My "big backyard" spreads across many topics, but lately it has become literal and green. Enter the season of pests. Being a progressive-leaning tree hugger who won't annihilate pesky plant-eaters with anything unfriendly to planet earth, I'm left with the slow and steady practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which requires work, repetition and patience.
Last month, on the other side of the large picture window at 130 S. Oak Park Ave., eight ebullient co-authors — Thomas Murphy, Ed Mampre, Bob Maloney, Joyce Marco, Nancy Allen, Lillian Maylath, John Palmisano and Roy Heinekamp — signed newly-printed copies of SPREAD: Reflections on family, local history, friendships and the 20th Century for a queue of fans filling up the lunchroom of the new Senior Services facility in Oak Park.
Kelly Soprych, 44, likes riding her hog ... the Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe kind, that is. For her, it's all about the freedom of the open road, the wind in her hair and the calmness that settles in when she's riding a motorcycle far away from the urban thrall.
Last year, as Daniel Roush and Laura Scholl of Chicago began looking for a new home in which to raise their young family, Oak Park made the short list for all the usual reasons — location, transportation, schools and quality of life. So in May 2012, in the first suburb west of Chicago, Roush, a Chicago-based architect, found a priced-right, distressed property he could redo on a budget and comfortably live in for years to come,
One good turn deserves another — even seven decades later. That's what happened when local businesswoman and philanthropist Chatka Ruggiero recently paid a visit to the Oak Park-River Forest Day Nursery to present them with a $25,000 check.
Setting up the compost table during Earth Fest at the Oak Park Public Works Department building last month was Don Nekrosius, 65. He is there with a cadre of University of Illinois Extension master gardeners and composters who are sharing how the right proportion of "the browns" (carbon) and "the greens" (nitrogen), plus water and oxygen, can heat up a compost pile to create the nutrient-rich humus that home gardeners love.
Sitting on a blanket, with a bag of popcorn and a beverage in tow, to take in free outdoor movies on jumbo screens in popular parks, or pools, is a rite of summer in Oak Park, Forest Park, Riverside and Brookfield. In those places, it seems, seeing an outdoor flick on a humongous movie screen is the right thing to do this summer.
Life finds a way, even in a newly seeded backyard vegetable garden, which, after a huge rainfall, more closely resembled a pond. Before the deluge, several "tough little" radish and beet seeds, germinated in an Oak Park raised bed, were planted during Richard Kordesh and Maureen Staub Kordesh's mid-April Sugar Beet Cooperative backyard membership coffee.