West Chicago Garden Club awards lifetime membership to Billie Childress

At the meeting on May 23, the West Chicago Garden Club presented a lifetime membership to Billie Childress.

A longtime member, Childress has served the club in numerous capacities and has put her heart and soul into her most recent position of Kruse House Garden Chair, which she resigned at the end of 2023.

The Kruse House is a historic home located at 527 Main St. in downtown West Chicago. The West Chicago Garden Club was begun as a means to maintain the gardens on the site.

For the Kruse House Garden, Childress has been landscape architect, gardener, and an overall advocate. Along with her dedicated crew of Kruse House Gardeners, she was instrumental in making the garden into what you see today.

The garden is open to all visitors from dawn to dusk with free parking available on site behind the garage.

At the meeting, club president Dan Beebe shared about Childress’ time as a club member. First seen on a 2002 membership list, she jumped right in volunteering for the club. In the last 22 years, she also has been club president; vice president; program director; plant sale — plant acquisition and digging squad; workshop presenter; and public art coordinator.

The club has purchased a bench, to be installed later this year in a West Chicago Park District park, with an inscription honoring Childress and the club.

The club is open to all gardeners. Although they meet in West Chicago, members come from throughout the western suburbs.

The club meets on the fourth Thursday of every month at the St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 155 N Prince Crossing Road. It starts at 6:45 p.m. with conversation, sharing time and refreshments. At 7 p.m. there is a brief business meeting and then a speaker at 7:15 p.m.

The next meeting will be June 27 with Thom Skibble’s presentation on “Permaculture.”

These informal meetings are an opportunity to share gardening knowledge. They have guest speakers, a monthly newsletter, and occasional field trips. Volunteers are involved in restoring the Kruse House garden and a variety of other community projects. Membership is open to all, including men and women, and all ages. No expertise is required with members ranging from beginners to master gardeners.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.