The Magic of Native Landscapes

While your garden may seem like a tiny space, it can help solve climate problems both local and global. A diverse and well-designed native garden can save pollinators, manage water on your property, sequester carbon, cool your property and city, and improve your mental health. These are just a few of the reasons we love native plants and gardens.

Water Management

A rain garden is a form of green infrastructure that solves water problems on your property, turning them into a resource that nourishes a beautiful garden. More rain gardens mean less flooding and sewer backups would be infrequent and less severe.

Learn more about rain gardens

Supporting Pollinators and Butterflies

Pollinators of all kinds are in decline from habitat loss and pesticides. Illinois is home to around 500 species of bees and 150 species of butterflies, each interdependent with a unique group of plants. Diverse native gardens support pollinators of all types.

Learn more from the Xerxes Society

Butterflies, Host Plants, and the Food Web

We all know about planting milkweed to save the charismatic monarch butterfly. Actually, almost every plant hosts a special set of insects that form the base of the entire food web.

Feeding the Birds

Native gardens provide a wealth of food for native birds. In addition to caterpillars and other insects, seeds and berries provide food for many species of birds.

Soil and Carbon

Soils are heavily degraded by both development and agriculture, impeding drainage as well as plant growth. This degradation also releases large amounts of carbon. Illinois once had some of the finest soils in the world, and restoring deep-rooted prairie plants improves drainage and nutrient balance, and also sequesters significant amounts of carbon.