• Growing & Green Living

Growing & Green Living

Beekeeping, Composting and Adult Programs

The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance offers a myriad of programs designed to help you get closer to nature in the city. We partner with the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners and Master Composters programs to provide many of our gardening and composting demonstrations and workshops. The Conservatory is also the proud home of multiple bee hives and an active beekeeping program - enjoy the fruits of their labor by purchasing Conservatory made honey in our Gift Shop. To learn about all the programs, events and activities taking place at the Conservatory this month, visit our Calendar page.

Composters at Work

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Composters at Work
Saturdays, June through September
Hours: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Cost: Free

Drop in any time during the program hours for free tips, techniques, and useful information about composting at home. Our trained volunteer composters will be on hand to answer your questions about composting in the city. Each week will highlight a different topic ranging from starting a bin, brewing compost tea, to harvesting and using your compost. Learn More ‣

Beekeepers at Work

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Beekeepers at Work
Tuesdays & Saturdays, May through September
Hours: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Cost: Cost: Free

Curious about bees and beekeeping? Join us on Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer as our volunteers and Head Beekeeper demonstrate techniques with active beehives and explain their work. Demonstrations are for all ages and interest levels. Learn More ‣

National Honey Bee Day Celebration

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National Honey Bee Day Celebration
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Hours: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Cost: Free for all ages!

Join us as we celebrate the beloved honey bee. Our volunteer beekeepers are hosting demonstrations to learn the role bees play with pollination and the food we eat. We’ll taste honey from around Chicago, and extract honey from our hives! Kids and families can also enjoy bee themed projects. For more information contact our Program Registrar at registrar@garfieldpark.org or 773-638-1766 ex. 25. Learn More ‣

Composting 101

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Composting 101
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Hours: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Cost: $50 / $40 for GPCA Members and Volunteers

Spend the day with us exploring different methods of composting that can happen right here in the city: hot composting in your backyard or schoolyard, passive composting on your patio or balcony, and vermicomposting (worm composting) right in your kitchen! We’ll go over the importance and role of various decomposers in composting and how you can manage their compost ecosystem to encourage healthy, nutrient-rich compost for your plants. This interactive class includes hands-on demonstrations and an in-depth look at various compost systems currently in use on our grounds. For more information contact our Program Registrar at registrar@garfieldpark.org or 773-638-1766 ex. 25. Learn More ‣

Register

Beyond Basics Beekeeping

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Beyond Basics Beekeeping
September 12, 2015
Hours: 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Cost: $70 / $50 GPCA Members & Volunteers

This new hands-on beekeeping class, taught by our Head Beekeeper Marcin Matelski, will guide you through a hive inspection and how to "read" what you are seeing. After taking this class you should be ready to recognize brood in all stages of development, assess a general status of the colony and know how to use the basic beekeeping tools. This class is geared towards beekeepers with 1+ years of experience in beekeeping, but is open to all beekeepers. If you have questions about this class, please contact our Program Registrar at registrar@garfieldpark.org or 773-638-1766 ex. 25. Learn More ‣

Register

Urban Chicken Keeping

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Urban Chicken Keeping
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Hours: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cost: $35 / $28 GPCA Members & Volunteers

Taught by Jennifer Murtoff of Home to Roost, LLC, this class is designed for curious folks who are considering getting chickens, as well as for those who already have their own birds. Learn how to raise chicks, care for adult birds, and keep your neighbors happy! If you have questions about this class, please contact our Program Registrar at registrar@garfieldpark.org or 773-638-1766 ex. 25. Learn More ‣

Register

Beginning Beekeeping Class

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Beginning Beekeeping Class
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Hours: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Cost: $70.00 / $50 for Members and Volunteers

Spend the day with our Head Beekeeper, Marcin Matelski, to learn the basics of beekeeping: equipment, hive design and construction, bee biology and behavior, bee management and bee products. This comprehensive class is a pre-requisite for becoming a GPCA volunteer beekeeper. These classes tend to fill up quickly, so be sure to register early. Pre-registration is required. For more information contact our Program Registrar at registrar@garfieldpark.org or 773-638-1766 ex. 25. Learn More ‣

Register

Snow Birds: Winter Care for Chickens

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Snow Birds: Winter Care for Chickens
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Hours: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cost: $35 / $28 GPCA Members and Volunteers

Taught by Jennifer Murtoff of Home to Roost LLC, most breeds of chickens are tolerant of cold weather, and this class will teach you how to help your hens through a cold winter. This class addresses the coop, the run, freezing water, feed, and the birds themselves. (Chicken-keeping class is a prerequisite.) If you have questions about this class, please contact our Program Registrar at registrar@garfieldpark.org or 773-638-1766 ex. 25. Learn More ‣

Register

Beginning Beekeeping Class

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Beginning Beekeeping Class
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Hours: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Cost: $70.00 / $50 for Members and Volunteers

Spend the day with our Head Beekeeper, Marcin Matelski, to learn the basics of beekeeping: equipment, hive design and construction, bee biology and behavior, bee management and bee products. This comprehensive class is a pre-requisite for becoming a GPCA volunteer beekeeper. These classes tend to fill up quickly, so be sure to register early. Pre-registration is required. For more information contact our Program Registrar at registrar@garfieldpark.org or 773-638-1766 ex. 25. Learn More ‣

Register

Tree ID Walk at Garfield Park Conservatory

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Tree ID Walk at Garfield Park Conservatory
Friday, October 9, 2015
Hours: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Cost: Free

Spring, summer and fall - learn about city trees throughout the seasons with Openlands’ Regional Forester, Daniella Pereira. Daniella will explore the trees of beautiful and historic Garfield Park. Interested children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required. Please dress appropriately for the weather – walks take place rain or shine! Learn More ‣

Register

Chicago Bonsai Club Meeting

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Chicago Bonsai Club Meeting
Third Wednesday of the Month, March through October
Hours: 6:30 pm - 8 pm
Cost: Free

Come join us to learn about the ancient art of growing bonsai from the Chicago Bonsai Club, a chapter of the Midwest Bonsai Society. Bring your bonsai trees to work on or just come to watch. Potting soil and wire will be provided, and some plant materials and pots will be available at a nominal cost. There is no fee to attend. Learn More ‣

Composting Information Booklet by The University of Illinois Extension Master Composters

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Composting Information Booklet
Cost: Free PDF Download

Interested in composting at home? The University of Illinois Extension Master Composters are the experts. Their in-depth composting information booklet contains information on why compost is important, making compost, basic compost recipes, do's and don'ts, and more! Click to View ‣