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Adult Opportunities

Growing Edible Native Plants

Learn about traditional uses of native plants and how to add them to your edible garden.

Content Detail

Did you know milkweed isn’t just for monarchs? With a little knowledge, this native plant is food for humans, too. Though not often considered as edibles, many native plants in Illinois and the Midwest are wonderful, traditional sources of food. Through storytelling and recipes, presenter Gina Roxas, a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and a medicinal garden manager, will invite plant lovers to consider native plants differently when planning their next garden.

In this presentation, explore the beauty of native plants, uncover their history with the first people of this land, and learn techniques for the responsible harvest and use of these plants in our daily lives. Consider big ideas that will transform the way you think about your garden:

  • Why do we garden?
  • What is a food plant, really?
  • How do our actions affect the space around us?

The Edible Gardening Series highlights expertise from local organizations working with communities to support food security, environmental justice, and education and skill building.

This program meets in person at The Morton Arboretum.

About Trickster Cultural Center

The Trickster Cultural Center is a Native American and community arts center that also serves Native American veterans and their needs. The center features contemporary Native American art (post-1960s) and augments its multicultural exhibits with featured speakers, panel discussions, school tours, and educator workshops. The center’s medicinal garden grows native plants that provide traditional food and medicine for the center’s Indigenous community.

Instructor: Gina Roxas, program director and garden manager, Trickster Cultural Center

Age: 16 and older


Gina Roxas, program director and garden manager, Trickster Cultural Center

Gina Roxas is the program director for Trickster Cultural Center, a nonprofit Native American and community arts center in Schaumburg, where she also manages the native medicinal garden.

As a citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Roxas has studied the environment through a multifaceted lens of traditional teachings from her grandmother and family elders as well as the humanities and science. Her interests are ethnobotany, urban agriculture, and gardening.

What to Know

This program meets indoors at The Morton Arboretum.


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