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Sourcebook on Natural Landscaping for Local Officials - Illinois


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Sourcebook on Natural Landscaping for Local Officials - Illinois

Sourcebook on Natural Landscaping for Local Officials - Illinois

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  • 1. SOURCEBOOKON NATURAL LANDSCAPING FOR LOCAL OFFICIALS Updated and third printing August 2004 prepared by
  • 2. Natural Landscaping SourcebookThis project has been funded in part by the United PROJECT CONSULTANTS:States Environmental Protection Agency under anassistance agreement with the Northeastern Illinois Applied Ecological Services, Inc.Planning Commission. The contents of this document Brodhead, Wisconsindo not necessarily reflect the views and policies of &the United States Environmental Protection Agency Thompson Dyke & Associates, Ltdor the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, Northbrook, Illinois.nor does the mention of trade names or commercialproducts constitute endorsement or recommendation Line Drawings of Native Plants from Dick Young,for use. Wild Plants and Natural Areas of Kane County and University of Wisconsin-Extension inIn addition to funding by the United States Cooperation withEnvironmental Protection Agency, the updated and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resourcesthird printing was funded through a grant programsupported by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:Area, State and Private Forestry, and the U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service, in support of Chicago Wilderness. The 2004 update was completed with guidance andUSFWS and USFS grants of federal monies are assistance from Danielle Green, Laura Evans andadministered by the Illinois Conservation Helen Tsiapis of the U.S. Environmental ProtectionFoundation. Agency, Barbara Wood of the Chicago Park District, Jerry Milewski of American Gardens, Jack Pizzo of PROJECT STAFF: Pizzo and Associates, Tom Price of Conservation Design Forum, Mike Sands of Prairie Crossing, Jack Richard Mariner Broughton formerly of Applied Ecological Services Dennis Dreher and now with Bielinski Homes, Diane Trgovcich Katja Huebner Zacok of Purdue University Calumet, and Clayton Libby Hill Heffter and Mary Beth Falsey of DuPage County. Eva Wurm Additional staff for 2004 Update: Irene Hogstrom, Updated and third printing August 2004 Holly Hudson, Belinda King, Kerry Leigh, Kathy Second Printing August 1998 Maynard, Suzanne Thorsen, Julia Friedman May 19972
  • 3. Table of ContentsPurpose of the Sourcebook 5 Chapter 1: Introduction to Natural Landscaping 7 Chapter 2: Benefits of Natural Landscaping 14 Chapter 3: The Role of Local Government 23 Chapter 4: The “How To” of Natural Landscaping 29 (Includes Follow-up Maintenance) Chapter 5: Case Studies in Natural Landscaping 51Appendices Appendix 1: Glossary 64 Appendix 2: Selecting Assistance for Your Project 67 Appendix 3: Plant Lists 69 Appendix 4: Sources of Information and Assistance 74 Appendix 5: Fact Sheet: Natural Landscaping 79 Appendix 6: Sample Ordinances 82 Appendix 7: Illinois EPA Permit Information 88 Appendix 8: Examples of Natural Landscaping Installation and Maintenance Costs 92 Appendix 9: Executive Order 97 Appendix 10: Selected Bibliography 99
  • 4. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook4
  • 5. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook PURPOSE OF THIS Government officials can amend comprehensive SOURCE BOOK plans and adopt ordinances to promote the appreciation and use of natural landscapes. In recent years, a new look in Citizen education about the benefits of natural landscaping, commonly landscaping can provide a powerful incentive, known as natural landscaping, especially if government officials can point to has been gaining enthusiastic demonstration projects of their own. acceptance across the country. Natural landscaping is an aes- This Source Book will: thetically exciting, ever-chang- * Explain the basic principles and benefits of nat- ing tapestry of hardy, primari- ural landscaping; Blue Vervain ly native plantings well adapt- * Demonstrate the feasibility of using naturaled to the local climate and soil. It provides a landscaping successfully in the region;cost effective alternative to conventional turf * Provide information regarding the ways thatgrass lawns. local officials as community leaders can encour- age the use of natural landscaping;Natural landscaping minimizes the environmen- * Identify ways to avoid pitfalls that could resulttally detrimental effects of pesticides and fertil- in poorly implemented natural landscaping;izers, as well as the noise pollution and the * Describe tools and techniques; andemission of air-polluting substances from lawn-maintenance equipment. It virtually eliminates * Provide direction to other sources of informa- tion and expertise.the need to use water for irrigation, as isrequired for turf