Archive for the ‘Going green’ Category


Trees and other plants may struggle to survive if they are planted during the hot months of a drought year like this one, unless they are very carefully watered all summer.

If you have been planning to plant or transplant a tree or shrub this year and haven’t gotten around to it, consider waiting until fall.

“Even in a normal year, summer is not the best time to plant or transplant,” said Sharon Yiesla, plant knowledge specialist at in the Plant Clinic of The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. “And this year we’re in a drought.”

Planting in summer has extra risks, because the heat makes soil and plants dry out faster. As the temperature rises, water evaporates more quickly. In this drought year — one of the driest on record — rainfall is not likely to provide enough water for plants.

“At this point, homeowners might be better off waiting until late summer or early fall to purchase or transplant trees or shrubs,” she said.

Plants are mostly water, and they need a steady, reliable water supply to survive. Between 80% and 90% of the weight of any green plant consists of the water that fills its cells. Even a mature tree, with its woody trunk and branches, is about 50% water.

In summer, plants cool themselves by allowing water to escape through tiny holes in their leaves, taking heat with it. The water that evaporates needs to be replaced in order for the plant to keep functioning.

Read more here.

For tree and plant advice, contact the Plant Clinic at The Morton Arboretum (630-719-2424, mortonarb.org/plant-clinic, or plantclinic@mortonarb.org).

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53 Greenway

First came the Illinois Prairie Path, one of the first rail-to-trail conversions in the United States. Later, The 606 trail in Chicago attracted crowds of bikers and runners and led to skyrocketing nearby property values. Now, a group of conservationists and elected officials in Lake County are pushing to turn a former proposed tollway corridor into a greenway — a trail through a long, narrow nature preserve.

Illinois lawmakers recently approved a resolution calling for a task force to study alternate uses for the proposed extension of Illinois Route 53 in the northwest suburbs. The effort picks up where Illinois tollway officials left off in 2019 when they dropped plans for the road.

Believers in the project cite it as an example of a popular trend away from highways and greenhouse gas emissions, and toward preservation of natural areas. Critics see it as a boondoggle for a relatively small number of people, rather than a project that could have served 100,000 drivers a day and spurred economic development.

While Republicans traditionally have supported road projects, the resolution passed unanimously in both chambers, suggesting growing bipartisan support for nature paths.

“These become beloved spaces where diverse residents, young and old, flock to get fresh air, walk, bike, and share a moment with each other,” said Gerald Adelmann, president and CEO of the nonprofit Openlands conservation group. “This is our moment to create that kind of legacy for our communities.”

Road builders see it differently. Mike Sturino, president of the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, cited widespread past support for the expressway.

“The majority of working people suffer when you pull the plug on needed infrastructure,” Sturino said. “I like bike lanes, but we have to be realistic. It’s shocking when respectable officials are browbeaten by a radical fringe to go along with this reckless move.”

Read more here.

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SG SaleSmart Farm of Barrington will hold its annual plant sale from 9 AM to noon Friday, May 7, and 9 AM to 1 PM on Saturday, May 8, at Smart Farm, 490 W. Route 22, in Barrington, just west of the Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital campus.

The sale includes a large variety of vegetables and herbs, heirloom varieties. Masks and social distancing are required. Cash, check and credit cards will be accepted. For information, (847) 875-2060 or smartfarms.org.

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About 40 people turned out Thursday, including 10 members of a local Brownie troop, to plant native plants like St. John’s wort for Earth Day at Pederson Preserve in Barrington. (John Starks | Staff Photographer)

Volunteers celebrated Earth Day on Thursday by installing native plants in a Barrington nature preserve and cleaning up a park in Warrenville

About 40 people, including 10 members of Brownie Troop 2370, gathered Thursday to plant St. John’s wort and other native plants in the Pederson Nature Preserve.

The 5.6-acre parcel across from Barrington High School was purchased by the Barrington Area Conservation Trust with funds donated by Frederica Smith Pederson, whose late husband, Keith Pederson, was a distinguished Barrington resident. The property is named after him.

