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Karen Green, webmistress

Karen Green

In August 2007, I not only lost a wonderful “web mistress”, I lost a good friend when Karen Green passed away very suddenly. Karen had been working with me since 1997 on the creation of Art and Linda’s lovely and useful website. She was a source of support and inspiration on countless occasions. Thanks to her, our business was able to reach a larger audience and respond to the many questions from all over regarding the use of native plants in home gardening

In 1997, I knew, (and still know), nothing about computers, but did know that I had to have a website with e-mail contact for my business. Karen was just getting started in website creation. She was an artist with a good eye for design as well as being a writer by instinct and training and willing to help. I bought her a fax machine and she did the rest - taking off from there by daily increasing her computer skills in programs that were very complex. Her husband, Allen, told me that Karen also worked with “WITI” - Women in Technology International, (this is an organization that helps women advance by providing access and support from other professional women working in technology). This too, gave her a boost and very soon she had expanded her business purely by word of mouth. By the time she passed away, she had 30-40 clients and in each of these she took a personal interest.

This made working with her very comfortable and easy. A self-starter, and extremely conscientious, she was always on top of every assignment. Her commitment to work and family was only part of her sense of dedication. She was also involved in issues beyond the cares of everyday life. Karen also had a love of nature.

Volunteering at Thatcher Woods and Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve in Westchester, was one of her hobbies as well as being involved with the Oak Park Garden Club. In addition, Karen had a strong sense of justice and was committed to civil rights and working with The League of Women Voters. Karen is survived by her husband, Allen Green and her two children, Nathan,16 and Ilana, 21, who graciously provided me with the lovely photograph of Karen at the beginning of this article and details about Karen’s life which exemplify the worthwhile and interesting person she was. In her memory, Allen Green is helping to purchase books at the Dole Library - (a branch of the Oak Park Library). Subjects for these books will include: gardening, civil rights, and information on The League of Women Voters.

The update of is now being maintained by Jim Arbuthnot.

Ann Mason
Soil Scientist

Ann Mason is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist, Certified Professional Soil Classifier, Indiana Registered Professional Soil Scientist, and Wetland Scientist. Ann has been in the environmental field for over 20 years and owns Strata Environmental

Ann's responsibilities within the environmental field involve conducting soil chemical analysis, soil classifications and percolation tests (PERC) for septic determinations, wetland determinations, wetland delineations, phase I environmental site assessments, phase II environmental site assessments, soil and groundwater quality assessments and underground storage tank removal projects.

Mary Busch and Marian Thill Environmental Education Consutants
Our mission is to inspire reconnection to the natural world around us through Environmental Education and Outreach. School programs ranging from Kindergarten through 12th Grade levels are available. Quality programs are designed to meet your educational needs with a focus on meeting Illinois Learning Standards. Hands on experience in the field can be incorporated into curricula to address many areas of interest.

Busche & Thill


Linnzi Hodel
Restoration Ecology Technician

During the summer of 2002, linnzie worked as a restoration ecology technician for The Nature Conservancy. As a member of the "north crew," the task was to aid in the restoration of the Cook County Forest Preserves just north and west of Chicago.

In order to successfully carry out the requested work the crew had to attain certain skills.

linnzi became a licensed pesticide applicator and learned how to use a chainsaw. It was hot and hard work! So as not to consume the crew in solid manual labor we took "education walks." These moments were one of the great benefits of the internship. The walks were indispensable for memorizing the names of plants both native and nonnative.

Linnzi said, "It was a blessing to be part of the ongoing ecological restoration efforts in my home state. Each parcel of land was an island of dynamic beauty among the encroaching development. I gained a deep appreciation for the native plant species and systems that once blanketed this region of the country."

Lana Gits
The Prairie Arts

After volunteering at Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve in the early 90’s, Lana Gits, owner of The Prairie Arts, learned what was really meant by the word, “prairie”. True prairie is not just “any open field” nor are Oak savannas just any old wooded area”.

In fact, these were places like no other - original and ancient, and definitely part of our own Midwestern heritage. This knowledge created a lasting impression and she admits that she easily gave in to “prairie fever”. Lana has since devoted much of her work to creating and using images of the native landscape. A card and stationery line was the result which you can see at her website.

