A Grass-Roots Movement Seminar Promotes Return to Natural Landscaping

By Ray, Scott | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 21, 2003 | Go to article overview

A Grass-Roots Movement Seminar Promotes Return to Natural Landscaping


Ray, Scott, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Scott Ray Daily Herald Staff Writer

Their goal is to help revive more of Illinois' native plant and animal species in McHenry County. Members of the Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee do so by hosting an annual natural landscaping seminar. The goal is to encourage residents to try using natural landscaping in their yards.

Ground broken every day in new developments and construction projects strips the land of its natural beauty in order to transform front yards into sod fields, according to Perele Olsson, chairwoman of the Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee.

The 14th annual McHenry County Natural Landscaping Seminar is from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 1 at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake. Seats are limited, and registration will take place one-half hour before the event. The $30 admission fee includes lunch in the college's cafeteria.

Olsson says the Wildlife Committee, affiliated with the McHenry County Defenders, hopes to educate people about the benefits of using wildflowers and native plants instead of growing what she says is just a yard full of grass.

Olsson also says the planting of native species helps to conserve water because it requires less watering than nonindigenous plants to the area. Certain species even have the ability to attract certain types of butterflies and birds, increasing the enjoyment of a yard for homeowners.

The committee has chosen four guest speakers for the event to discuss various natural ways to turn yards into a wildlife refuge for plants and animals using natural techniques.

Joel Greenberg, author of "Natural History of the Chicago Region," will talk about plants native to our area, while Dan Boehlke of Boehlke's Woodland Gardens will speak on gardening in the shade. …

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