Since the conservation trust formed in 2001, its mission has been to conserve open spaces and the rural character of Barrington communities. In 20 years, the trust has saved 520 acres of land, formed five nature preserves, installed 52 monarch butterfly pollinator gardens and planted 110 oak trees, its members say.

For more information, visit bactrust.org.

Read more here.

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Earth Day 2021Earth Day is Thursday, April 22, and there are plenty of local events — celebrations, concerts, educational programs, cleanups, workdays, recycling — to mark the occasion.  Here are a few dates and events to consider participating in:

Sunday, April 18

Waterfowl Nesting: 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, April 18, Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Road, Barrington Hills. Pick up an informational guide to lead your own adventure and discover more about our feathery friends and their busy springtime activities. All participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. For information, (847) 381-6592 or Crabtree.NatureCenter@cookcountyil.gov.

Thursday, April 22

Earth Day — Nature’s Heroes: Virtually at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 22, Facebook Live from Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills. Join to learn a little about some the female pioneers in the environmental movement. Program is free. Visit Crabtree Nature Center on Facebook. For information, (847) 381-6592 or Crabtree.NatureCenter@cookcountyil.gov.

Earth Day at Pederson Preserve: 3:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 22, Pederson Nature Preserve, Hart Road and West County Line Road, Barrington. #RestoreOurEarth. Join the Barrington Area Conservation Trust to plant. Dress for the weather, wear a mask and social distance. Advance registration required, visit bactrust.org.

Sunday, April 25

Celebrating Earth Day: Noon-3 p.m. Sunday, April 25, Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Road, Barrington Hills. Create a cute native animal out of recycled materials, learn how to go greener in your cleaning, pick up supplies to clean up a preserve or neighborhood park or start a native plant to take home for your garden in the Mini Earth Day Celebration. All participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. For information, (847) 381-6592 or Crabtree.NatureCenter@cookcountyil.gov.

Wildflower Walks: 2 p.m. Sunday, April 25, Stillman Nature Center, 33 W. Penny Road, South Barrington. Join and explore Stillman’s woodlands in search of ephemeral beauties such as white trillium, May-apple, Virginia bluebell and jack-in-the-pulpit. Bring your camera. For ages 10 and older. Also offered May 2. Free. For information and to register, (847) 428-6957 or Stillnc@wildblue.net.

For more ideas, click here.

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TreeIn partnership with the non-profit Tree-Plenish, National Honor Society students at Barrington High School will be planting over 400 trees in the yards of local residents in order to offset their school’s paper usage. The event will be taking place at Barrington High School on April 17th from 9:00am-1:00pm.

Throughout the year, students have been working hard to plan these tree-planting events. They calculated how much paper the school used during an academic year and converted the amount into a number of trees. The students marketed their event to their local community and got residents to order trees for their property. On the day of the event, volunteer teams are going to plant the saplings in the yards of residents and on multiple District 220 school campuses that requested them.

The students are hosting this event in partnership with Tree-Plenish, a student-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization striving to build sustainable communities through youth engagement. Together with Tree-Plenish, students from Barrington High School’s National Honor society hope to drive Barrington towards a sustainable future.

-Laura Turngren National Honor Society Sponsor at Barrington High School

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Proceeds from the Algonquin Garden Club’s annual sale go toward annual scholarships, local charities, and community beautification efforts.

This year, the Algonquin Garden Club is planning a curbside pickup arrangement at two homes, one on the east and the other on west side of the Fox River. The club has numerous plants with limited amounts of each to share, so order early!

The annual fundraiser is used to help support yearly contributions toward scholarships, community organizations, charities and community beautification.

Photos of the plants are available on the Algonquin Garden Club Facebook page or algonquingardenclub.org. If you have questions contact Cathy at czange@outlook.com. The order forms are available on the website page. Note that there are two different order forms.

Please download, fill out the order form and return it by the following dates. Orders for hanging baskets, tomatoes and peppers must be received by Friday, April 16. Perennial orders, grown in member’s gardens, are due no later than Friday, April 23.

Order forms can be sent via email to alggardenclub@gmail.com or by mail to Algonquin Garden Club, P.O. Box 7851, Algonquin, IL 60102.

Once the orders are received and processed, you will be notified with a pickup time and location prior to Mother’s Day. Payment for the order will be made at the time of pickup. They will accept cash, check or credit card.

