From left, Tree Keeper Wendy Pollock, Environmental Services Coordinator Paul D’Agostino, NWF Habitat and Education Coordinator Tiffany Carey, Mayor Stephen Hagerty, Audubon Representative Leslie Shad, Seventh Ward Alderman Eleanor Revelle, Fifth Ward Alderman Robin Rue Simmons and City Sustainability Coordinator Kumar Jensen.RoundTable photo

The community of Evanston was the honoree at the annual OAKtober celebration, held Oct. 5 at the Ecology Center. Evanston is the first municipality in Illinois to become a National Wildlife Federation community certified wildlife habitat. More than 220 home and school gardens, City parks and other areas were certified as individual habitats, qualifying the community to become certified as a whole. The National Wildlife Federation certifies as habitats places that help wildlife such as birds, butterflies, bugs and bees, “thrive and survive” by providing food, water, cover and a place to raise the young.

Tiffany Carey, NWF Habitat and Education Coordinator, drove from Ann Arbor to present the award. In accepting it on behalf of the community, Mayor Stephen Hagerty said the work that earned the community the certification “makes a City that is more sustainable and more resilient.”

In presenting the award, Ms. Carey said as people employ more sustainable gardening practices, such as using less fertilizer and planting native species,
“they equip the next generation on sustainability.”

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...