Early this year, our Northern Kane County Wild Ones invited Jim Kleinwachter of The Conservation Foundation of DuPage and Kane Counties to speak  about Conservation@Home, a program that helps property owners protect and create yards that are environmentally friendly. The following criteria is used for designation:

Property must have some native plant components for the benefit of water conservation and/or for wildlife.

There should be clear evidence of stewardship of the land (invasive species control and other management issues)

Property along creeks, rivers, or a pond should be managed to prevent erosion and pollutants.

Protection of existing natural areas as well as creation of new areas is highly encouraged.

If you already have a ecologically sound garden, you are eligible for a plaque like the one shown above.  If not, Jim or another qualified consultant, will come to your house and provide simple, easy-to-implement steps to encourage conservation-friendly practices.   Call Jim at 630-428-4500 to make an appointment.

If you live in the Barrington area, call 847-381-4291

If you live in Lake County, call 847-548-5989

Our Wild Ones chapter set a goal of receiving 10 new Conservation@Home designations in 2012, which we were able to accomplish.  At our year end Holiday Pot Luck Supper, I provided a slide show that featured all the new designees plus 6 others that had been designated in previous years.

You don’t have to be a member of Wild Ones to receive this designation or to get advice from Jim; although, if you’re interested in conservation, our group is a great place to learn more about native plants and meet like-minded friends.

Here are our plaque holders:

Front yard

New terrace with rain channels.


Overlooking creek with Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) at top.

Good use for buckthorn–a fence.


Savanna garden


Entrance garden in October with Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterlepis).


My side yard in October.

East-facing slope with Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), Illinois Rose (Rosa setigera), and Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera).

Flower garden with Yellow Coneflower (Ratibda pinnata) and Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).

Clearing in the prairie garden with Asters and Goldenrod.

Vegetated swale with Blue Flag (Iris virginica var. shrevrei)


Flower garden with Black-eyed Susan  (Rudbeckia hirta) and Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).

Savanna with a floor of  Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)



Controlled burn that benefits all native gardens.

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7 Responses to Conservation@Home

  1. Mary Alice Masonick December 10, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    Good representative photos, Pat!

  2. Suzanne Massion December 10, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    Pat, Our spring wild flowers actually looked like that back in May-June before the drought flattened the bloodroot foliage. Even the False Solomon Seal looked droopy in late summer. Only one of our Witch Hazel shrubs flowered this November;the one getting all the water when we drain the concrete pond. Pagoda Dogwoods lost their leaves early as did the Blue Beeches. We are actually hoping for a lot of snow fall this winter and a little anxious about what will leaf out in the spring. Your photos showing everyone’s home gardens are glorious.

  3. Pat Glen December 11, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Hi Pat, Nice photos. The prairie plants look right at home in the hot dry weather.

    My own yard is in transition back to as many natives as possible and this year was really tough on new plantings … am hoping for lots of snow and wet weather in the spring.

    Always enjoy your newsleter!!!

    • Pat Hill December 11, 2012 at 8:47 am #

      Things aren’t looking good, as far as the continuing drought is concerned. This is the longest snow drought–most number of consecutive days without any measurable snowfall here–280 days, according to yesterday’s Courier News.

  4. chris darbo December 11, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    Sporobolus heterlepis).
    Should be heterolepis.
    Beautiful images, as always.

    • Pat Hill December 11, 2012 at 8:20 am #

      I seem to keep having trouble spelling that word–I think this was a typo. Thanks for pointing it out to me.

  5. Jim Kleinwachter December 14, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Loved the opportunity to see all those wonderful properties, everyone was so happy to share information about plants – I look forward to spring – I hope people will share some of their shade loving species for my new home!
    I am happy to help you too – just contact me to get certified or started on the right path! Spring planting season will be here soon enough….

    Happy Holidays JIM

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