There’s a lot to like in Forest Park. That might be especially true as July gives way to August and Forest Parkers gather up in ways that go back 51 years and in ways that are just being invented. It is all about growing community.

The village’s public works department is quietly adding butterfly friendly plants to the gardens it tends in the village. As our Tom Holmes reports this week, the second butterfly garden was planted earlier this month on Roosevelt Road near the entry to the Forest Park Mall. The first butterfly garden is on Desplaines across from village hall.

Butterflies are in danger and growing plants which attract and nurture them is a critical step in preserving monarchs. Forest Park’s efforts are a healthy step.

Those involved are eager to share the credit for this effort. Patrick Braniff is a near 30-year employee in public works and has been adding milkweed to local gardens for almost 10 years. He thanks McAdam Landscaping for their expertise. John Doss, director of public works, says his consciousness has been fully raised about the importance of monarchs. He points to Mayor Rory Hoskins, Commissioner Jessica Voogd and resident Julieta Aguilera Rodriguez for supporting the newest garden. 

Speaking of raised consciousness, the library board voted this month to repatriate its small collection of Potawatomi artifacts to a Wisconsin cultural center which fosters the heritage of the Potawatomi tribe. 

This goes way back in Forest Park’s history from its Native American roots to the arrival of white settlers in the mid-1800s. And this being Forest Park it is tied up in burial rites. Bones, ornaments and other artifacts of Potawatomi residents buried near what is now Roosevelt and Desplaines, part of Forest Home Cemetery, were casually disinterred by new arrivals. 

Eventually, many of these items were donated to the library in 1968, reports our Nona Tepper. Now as the library begins its major remodeling it is taking a closer look at its collection. Director Pilar Shaker consulted experts who agreed repatriating the relics to guardians of the tribe’s heritage was the right step. We agree.

What a weekend. The 51st annual No Glove Nationals played out at the park. Always a great event. Brown Cow hosted its annual ice cream Trough Eating Contest. What’s to say! And the Sidewalk Sale on Madison Street.

The Historical Society hosted its second annual House and Garden Walk a week back. Seven lovely gardens were featured. Honored were Rob Abernathy and Peter Vamvakas who, over their four years in town, have built welcoming front yard and back yard gardens at their two-flat/coach house combo on Thomas Avenue. We like Abernathy’s description of their casual garden approach. “It’s not wild, it’s maintained.” Just like Forest Park.

Coming up is another in the Forest Park Arts Alliance’s inspired Stoop Sessions of front porch concerts. Be there at 1529 Elgin Ave. on August 19 to hear the Gasses perform. This may be the ultimate in growing community.