Learn Bioregional Herbalism

Through Seasonal In-Person Field Immersions

  • Hands-On Learning

    Join us for a series of live, in-person, guided interactive walks in the western Chicago suburbs and learn how to connect with the many highly valuable herbal plant allies surrounding us in our bioregion. Learn to identify a variety of flowers, fruits, and foliage of plants and practice identifying them in different stages of growth during different times of the year. Learn herbal uses of the plants you're introduced to and sample some herbal preparations provided by your experienced guide and Herbalism instructor, Ellyn Schmitz. Learn sustainable harvesting techniques and practices for a variety of plants on each walk, and at some walk locations where sustainable foraging is permissible, you may be able to bring a bit of a harvest home for your personal use!

  • Immersion Times and Locations

    Sundays from 1pm – 3pm (CST.) These guided walks are for in-person participation and hands-on experience, they are not virtual. ***Each seasonal series includes 4 guided walks in locations in the western suburbs of Chicago. Locations will be sent to participants after registering. *** The Spring Series includes a total of four walks during the months of April, May, and June. 2021 Spring Series Dates are: * Sunday, 4/25/21 * Sunday, 5/2/21 * Sunday, 5/16/21 * Sunday, 6/13/21 * A summer series is also available. Receive a discount when you register for both!

  • Need to Know

    Dress for the weather! Walks will be held rain or shine (if there is a need to cancel a walk due to dangerous weather, you will be notified). * You are encouraged to bring a notebook, journal, or camera for recording plant information, observations, and photos. * At each walk, Ellyn will provide samples of herbal preparations which you will have the option of tasting or using, so please bring hand wipes/sanitizer, a reusable cup, and napkin. * Covid precautions will be required, so be sure to wear your mask and respect physical distancing requirements * You may also wish to bring a reusable water bottle and a basket for harvesting when permissible


Bioregional Herbalism Instructor

Bioregional Herbalism Instructor

Ellyn Schmitz

Ellyn is an avid student of nature, particularly of medicinal plants and the philosophy of living close to the earth. She helps others discover and deepen their connection to the healing power of plants and nature. She has studied extensively for over 20 years with Tom Brown Jr., a world-renowned tracker and wilderness survival expert, who was taught the ancient arts of living close to the earth by a Lipan Apache medicine man. She continuously studies with numerous edible and medicinal plant experts including, Karen Sherwood, Kathleen Wildwood, Richo Cech, Paul Bergner, Matthew Wood, Christopher Hobbs, 7Song, and others. She is a member of the Keepers of the Plant Wisdom Medicine Society, has served on the board of directors for Medicine Waters Conservancy since 2001, and actively participates in United Plant Savers herbal conferences. Ellyn holds certificates from the Resiliency Institute in Edible Wild Plants and Bioregional Herbalism.


  • Where are classes located?

    Students will be sent the locations for the classes upon registering because some sessions take place on private property. All walks are in the Chicago suburbs.

  • What is your weather policy?

    Walks will take place rain or shine unless weather conditions are deemed unsafe at the designated walk location and time by the instructor. Students are expected to show up on location for the walk unless notified otherwise by the instructor. There may be the option to wait for bad weather to pass so the walk can still take place. Refunds for the missed class, not the season, will be available should the walk not take place.

  • What is your refund policy?

    Full refunds are available prior to the first class session. After the class has begun, a pro-rated refund can be requested until the second class date. After the second class, because of the limited capacity of the class and inability to fill your reserved seat, no refunds can be provided, however a letter for donation can be provided for your tax purposes.

  • What if I miss a class?

    Refunds cannot be be provided for missed classes.