The Morton Arboretum Store in Lisle and Vaughan’s Nursery in Western Springs also carry her line. (One of her Holiday cards is among the free samples in our newsletter.) In addition to the retail line, Lana also applies her Fine Art training to corporate imagery. In fact, she has just redesigned our logo, business card, brochure and newsletter as well as our own greeting card.

Lana Gits

Of the Morton Arboretum Store, Lana says, “I enjoy helping companies create designs that resonate strongly with their own values - and of which they can be proud.” See her design and card line at her website or contact her directly for corporate imagery, newsletters or for other design services at: The Prairie Arts:
Phone (630) 887-8375

Alex Ragland

Alexandra Ragland
Wildflower Garden Designer

Alex joined Art and Linda's in 2007 as our new wildflower garden designer. She is a native of Woodstock and has many years of experience in horticulture and gardening. She credits The Natural Garden in St. Charles with a strong appreciation for native wildflowers and her involvement with Art and Linda's is based upon a resonance with our approach to design and commitment to "capturing the spirit of the natural world.

Jim Arbuthnot
Website Designer

The look of our website has essentially remained the same, while updates and revisions are being added by Jim Arbuthnot of Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Jim graciously stepped in to help maintain the site this August after Karen Green’s sudden passing. We give him credit for lending a hand at a difficult time and managing to take on secretarial, as well as the many website responsibilities. His valuable services allow us to add new and pertinent information to our on - line presence and to help keep the flow running smoothly. If you have a need for similar services, contact Jim at: 708-715-3710 or: .

Jim Arbuthnot

Katy Darr

We are proud to introduce you to our new Ecologist, Katy Darr. Katy has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Northeastern Illinois University and a newly discovered passion for restoring native prairie.

She actually found us earlier this year after seeing a garden we had created for one of our Glenview, Illinois, clients. She was so impressed with it that she immediately wrote to Art praising his work and sharing her enthusiasm about the native ecosystem. In an excerpt from her letter below, she describes the experience of working at the Air Station Prairie in the Glenview Park District in 2007:

“I had learned a little bit about the prairie in previous classes, and seen a few in the late Fall on field trips, but that year I watched the prairie start flowering as a spark in the Spring and end up as a roaring fire that Fall. I fell in love instantly. I began identifying flowers and grasses, learning hundreds of species of plants, both native and non-native, woodland, wetland, and prairie.”

Katy Darr

Katy went on to write that since the beginning of her “affair” with the prairie, she felt a need to promote the use of native plants in landscapes. While working at the Air Station Prairie she explained that she was able to share her enthusiasm with visitors and began to see that others, like her, “…only needed to see it to find beauty in it.” After working at the Air Station Prairie, Katy went on to work in several other natural areas in the village of Glenview and met other well known prairie enthusiasts. Over the summer of 2009 Katy worked as an intern for the Village of Glenview. Here she helped manage the many natural areas of the village.

After receiving her letter, Art contacted her and asked if she would like to meet him at a client's home in Glenview. This “client” happened to be Evylyn Pease Tyner, the very person after which the Air Station Prairie Nature Center in Glenview was named. The meeting was exciting for all and Mrs. Tyner thoroughly enjoyed sharing her Art and Linda’s Wildflower garden with our new ecologist, Katy! We hope that you too have a chance to meet Katy in the upcoming months.

Shelby Childress

Here is what Shelby has to say about herself:

Hi everyone! I am an intern working for Art & Linda's Wildflowers trying to fill my brain with anything related to native prairie plants and ecosystems. I graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1999 with a degree in Biology. I earned my Master's in Education from Roosevelt University and have been teaching Biology and Environmental Science at Maine East High School for the last seven years. I really had zero interest in plants until a rain garden state grant acquainted me with Art. He provided the initial stock of natives to get us going and has helped provide much-needed education about this garden over the last three years. As the sponsor of the Ecology Club and up-and-coming resident naturalist, I have been able to help students and other teachers learn about the importance of native plants in storm water management and habitat conservation. Students helped to create a Butterfly Garden blog and we cataloged all of our plant species with relevant information including bloom time, color, height, and historic uses by native Americans to share with anyone interested in learning about it.

Shelby and roots
Shelby Childress

I look forward to more summers being out in the trenches with Art and his crew. I'm sure I still have more to learn!

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