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Middleton School - Skokie, Illinois

For many years, John Middleton School in Skokie, Illinois had a large, sandy, weedy eyesore of a front yard.

Middleton School

Sue and Karen

In 1999, Sue Hartman and Karen Kaplan from the Environmental Concerns Committee of District 73 1/2's PTA, approached Art to see if anything could be done other than the recommended excavation and replacement of all the soil.

Art looked upon the 100' x 53' weedpatch as a great opportunity to plant a sand prairie, with the plants and grasses one might find at Illinois Beach State Park near Zion.



Volunteers from the village and PTA planted the area in sections interspaced with wide paths surrounding an information kiosk.

Art provided the plants and advice gratis. (Art is always real good for giving free advice.)

In the Spring of 2000, in a moving ceremony with representitives from the school and village as well as students who also worked on the project, our friend Joseph Standing Bear of Midwest SOARRING, dedicated the garden.

Joseph Standing Bear


Flag Ceremony

By the way, Joseph presided over the Blessing and Dedication of the Loren Fillmore Camp Memorial Wildlife Habitat at the Pav YMCA in Berwyn - June/July 2002, which was Art and Linda's Wildflowers' CommunityProject for 2001.

Middleton School 1

By the Summer and Fall of 2001, the Middleton Prairie Garden was in full glory. It is being added to, a section at a time, and stewarded (weeded) by local volunteers.

Middleton School  2

Local Boy Scouts recently surrounded the whole front yard with a beautiful split-rail fence, paid for with funds from Environmental Concerns Committee.

Middleton School  3

Prickly Pear Cactus

The Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus, Opuntia humifusa, is a native cactus in Illinois!

This Prickly Pear Cactus loves Middleton's sandy soil.

Fall of 2002:

Note the great color change in fall as Asters, Goldenrods and Sunflowers dominate the garden. These flowers provide necter for insects and seed for birds in the Fall.

School yard w/Prairie

Tall Prairie Sunflowers and Goldenrods (lower right) peer over the split rail fence created by the Boy Scouts.

Sunflowers and Goldenrod

Fence and Paths

Good view of the fence and wood-chipped path.

Left to right are Milkweeds, Goldenrods and Asters.

Notice how the fence keeps the tall Sunflowers from falling over onto the sidewalk.

   Flowers and Walkway

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