EEA Newsletter

December 2022 | Vol. 4

Check out these events this Winter!


Indoor Farmer's Market

Do you miss all the delicious jams, baked goods, and crafts available at Evanston's summer farmer's markets? Check out the local vendors at the Ecology Center Indoor Farmer's Market!

The Ecology Center will be hosting ten market days between January and April of 2023. Each market day will be held on a Saturday from 8am to 12pm. Park in the McCormick parking lot and head on over.

Winter dates are listed below, click here for more information.

January 14th, 8am-12pm

January 28th, 8am-12pm

February 11th, 8am-12pm

February 25th, 8am-12pm

What's the buzz with the apiary?

Did you know the Ecology Center has its own educational apiary? The apiary is supported in part by the Grady Bird Fund, gifted to the EEA in 2008 to support the bees.

The apiary started this summer strong with three hives, but unfortunately one was lost to vandalism. Despite this loss, the bees were able to produce 18 liters of honey, which will be eaten by Ecology Center staff and volunteers. Each hive consists of one queen and about ten thousand bees. The beehives provide a wealth of educational opportunities for young learners to foster an appreciation for our wonderful pollinators.


Plant of the Month


Arisaema triphyllum

Jack-in-the-Pulpit, also known as Bog Onion, is an herbaceous plant native to the eastern United States and easily spotted by its red seed berries, pictured below. This ruby beauty sprouts up in woodlands from April to June and is pollinated by gnats and beetles. Jack-in-the-Pulpit was historically valued for its medicinal uses by Indigenous Americans but is poisonous if eaten raw.

Meet the Board: Sheel Yajnik

Sheel was born and raised in India and moved to the U.S. in 1970 to complete her Master's degree in architecture. Before retiring, she worked with Lake County's planning and zoning department, with special involvement in the protection of natural resources and sustainable development standards.

Sheel has been with the EEA for about 5 years and serves as the board's Garden Walk liaison. She lives in downtown Evanston with her husband. They both enjoy going for walks along Evanston’s beautiful lake shore and love to travel to various countries to pursue their interest in art, architecture, and history.  

Get involved with us!

We are still on the hunt for board members to enrich our board, bring new ideas to the table, and share their skills. Our most needed positions are the Marketing Lead and Secretary.

The Marketing Lead is a two-year position in charge of our social media presence and email blasts. The Secretary position is an executive position lasting three years and entails taking minutes at our monthly meetings and keeping the board organized. Click the links for more information.

We also need casual volunteers for all our events, especially the upcoming 2023 Wild and Scenic Film Festival!

Email us at if any of these opportunities seem interesting to you!

Our board president, Karen Taira, presenting at Breakfast with the Board 2022

Photo Credit: David Gibson

In the community...

Check out this bountiful harvest from our fellow Evanstonian, Valarie Rand. She was able to grow cherry tomatoes, zucchini, collard greens, and a variety of herbs at her Twiggs Park plot.

Are you interested in cultivating some crops in one of Evanston's four community garden sites? The gardens are available to residents of 60201/60202 zip codes based on a lottery system. Gardeners must pay a $48 half-plot fee and commit to 3-5 hours of community garden service. Registration starts January 10th, so click here to get your registration started!

Do you want to show off your unique native garden, composting set-up, or other ecologically-inspired project? Send an email to and you might get featured!

New Sustainability Coordinator to Collaborate with SAGE

Among the many wonderful things about edible school gardens is how they build community, connect children to nature’s bounty, and educate them about how our health is connected to that of the Earth’s. 

Our SAGE Steering Committee was very excited when we met recently with Karen Bireta, recently appointed Sustainability Coordinator for District 65, to learn how much she values the special places edible school gardens are. We look forward in the coming months to exploring how we can collaborate.


Become an EEA Member Today!

Now is the perfect time to join the EEA as a member! Not only do you get free snowshoe rentals at the Ecology Center (Monday-Friday, 9am-2:30pm), you also get 20% discounts at the plant sale and Garden Walk. When you join the Evanston Environmental Association, your fully tax-deductible gift supports the work of the Evanston Ecology Center and the activities of the EEA. Take advantage of EEA membership benefits and join today!

Exciting News from the Garden Walk Committee


We are excited to share that we have confirmations from nine private and one public garden for the 2023 Garden Walk. It is expected to be the largest showcase we have ever done. We can't wait to show you these beautiful spaces!

The Garden Walk Committee welcomes volunteers who would like to join our committee or volunteer on the day of the walk by being ticket-takers/garden sitters. If you are interested, please email 

The Evanston Environmental Association wants to thank our generous donor, the Archer-Patterson Family Foundation, for their continued support.