Orders will be filled in the order received and a free plant given with each order.

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Bertram James Grigsby (born in 1884) owned land that became CFC’s first preserve, located in Barrington Hills. His daughter, Peggy Grigsby Richards (1914-2012) knew that her father wanted the family land kept intact for the grassland birds, and she honored his vision with the donation of the land to CFC. Peggy Grigsby photo by April Graves/Lightdrawn Studios.

If you want to know the value of something, ask yourself, “Where would we be without it?” Residents of the greater Barrington area, including creatures and plants that reside here, enjoy the benefits of wide-open spaces. Citizens for Conservation and local land-conscious organizations have protected and preserved our natural resources in earnest for 50 years. Had they not, much of our rural character would have given way to development. Once razed, land is forever gone.

We can thank visionaries dating back to late-19th century landowners, like Bertram James Grigsby, who had a desire to protect open meadows and patches of prairie for wildlife. His daughter, Peggy (pictured above) honored his vision, and donated a large parcel of family land to become the first CFC Preserve.

In 1970, the Barrington Area Development Council urged that a Barrington Area Council of Governments and a Conservation Committee be formed, and for 50 years, both have played a role in the health and preservation of our open spaces and waterways.

In 1971, the newly incubated Conservation Committee incorporated as Citizens for Conservation. Bill H. Miller was CFC’s first president, and under his leadership, the founding members set the stage for today’s CFC, one of our most important, successful, and enduring nonprofit organizations.

Read the Q&A with CFC’s current president Kathleen Leitner here.

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Shoppers browse the native plants and shrubs during a previous Citizens for Conservation plant sale. Place your orders online now for Citizens for Conservation’s 25th annual Native Plant, Shrub and Tree Sale. Orders will be taken online only through April 18. Pickup will be by appointment May-6-8.

Online ordering for Citizens for Conservation’s 25th annual Native Plant, Shrub and Tree Sale will be available through April 18 on CFC’s website, www.citizensforconservation.org.

Order pickup will be May 6-8 in the barn area of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, 450 W. Hwy. 22, in Lake Barrington. Pickup appointments will be scheduled in advance and COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place.

Orders are filled on a first-come, first-filled basis, and CFC members receive a 10% discount. At this time, CFC cannot commit to an in-person sale, so online orders are encouraged.

The sale is one of the largest in the region and features more than 225 native species. This year’s sale will also feature special-value gardens designed for the home garden:

  • 50th Anniversary Gardens for Sun or Shade: In honor of CFC’s 50th anniversary, two small native plant gardens will be available for $50 each. These sun or shade gardens have been designed by Christa Orum-Keller, landscape designer and owner of Midwest Groundcovers. The plants included are from their Natural Garden Natives, and have been chosen for their versatility, beauty and pollinator attraction. Each garden has 20 plants for an area about 25 square feet, and comes with a design layout for planting.
  • Secret Garden Special for Part Shade: This garden is designed in partnership with Barrington Junior Women’s Club Secret Garden-themed fundraiser. Start a secret garden with native plants that have been selected to thrive in light shade and regular garden soil. Plants range in height from 6 inches to 5 feet and include a variety of species that bloom in spring, summer and fall.

As part of CFC’s Milkweed for Monarchs campaign to encourage monarch populations, several species of native milkweed will be available at discounted prices. But other native plants are essential as well; monarch and other pollinators need flowering native plants as food all season long. All plants sold are free of neonicotinoid pesticides.

CFC’s online catalog includes details to help choose plants, such as sun requirements, water requirements, color and more. Also, native plant experts from CFC’s Habitat Corridors program are available for a brief online or phone consultation.

Email a request — with “Native Plant Sale” in the subject line — by April 1 to info@habitatcorridors.org that includes name and contact information, and a native plant expert will be in touch to set up an appointment.

For information, contact CFC at cfc@citizensforconservation.org.

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The League of Women Voters has posted recordings of the two Village candidate forums they held Saturday morning.

The session for Village of Barrington Hills President candidates can viewed here, and the session for candidates running for Village Trustee seats can be viewed here.

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