grass lawns. While not mainte- This guidebook was originally prepared by thenance free, natural landscaping requires less Northeastern Illinois Planning Commissiontime and money for ongoing maintenance than (NIPC) for the U.S. Environmental Protectionconventional landscapes. Agency, Region 5 (USEPA). The intended audi- ence is local officials, land owners, and citizensHomeowners and developers alike are begin- in the greater northeastern Illinois region.ning to appreciate the environmental, economicand aesthetic benefits of natural landscaping. Because regional geological histories and cli- mate vary greatly and are basic to implementingLocal officials are in a position to advocate natu- natural landscaping, natural landscaping inral landscaping and bring its benefits to their other regions must be tailored to those uniquecommunities. Local governments demonstrate conditions. Therefore, landscape planners andthe benefits by using native plant materials on ecological restoration practitioners in othergovernment owned and managed lands. regions, and even within this large northeastern5
  • 6. Natural Landscaping SourcebookIllinois region, will need to research their ownlandscape history. They will need to obtainlocal information in order to understand theirspecific natural conditions and native vegeta-tion. However, the basic principles and benefitsof natural landscaping, as described in thisSource Book, should apply anywhere. 6
  • 7. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook CHAPTER 1: NATURAL plants but has slightly broader implications because it also suggests landscaping to give the LANDSCAPING “look” of the landscape that existed before the I. What is Natural mid-1800s. In addition, there may be an attempt Landscaping? to restore or reconstruct the landscape to look II. The Landscapes of Today and function more as it did before settlers, other and Yesterday than Native Americans, lived here. III. How Can Natural Natural landscaping applies to a wide array of Landscaping be Used? landscaping techniques that help retain naturalRattlesnake Master landscape features, including wetlands, wood- lands and natural drainage features. For exam-I. WHAT IS NATURAL LANDSCAPING? ple, natural landscaping site design incorporates natural drainage features such as swales andNatural Landscaping is the physical modifica- vegetated “filter strips” in contrast to stormtion of outdoors to serve the needs of people by sewers and artificial drainage channels.planting, altering the contours of the ground,and building structures and amenities such as Beneficial landscaping is another term in cur-pedestrian ways, paths and picnic areas. rent use that embraces both native and natural landscaping. The term beneficial landscaping also includes the use of shading and wind-Native landscaping, Natural landscaping, and breaks, which reduce heating and cooling needsBeneficial landscaping for buildings.Natural landscaping is a relatively new term. These terms are relatively new and their defini-Other terms in current use mean much the same tions are somewhat fluid. Questions of termi-thing and are somewhat interchangeable. The nology should not obscure the basic intent orterms are discussed in the context of the concepts. The term “natural landscaping” willMidwestern United States. be used throughout this guide. In Appendix 1Native landscaping refers to the use of plants— of this guide is a glossary of frequently usedfor example, prairie, woodland and wetland terms associated with natural landscaping.plants—that flourished in northeastern Illinoisprior to its occupation by settlers from easternNorth America and Europe.Natural landscaping implies the use of native7
  • 8. Natural Landscaping SourcebookII. THE LANDSCAPES OF YESTERDAY AND TODAY Native prairie, woodland and wetland plants of the Chicago region have great beauty and are well adapted to local conditions. Unfortunately, they have been displaced to a large extent by non-native plants that were familiar to the peo- ple who first farmed and developed our urban areas. Only in recent years have the beauty and utility of our native plants and plant communi- ties become widely appreciated. Our predominant landscaping material today, the green grass lawn, is borrowed from the heavily grazed, short grass pastures and formalPrairie Planting at Lucent Technologies – Naperville, gardens of Europe, particularly England. In thatIllinois moist climate, the closely cropped grasses evolved with the grazing sheep, goats and cows.Northeastern Illinois lies along the northeastern Understandably, pioneers from Europe, used toedge of the range of the Tall Grass Prairie of the the short grasses, brought the grasses as well asMidwest. The prevailing landscape before medicinal and food plants to make the unfamil-European settlement was open prairie. In some iar feel familiar.areas the prairie was flat, in others rolling. Theprairies were regularly interspersed with poorly Unfortunately, the grasses they brought