Celebrate Pollinator Week in DuPage with walks, talks and tours

National Pollinator Week wasn’t long enough for all the events planned by members of the DuPage Monarch Project. Two additional days were necessary for accommodating the growing support for native bees and butterflies.

Pollinator Week is June 17-23. It’s a celebration of the pollinating insects and animals playing a vital role in gardens, farms, ecosystems and our economy.

Local events will take place around the county beginning Sunday, June 16. It includes guided prairie walks for spotting bees and native plants, a class on monarch butterflies, a BioBlitz for identifying insects, beautiful butterfly gardens to visit, and a Pollinator Party.

The little known and underappreciated flower fly was chosen by Pollinator Partnership as the Pollinator of the Year.

Flower flies are thought to be the second most important pollinating group after bees. They visit at least 72% of global crops and 70% of wildflowers.

Things to know about flower flies. They are also called hover flies because they hover like helicopters. Worldwide there are more than 6,000 species of flower flies and they are masters of disguise.

Some look like bumble bees, others like wasps. Mimicking stinging insects provides these stingless flies protection from predators.

Whether you’re looking for monarchs or marveling at flower flies, take time to enjoy pollinators this week.

The full lineup of Pollinator Week events is found at Note registration is closed for #PollinateDuPage on June 18 and “Marvelous Monarchs” on June 23.

Bluff Spring Fen botanical hike: The River Prairie Group-Sierra Club will host a botanical hike from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 16, at Bluff Spring Fen on Elgin’s southeast side. The annual Father's Day fen hike at this parcel, full of beautiful species, over 400 plus to date. It is also known as prime pollinator and butterfly habitat. It's an easy few hours on a loop trail. Cost is a $5 donation. Register in advance via

Tour of COD Prairie: On Monday, June 17, enjoy a free walking tour of College of DuPage’s Russell Kirt Prairie from 11 a.m. to noon. It is located just south of the Health and Science Center, 425 Fawell Blvd. in Glen Ellyn. It is free.

Afterward, from noon to 1 p.m., join a Pollinator BioBlitz using iNaturalist for photographing, documenting, and observing insects and other pollinators to increase the biodiversity index. It is free.

Pollinator Garden Open House: The Wheaton Garden Club invites the public to their Pollinator Garden at Seven Gables Park, 1750 S. Naperville Road, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 22. It is free. Members will be available to answer questions, provide ideas, and talk about the importance of pollinator friendly plants.

Wild Ones Greater DuPage Garden Tours: Three pollinator-friendly sites in Lombard open to view (in any order) from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 22. All three locations will close and a fourth location will open at 3 p.m. At each location, visitors will receive a raffle ticket. There will be a drawing at 4 p.m., and lucky winners will receive plugs of native plants. The raffle prizes are graciously donated by Prairie Winds Native Plants.

Two of the garden club members in Lombard will have their gardens open for tour. At 19W141 Rochdale Circle, check out their ongoing natural areas restoration emphasizing pollinator plants and oak trees. The homeowners removed hundreds of invasive trees and plants and replaced them with natives. At 309 S. Stewart Ave., this (mostly) traditional garden is slowly being changed from turf to garden beds with native perennials. Over the past three years, approximately 600 square feet have been converted. The homeowner has a mix of natives and non-natives and has intentionally used a majority of native plants since 2021.

At Sheldon Peck Historic Homestead, 355 E. Parkside Ave. in Lombard, view the grounds in front of “The Oldest Home in Lombard,” which were planted with native species by the Lombard Garden Club. The parking lot is not large, so you may want to park at the Lombard Commons lot on the east side of Grace Street.

Join the free “Saving Monarchs Pollinator Tour” from 3 to 5 p.m. at 704 S. Charlotte St. in Lombard. Explore and learn how a lawn turned into a wildlife paradise.

Pollinator Party: A free program on how to welcome pollinators to your garden with habitat providing for all stages of their life cycle from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at Indian Prairie Public Library, 401 Plainfield Road, Darien.

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