Sustainable Land Use

Welcome Fall! Let's get planting!

Incorporating native plants in your lawn is a great way to provide crucial habitat for pollinators, cut down on water usage and costs, and promote the health of our community. Colorful native wildflowers like Milkweed, Black-eyed Susans, Goldenrod, and Beebalm are all food sources for bees and butterflies. Native grasses such as Sideoats grama and Canada wildrye serve as important shelter for insects and small animals as well. Since they are perennial and thrive naturally once established in Northern Illinois, you’ll use less time, water, and gas on yard maintenance throughout the summer!

Wildflowers and grasses indigenous to Illinois are best planted as seeds in autumn. Native plant seeds can be purchased online or at most garden centers. For best results, first prepare your soil with compost and a light raking. Seeds should be mixed with a carrier such as sawdust or peatmoss, using a 2:1 carrier-to-seed ratio. Preferably on a sunny fall day, scatter this mixture onto soil bed. Water sparingly to help seeds settle after planting. A light layer of straw may be used in sloped areas to prevent seeds from washing away. Happy planting!

Consider Native Landscaping

In addition to a regular or vegetable garden, residents may consider planting a rain garden which utilizes plant and wildflower species native to Illinois. Planting a rain garden in your yard is a great way to beautify your property while increasing property value, improving localized storm water retention, and potentially saving money through minimized use of fertilizers, pesticides, and minimized lawn care. purple-coneflower-by Alicja from Pixabay

Why Plant a Rain Garden?

Rain gardens have the incredible capacity to improve soil hydrology, health, and drainage while filtering pollutants from runoff and providing crucial habitat for necessary pollinators. Like any garden, maintenance is required, however, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. You can learn more about the benefits of flower beds instead of turf grass here.

In an effort to encourage sustainable solutions for stormwater, residents that qualify for the Village's cost-sharing stormwater improvement program may have the costs for the installation of a rain garden offset. If eligible, a portion of the cost of acquiring and installing your rain garden will be covered by the Village. If interested in having the Village partially subsidize your rain garden, please contact the Public Works Department at 847-272-4711. Learn more and find resources for planning rain gardens on the Chicago Botanical Garden’s website

Advantages
Disadvantages
• Easy to construct
• Low initial construction investment
• Can be customized with the right native plants for your area (full sun, part-sun, shade)
• Designed to hold or divert water onsite
• Plants absorb and purify water thus reducing pollution in nearby streams
• Native plants amend & aerate soil with deep roots
• Beautiful addition to any garden and home
• Attracts beneficial insects and birds
• Creates a sanctuary for nature and people
• Requires higher maintenance, weeding, and occasional watering
• Requires enough space in one’s yard
• Won’t hold much water in frozen ground
• Plants are dormant in the winter
• Existing trees may limit location

What to Consider when Planning a Rain Garden:

  • Utilize native plants. They consume significantly less water and survive better in our climate due to their deep roots and drought resistant nature. The deep roots acts like a sponge to allow soil to best retain water and filter pollutants. For a list of native plants that thrive in a variety of soils and shade availability, see this handy guide.
  • Any fencing installed around a new garden must comply with fencing height restrictions set forth in the Municipal Code. For more information, visit the Village’s Fence Permit page.
  • Any new garden must not become a nuisance (i.e. cause mud, icing or water to pool and accumulate on public sidewalks) or exceed the yard height limits allowed under the municipal code.
  • Any new garden may not change the grade of a property enough to cause drainage or erosion problems. For questions regarding this, visit the Village’s Storm water and Flooding Services page.

Where to Purchase Native Plants:

In- Store 
Online