scotland has become one of the most ecologically depleted nations on Earth. Our large carnivores are all gone, our soils have become impoverished and across millions of acres, a bare, denuded landscape supports very little life.


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July 19th, 2023 - Grace Hart - Live in-person at the Library and zoom Presentation 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM - "Saving the Bees: What Does it Mean, and What Role do Honey Bees Play?"


Please join us as we welcome Grace Hart, Urban Beekeeper for her presentation "Saving the Bees: What Does it Mean, and What Role do Honey Bees Play?"


The relationship between humans and honey bees is one that spans generations and time, with evidence of beekeeping dating back to ancient Egypt to medieval Europe to now.


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April 25, 2024  Commissioners from the Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission


In person at the Prospect Heights Public Library and on Zoom.


7:00 PM - 8:30 PM to present “Ten Years of Restoration in Prospect Heights”.


The Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission turned 10 in February. A lot has happened over those 10 years that has changed the face of Prospect Heights through restoration and habitat recreation. This program will look at the changes....



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

Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission

8 N. Elmhurst Road

Prospect Heights, IL. 60070

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