While your garden may seem like a tiny space, it can help solve problems both local and global. A diverse and well-designed native garden can
save pollinators, manage water on your property and beyond, sequester carbon, directly cool your property and help cool the city, improve your mental health, and more.
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. If many people in your neighborhood implemented these techniques, flooding and sewer backups would be less frequent and severe.
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.
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.
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.
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.