do notdrained lowland and dry, well-drained uplands. thrive as well-kept lawns without a great deal ofRainfall flowed from the uplands into lowland effort to simulate the conditions under whichwet meadows and marshes. they evolved in Europe.Throughout the region were small to large tracts Our area of the country, with its harsher climateof savannas consisting primarily of scattered of extremes of heat and deep freezes, droughtoak trees interspersed with characteristic grasses and drenching rains, is an inhospitable atmos-and forbs. More heavily forested areas, some phere for short-cropped, short-rooted grass.covering vast acreages and known to the Therefore, the contemporary weed-free lawn isEuropean settlers as “The Big Woods,” grew on maintained at a high price, not only in terms ofthe eastern sides of our north-south running dollars but also degraded water and air quality,rivers, where they were protected from fierce water consumption, and the peace and quiet ofprairie fires. In some places, impenetrable thick- our neighborhoods.ets covered sandy areas and low dunes. 8
  • 9. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook ditions across the region: * sandy soils associated with Lake Michigan and its larger predecessors; * rich lowland forest soils in floodplains along streams and rivers; * heavy clay soils in low-lying wooded areas; * wet conditions associated with wetlands, wet prairies, and riparian corridors; * dry uplands on rolling lands left by glaciers; and * moderate lands originally covered by tall-grassDifficult to maintain conventional landscaping. prairies and groves of oaks and other hard- woods. Fortunately, there is a selection of native plants that have a wide tolerance for varying condi- tions and work well in many locations. Where special expertise and resources are available, ambitious natural landscaping projects can attempt to restore the original soil and water conditions. III. HOW CAN NATURAL LANDSCAPING BE USED?Natural landscaping for habitat and reduced maintenance. Almost everyone can use natural landscaping.We need to assess which parts of our landscapes There is no rigid set of rules that dictates howcould be replaced with native plants. In return- much or what qualifies as natural landscapinging to a more natural landscape, we will be or when it is appropriate. The conceptreturning those plants which evolved under our embraces a range of opportunities for propertyconditions of climatic stress, which require less owners, managers and public officials. Anymaintenance and coddling and provide environ- effort that increases the amount of area devotedmental, economic and aesthetic benefits. to natural landscaping will be of some benefit. It will largely be up to property owners, localOne immediate result of the switch from con- officials, planners, engineers, and landscapeventional to native or natural landscaping is that professionals to determine where, what kind,our landscape can thrive under the diverse con- and how much.9
  • 10. Natural Landscaping SourcebookSome examples: rough devoted to native plants and natural environ- ments. The Audubon Cooperative SanctuaryNew developments of all types can Program for Golf Courses encourages golf courses to include wildlife habitat enhancement, establishment* preserve and enhance existing natural areas such as of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs, andprairie, wetland, floodplain and woodland areas as protection of water essential component of site planning; Local governmental units can* cluster homes in order to reserve green areasdesigned with native plants as a substitute for con- * incorporate natural areas into non-active areas onventional subdivision design; most types of public property, as well as use natural landscaping for stormwater management.* reduce the amount of impervious surfaces by sub-stituting vegetation where appropriate; Native plants can be used in various ways in the* utilize natural drainage approaches such as swales landscapeand vegetated filter strips instead of storm sewers. *Native plants as one part of the landscapingExisting institutional and commercial complexes can material* create prairie, wetland, and woodland areas as part Existing or new building sites can use nativeof government, corporate and institutional campuses, trees, shrubs and grasses instead of the “exotic”and reduce the area devoted to turf grass; plants typically marketed by nurseries. Native* design and retrofit stormwater detention basins as grasses and ground covers may partially replacenatural wetland/prairie systems to enhance water turf areas. This approach is becoming increas-quality and other environmental benefits. ingly popular with homeowners. Natural land- scaping on commercial properties providesIndividuals and groups of homeowners can environmental benefits and a distinctive appear- ance to the building site. “Ornamental” use of* totally or partially replace lawn areas and common native vegetation in landscape design can createareas with native plants and retrofit areas for more unusual and attractive effects.natural stormwater detention. * Native plants as the principal landscapingGolf courses can material* reduce the amount of turf by including areas of 10
