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Parks, Plants, and People: The Impact of Jens Jensen
on Evanston's Natural Environment

Saturday, June 25, 2022 is Jens Jensen Day. Join The Evanston Public Library, Jens Jensen Gardens, and The Evanston Garden Club in celebrating Evanston's rich native plant gardening history.

Register here!


PART ONE: Evanston Public Library (in-person or zoom)

9:30 Doors Open.


10:00 Keynote speaker Dr. Donn Werling, introduced by Dr. Bob Grese. Two extraordinary Evanston Women will be honored for their contributions to Evanston’s horticultural heritage.


1:15 Bus leaves Evanston Library for Gardens at Light House Landing Park, 2601 Sheridan Rd (please do not park in the Lighthouse beach parking lot)


PART TWO: Jens Jensen Gardens

1:30 - 3:00 Walking Tour and Q&A at Jens Jensen Gardens at 2601 Sheridan Rd, Light House Landing Park


3:30 - 4:00 bus will return to Evanston Library

Register here!


In 1915 a friendship between Anne Rew Gross (1864-1946) and Jens Jensen (1860-1952) began a relationship that focused on the use of native plants in what had been a residential gardening tradition focused on introducing non-native plants species. May 13, 1916 the first plant sale was held in Raymond Park and is an annual event to this day. Learn how Margery Carlson (1893-1985) early member of the Garden Club of Evanston (founded 1915), the first full-time woman facility member of Northwestern University, Victory Garden organizer, and one of the founders of the Ladd Arboretum continues to enrich our lives today.


Our keynote speaker, Dr. Donn Werling, was the first and only person with the official title of Naturalist for the City of Evanston. He was the Director of the Ladd Arboretum, Evanston Ecology Center, and the Lighthouse Nature Center from 1973 -1982. He is now retired from the University of Michigan where for 19 years he served as Director of the Henry Ford Estate, one of Jensen's largest and most recognized works. Donn is also advisor to Jens Jensen Gardens in Evanston.


The Program will begin at 10:00 am in the community room at the Evanston Public library. There will be a lunch Break at 12:00 -1:00 pm after which on site participants will travel by bus leaving at 1:15 pm  to Lighthouse Park where the program will continue at 1:30 pm with more discussion, reflection and Q&A with Dr. Wherling and Dr. Grese of the rehabilitation work underway, native plant demonstration garden, Alfred Caldwell Stonework, and waterfall. The Garden Club of Evanston members will be on site to conduct a guided tour of the historic Lighthouse wildflower walk (Jens Jensen 1937).


The Mission

Jens Jensen Gardens in Evanston, Inc., will restore and maintain the Lighthouse Landing Jens Jensen garden in Evanston, Illinois, and educate the public about Jensen's philosophy of using native plants.

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The Vision

Jens Jensen Gardens in Evanston will lead restoration and maintenance of the Jens Jensen garden in the Lighthouse Landings/Harley Clarke complex in Evanston, Illinois, by providing a botanic garden that demonstrates the use of native plants, trees and shrubs in a residential setting and a living laboratory to facilitate an understanding of the relationship between native plants, birds and insects.

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The Living Green

The Living Green is an award-winning film by director, Carey Lundin, that explores the work and philosophy of Jens Jensen and examines his importance in American history.

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Thank you to all those who donated to make this possible and to Sunrise Tree Service for their generous contribution

to SAVE the OAKS!

(Click here to watch the video)


A Tour of the Jens Jensen Gardens in Evanston - A Brief Video

Recently this summer, Jens Jensen expert Robert E. Grese and members of the Jensen family took a look at the gardens with about one hundred and fifty excited garden fans.

"We all need the living green or we'll shrivel up inside. To make the modern city livable is the task of our times."

Jens Jensen


Contact Us

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