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Events And News

Check our Calendar of Events.

Recent Activities

Earth Day 2017 is upon us on April 22.

Meet at the Prairie House to work on beautiful Wolf Road Prairie which will have many of its Spring plants blooming. A workday is also scheduled for both the Wolf Road Prairie and the garden of the Prairie House from 1 to 3 PM.

Also, from 1 to 4 PM you can drop off Food Pantry items on the Prairie House deck for those in need.

This Earth Day Save, Save The Prairie Society is hosting a photo contest. Contest photos must be taken on Earth Day either of the Prairie or the historic Prairie House. The winning photo will be used on our websites, the garden kiosk, our newsletters, our annual report, and be submitted to the Doings Newspaper. All postings of the winning photo will be credited with the winning photographer’s name.The winner will also receive a free T-shirt. The Prairie House Insider and the annual report will be free for one year. Directions for submissions will be available at the Prairie House on 4/22.

The most visible progress at the Franzosenbusch Prairie House is the creation of the needed parking spaces on the south side of Constitution Drive. Eight regular and one Special Use parking spaces were constructed. Additionally, the water lines to the Prairie House were enlarged in anticipation of renovation and construction work on the House itself - - hopefully to be started this year.

Some of the front garden and garden bricks must be replaced this Spring as well as the restoration of the front garden which was significantly disturbed by the placement of the aforementioned plumbing. (Some of the new plumbing was needed to provide the necessary water flow for the planned fire sprinkler system to be installed during the forthcoming construction.)

The 2017 Annual Report of the Save the Prairie Society has been produced and dropped in the mail the last few weeks. By the end of April the report will also be available on the Save the Prairie’s website.

Events Archive

May and June 2007

Several school groups were given tours of the Wolf Road Prairie and history of the old schoolhouse contained within the structure of the Franzosenbusch Prairie House.

Jim Hodapp, Chairperson of the Save The Prairie Society Education Committee leads a school group down a prairie path. Jim Hodapp answers questions from the students of the Interculture Montessori School, Oak Park Mary Cray and Jim Arbuthnot look on as Jim Hodapp performs his famous "Prairie Rap".

Photos by Claudia Medina, teacher from the Interculture Montessori School of Oak Park..

May 20, 2007

Art and Linda's Wildflowers held a sale in front of the Prairie House.  Art Gara reports he had one of the most successful sales days yet.

Photos by Shirley Slanker.

January 21, 2007

On January 21, 2007, Gregory Keintop gave an informative presentation on “Glaciers and Changing Climates” at the Franzosenbusch Prairie House.

The last Ice Age covered our area of Illinois with glaciers at least a mile high. When the ice receded about 12,000 to 15,000 years ago, our climate gradually transformed to the seasons we take for granted today. A power point presentation and talk  focused on climate conditions past and present and how global warming can affect our future.

Mr. Gregory Keintop is an Engineering Geologist with the Illinois State Geological Survey and Adjunct Professor, Environmental Science, DeVry University

November 12, 2006

Our Society president, John Wagner, portrayed a member of the historic Voyageurs.

Voyageur is French for "traveler".  Starting in the 17th Century the fur trade was a large source of income to Montreal in New France.  Frenchmen and others ventured into the wilderness around the Great Lakes as far south as the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys in search of beaver and other valuable pelts.  Wampum was exchanged for fur pelts from Native Americans while other Voyageurs trapped furs for themselves.

Many Voyageurs also served as guides and explorers.  Many were employed by the leading trading companies -- the North West Company or the Hudson's Bay Company.

 Photographs by Lawrence Godson.


Also on November 12, 2006

At the Westchester Public Library John Wasik, the author of "Merchant of Power: Samuel Insull, Thomas Edison and the Creation of the Modern Metropolis", gave a presentation on the life of Samuel Insull.  Sam Insull's dream of a suburban utopia led him to develop Westchester.  Working with other entrepreneurs, such as the powerful William Zelosky of Zelosky and Company, the plan may well have succeeded had the Great Depression not rocked the world and driven Insull's companies into bankruptcy.

Pictured are John Wasik (seated) with, from left to right Larry Godson, Jim Arbuthnot and Shirley Slanker. 

Picture courtesy of Shirley Slanker.

August 12 and 13, 2006

The weather for The Arts of the Prairie event (sponsored by the Save The Prairie Society) was beautiful.  There was good community interest for both the Prairie House and the Wolf Road Prairie.


Drew Reaves and and his daughter, Tatiana, were dressed as the Franzosenbusch schoolhouse teacher -- Herr Kirchner and his daughter.   Photograph by Lawrence Godson.

Alla Jablowkow, water colors


Art Gara, wildflower exhibit

Art & Linda's Wildflowers

Steve Boese brought his antique fire truck

Barbara Butzin, kitchen items, crafts and more

Diane Courts, crystal jewelry

Fran Brousil


The Forest Preserve District of Cook County was represented.  Items on display included the pelts of a fox and a coyote and the skulls of a deer and a fox.

Helen Blazie


Jeanna Halama

Jerry Kumery, photos of the prairie

Jack Pizzo, ecological exhibit

Jan Baciagalupo, Voyageur trade goods

John Winton, Firewood Treasures




 and her friend Karen Stasky, pottery



LaGrange Art League and David Foster

Lee Anderson


Lillian Rieth and Beverly Shubert (Nature painted rock and hand crafted cards)

Marlene Rausch, photo note cards


Mickey Anderson of Sheeping Beauties with her spinning demonstration

Midwest Soarring Foundation

Mary Schnibben, The Crystal Bird, natural glass, gourds, nature jewelry

Nancy and Jackson Walby, nature drawings

Nancy Green, cards and paintings


Old Plank Road Folk Music Society

Paul Demetrakakes with antique quilt and other quilts

Pat Klimes, painted pots and bird houses

Rich Shoenfield, nature photographs

Richard Kowal, cooper and wood sculptures

Susan Van Horn, pet portraits


Terry Evan, woodcarving

Terry Marie Barfield,


The Save The Prairie Society Table

Wolf Road Prairie Flora and Fauna


The Prairie Arts and proprietor Lana Gits

More pictures with exhibitor information is coming soon.

May 21, 2006

On May 21 there were two events at the Franzosenbusch Prairie House.  First there was a sale of wildflowers and grasses by Art & Linda's Wildflowers in the parkway in front of the House.

At 2 PM on the deck of the House we had an excellent talk by a Civil War re-enactor.  He discussed life of a Union soldier.  About sixty people were entertained by his knowledge of the hardship and peril.

The events were well attended by over 100 guests.

The Village of Westchester has selected the "Liatris", commonly called the blazing star, as its official flower.  Three species of this wildflower grow naturally on the Wolf Road Prairie to the south of the House:

  • marsh blazing star
  • prairie blazing star
  • button blazing star

As Wolf Road Prairie is a nature preserve where you can view the flowers in their native environment.  No picking please.

For more on this check the website at Westchester Gardens.

Last Modified:  04/09/2017