Shrub Club

Shrub Club

Join Habitat 2030’s Shrub Club!

Native shrublands are a vital component of our Chicago Wilderness ecosystems that have historically received less attention than other kinds of habitats typically considered in the field of restoration such as woods and prairies.

In Chicagoland habitat restoration, often the first thing we do is to remove large stands of invasive, non-native honeysuckle and buckthorn that have replaced the native shrub layer and understory trees of our natural areas. These thicket structures are important for birds and many other creatures as a source of food, shelter and a place to make their den or nest, yet native shrubs sometimes need special care as they reestablish themselves in their native environment!

The Shrub Club acts broadly to revive native shrubland diversity and health throughout the Chicago Wilderness Region and beyond – anywhere there’s a thicket in need! Through teamwork, the Shrub Club lends a hand throughout the year by leading native shrub seed collection outings, teaching shrub species identification and ecosystem function, organizing natural and home propagation programs and generally helping natural areas stewards apply shrub-specific management techniques that keep deer and other critters from eating them into tiny little useless nubbins until they grow large enough to once again assume their full-fledged role in our native landscapes. We also hold an annual shrub scavenger hunt contest on iNaturalist, Habitat 2030’s Annual Shrub Hunt.

Rise to the Challenge in
Habitat 2030 Shrub Club’s
1st Annual
Shrub Quest Contest!
(Check back soon for 2017 contest details and fantastic prizes to be awarded to the winner!)

2017 Shrub Club Shrub-of-the-Year:

Heart-Leaved Willow (Salix eriocephala)

Also known as Salix rigida
Read more at Illinois Wildflowers:


2017-2018 Shrub Club Focus Species:

American Groundnut (Apios americana)
Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
Iowa Crab Apple (Malus ioensis)
Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus hirta)
Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris)
Climbing Wild Rose (Rosa setigera)
Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)
Black Haw (Virbunum prunifolium)
American Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum opulus var. americanum)
Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)
If you’re interested in Shrub Club events or know of a shrubland that can use the Shrub Club’s assistance, contact Michael Swierz. If you’d like to talk about adopting a native shrub of your own for your home garden, email Robb Telfer.

Come spread the shrub love us as we help put the thick back in our native thickets!

Past Events:


4/13/2017: Salix ID (and Ecology-Inspired Mixology) with Robbie Sliwinski
Chicago Region Salix Identification by leaves (notes compiled by cassi saari)

Remnant Rose Shrub Rescue at The Talking Farm

North Branch Prickly Ash Seed Collection

Shrub Propagation at Glenview Woods with Ken Schafer

Labagh Woods Shrub-a-Thon

Harms Woods We Heart Shrubs! Community Workday and Winter Shrub ID Walk

The Great Rose Rescue at The Talking Farm
(November 2015)