Blooming Grounds

I take a stroll around Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo each day before work. It helps me start my day and get my mind prepared for the tasks ahead. It’s always a beautiful place for a walk, but right now Nature Boardwalk is as gorgeous as I’ve ever seen it.

The area is bursting yellow, courtesy of black-eyed-susans and tickseeds. Whether you’ve never visited Nature Boardwalk or you take your own daily stroll, I advise you to come, pause for a few moments and let the painted surroundings excite your senses.

The beauty at Nature Boardwalk is a joint effort between Mother Nature and our Director of Horticulture Brian Houck, who is particularly busy in the coming weeks. This weekend he hosts his free Second Saturdays Garden Tour, when he’ll point out and explain some of the wilder plants on grounds.

On July 16, Brian hosts the Introduction to Native and Prairie Plants class, when he’ll advise attendees on the best ways to use plants adapted to this region in their own gardens. 

And on September 1, Brian and the zoo’s Garden & Sculpture Committee host Wine & Wildflowers, which he describes as the zoo’s “garden party.” Houck will lead this celebration amid blooming grounds, Chicago Park District Historian Julia Bachrach will present historic maps of the park and a few other special guests will complement nature’s wonder. 

The plantlife is as busy as the plant lovers at Lincoln Park Zoo these days. I invite you to join us in some capacity to marvel at the wildlife that prowl, slither or soar.

(Speaking of life that soars, I have been among the excited birdwatchers who spotted the least bittern that recently took up residence on the island within Nature Boardwalk.) 

As always, I’ll keep you posted.


Kevin Bell 


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