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Hynes School, Morton Grove, Illinois

Hynes Elementary School, in Morton Grove, Illinois had a very large, open area available for planting. With a grant from Lucent Technology, they were able to convert the empty land into a beautiful prairie garden.
Hynes school sign

School building

All of the classes came outside during one special day and every student got to plant a plant.

Topps Tree Service provided beautiful wooden log benches.

Ohio Goldenrod and Topps bench


Sky Blue Aster (right), Aster azuraus, and Big Bluestem Grass (center), Andropogon gerardii, are two plants normally found in a Native Illinois Prairie.

Coordinator Mary Busch stands next to Joseph Standing Bear, who blessed this prairie in a Native American Blessing Ceremony the next year.



A new sign, officially designating our project as the school prairie was installed at the site.

See how the prairie has grown!

The plants have filled in and are large and lush.

Isn't this a beautful composition?


Joseph Standing Bear dedicates the site.

Joe Standing Bear

Joe Standing Bear

Connecting children to the natural world is a great way to appreciate each individual and the different cultures.

The Begay Boys - Samuel, Jaime and Michael - perform a traditional American Indian dance with their mother Glenda.


group 2

One of the Begay Boys, their mother Glenda (in the jingle dress), Mary Busch, Art and school staff

Project coordinator Mary Busch visits at dedication.


Enjoy some more of our Native Wildflowers in bloom:

Yellow coneflower

Yellow Coneflower
Hoary Vervain
Sand Coreopsis
Ratibida pinnata
Verbena strictda
Coreopsis lanceolata

This is how our prairie looked a year later, in August, 2004


Four species, same color!

Can you identify and locate the Swamp (Red) Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, Prairie Blazing Star, Liatris pycnostachya,False Dragonhead (Obedient Plant), Physostegia virginiana, and Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea?

Very photogenic composition of Yellow Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata, with Prairie Dock, Silphium terebinthinaceum, leaves as a backdrop.


mary busch

Naturalist-educator Mary Busch and two of her many children are dwarfed by a blooming stately Compass Plant, Silphium laciniatum. This Compass Plant is nearly seven feet tall, yet is straight as an arrow and does not droop over even an inch.

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