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Beekeeping, Composting and Adult Programs


The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance offers a myriad of programs designed to help you get closer to nature in the city. We partner with the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners and Master Composters programs to provide many
of our gardening and composting demonstrations and workshops.


The Conservatory is also the proud home of multiple bee hives and an active beekeeping program - enjoy the fruits of their labor by purchasing Conservatory made honey in our Gift Shop!


To learn about all the programs, events and activities taking place at the Conservatory this month, visit our Calendar page.



Beekeeping Events and Classes


Bees and Beekeepers at Work

Tuesdays 10:30 am - Noon, Wednesdays 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm, and Sundays 10:30 am - Noon
Throughout the Summer


Curious about bees and beekeeping? Join us on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays throughout the summer as our beekeepers demonstrate techniques with active beehives and explain their work.


Naaman Gambill Beekeeper   

Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance Beekeeper
The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance Beekeeper, Naaman Gambill, was interviewed for "The Chicagoans," an ongoing video project that captures the stories of everyday people who live in and around the Windy City. It is based on "Chicagoans," a series of print interviews by Anne Ford that has appeared in the Chicago Reader since 2010. The Chicagoans is a collaboration between Charlie Simokaitis, Jason Creps and Anne Ford. Watch his story here:

  Growing & Composting Classes

Composters at Work

June through September
Saturdays 10:30 am – Noon
Wednesdays 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Where: Demonstration Garden

Cost: Free


Drop in any time during the program hours for free tips, techniques, and useful information about composting at home. Our trained volunteer composters will be on hand to answer your questions about getting started, troubleshooting, maintenance, harvesting compost, and a lot more. In case of bad weather, a composting information cart will be stationed inside the Conservatory.



Composting information


Composting Information Booklet  

Composting Information Booklet

The University of Illinois Extension Master Composters
Cost: Free PDF Download


Interested in composting at home?  The University of Illinois Extension Master Composters are the experts. Find their composting information booklet in PDF format here:


Composting Information Booklet 9MB*


*Please note: the Composting Information Booklet PDF is 9MB in size. Right click the above link and select save to download to your computer for printing. Load time for opening the PDF in a browser window will vary according to the speed of your Internet connection, not recommended for dial-up connections.

  Urban Environmentalism

Butterfly Monitors at Work

Alternating Saturdays and Sundays
Throughout the Summer
(see specific dates below)

Hours: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Where: Bluestone Terrace

Cost: Free!


Join us on select Saturdays and Sundays to learn about one of the nation's most popular pollinators: the Monarch Butterfly! Every weekend our citizen scientist volunteers are stationed on the Bluestone Terrace to share their expertise and answer questions about these fluttering and fleeting insects. Discover the life cycle, habitat and migration of these beloved bugs and learn about the Conservatory's role in a national citizen science project during this free public demonstration.


Butterfly Monitors at Work Summer 2014 Dates:


• Sunday, June 29

• Sunday, July 13

• Saturday, July 19

• Sunday, July 27

• Saturday, August 2

• Sunday, August 10

• Saturday, August 16

• Sunday, August 24

• Sunday, September 7

• Saturday, September 13

• Sunday, September 21

• Saturday, September 27

  other Growing and Green Living Programs
Chicago Bonsai Club Meeting  

Chicago Bonsai Club Meeting

Third Wednesday of the Month, March through October

Hours: 6:30 pm - 8 pm

Where: Classroom

Cost: Free


Come join us to learn about the ancient art of growing bonsai from the Chicago Bonsai Club, a chapter of the Midwest Bonsai Society. Bring your bonsai trees to work on or just come to watch. Potting soil and wire will be provided, and some plant materials and pots will be available at a nominal cost. There is no fee to attend.


For more information, please contact Susan Babyk at 773-235-9479 or 

Tree ID Walks  

Tree ID Walks

Fridays, July 18, October 17

Hours: 10 am – Noon

Where: Meet in the Conservatory’s front lobby

Cost: Free


Spring, summer and fall - learn to identify city trees throughout the seasons with TreeKeeper Jim DeHorn of the Openlands Project. Jim will explore the trees of beautiful and historic Garfield Park. Interested children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Please dress appropriately for the weather – walks take place rain or shine!