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Trip to Beverly/Lake Katherine

Posted by Ron Wolford -

In all of our travels across the county, we have met several generous and accommodating people. One of these is a Master Gardener whom we had the pleasure of working with in the Autistic Youth Garden, and who offered to show us around in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood. We spent a day this week with Mary Harkenrider at Lake Katherine while she showed us around the area and the educational center where many Master Gardeners volunteer.

We took the Metra from downtown and arrived in Beverly so that Mary could give us a tour of her home garden. We were able to see what she had been talking about for weeks, and it did not disappoint! Mary grows vegetables and landscapes an area in her yard to keep it useful and beautiful. She's a wonderful example of how working hard can keep even an urban yard bountiful! After seeing her historic community and gorgeous home, we left to visit Lake Katherine.

Lake Katherine is located in Palos Heights on 85 acres of natural prairie, hiking trails, and a 10-acre man made lake. The Nature Center and Botanic Gardens host volunteers, visitors, students, and families during the weather-permitting seasons. We were really impressed by the impressing grounds, visitor center, and gardens where Master Gardeners volunteer. We were able to walk around the lake and witness some turtles sunbathing, as well as bother some geese. In the Visitor Center, we saw the animals they keep in the basement as educational tools: turtles, lizards, snakes, and even a bunny. The gardens run by the volunteers hosted a variety of plants and an herb garden, shaped into a pizza pie to entice young students. The environment was beautiful, the atmosphere was serene, and we could easily see how young students and families alike could enjoy this peaceful place in the middle of the city. Again, we thank the volunteers who spend their time at Lake Katherine!

Shelby & Ilana

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