  • 11. Natural Landscaping SourcebookWith careful planning, native plants can consti- Paving in unused paved areas can be removedtute the primary landscaping material in new and natural landscaping installed.development sites and sites that are being re-landscaped. This approach may be particularly There are several special situations where theappropriate for office campuses, public facilities natural landscaping approach should be consid -and parks, institutions, and clustered residential ered:development. Using native plants can result inmajor environmental improvements and cost * To preserve existing native vegetationsavings. Preserving existing natural vegetation is a fun- damental purpose of natural landscaping. While* Using more vegetation and less concrete and very little area within the region has been left inasphalt its native state by humans, there are rare and valuable natural area remnants (wetlands,The excessive use of concrete, asphalt and other prairies, and woodlands) which should be pro-impervious materials in our landscapes causes tected and properly managed. With removal ofseveral environmental problems. It accelerates exotic species, native plants will often re-estab-stormwater runoff and creates flooding and ero- lish themselves rather quickly.sion conditions for communities along streams.It results in higher temperatures in urban envi- * To restore ecological systemsronments, making the out-of-doors less pleasant Another primary use of natural landscapingand increasing the need for air conditioning. involves restoring entire ecosystems with a fullIncreasing the use of vegetation- especially complement of native species. These projectsnative vegetation- in our landscaping can reduce include restoration of previously altered hydrol-damage from stormwater runoff, reduce tem- ogy along streams and in wetlands and removalperatures, reduce energy costs, improve water of drain tiles. Intensive design, monitoring andquality and increase wildlife habitat. maintenance programs with long-term profes- sional oversight are critical to the success of theStrategies for increasing the amount of perme- restored surfaces include: reducing street widths inresidential developments, reducing setbacks On publicly owned lands, volunteers can helpbetween buildings and streets, designing small- accomplish large scale restorations. Volunteerer parking lots which include island vegetation, workers and expert volunteer stewards are already providing experienced stewardship inand clustering development on part of a site. all Chicago area counties.11
  • 12. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook* To create greenways provide better wildlife habitat than traditional engineering approaches.Linear open spaces called “greenways” provideexceptional opportunities for utilizing natural * To manage flood and stormwaterlandscaping to protect and restore the region’secological identity. Many of the region’s forest Flooding affects many communities inpreserves are in greenway corridors and are Northeastern Illinois. Floodplains are regulatedbeing managed to maintain their natural charac- so they will be retained in non-intensive, openter. The Northeastern Illinois Regional space uses in order to reduce hazards fromGreenways Plan, adopted by the Northeastern flooding. Planting native vegetation in flood-Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC) in 1992 plains helps absorb and slow flood waters.and updated in 1997, reflects these regionalgreenway opportunities. Stormwater drainage facilities and detention basins designed to replicate the natural waterLocal jurisdictions can plan and implement local purification functions of wetlands also improvegreenways that connect with the regional green- water quality and wildlife habitat as well as cre-way network. Greenways are appropriate on ating aesthetically pleasing landscapes. Carefulboth public and private property. Local and design and planting of these facilities allowsregional greenways are excellent and appropri- them to blend more naturally into the landscapeate locations for natural landscaping. than conventional structures.Many greenways contain rivers, streams, orother waterways. In these locations native vege-tation in buffer strips adjacent to the stream pro-vides wildlife habitat, bank stabilization, andwater quality benefits. These buffer strips pro-tect natural resources from human impacts and .filter out pollutants that could flow into streams.* To stabilize streambanks and shorelinesNative willows, grasses and other plants can beused to stabilize eroding streambanks andshorelines. The techniques that employ nativeplant materials are collectively called bioengi-neering. They are more effective, less costly, and 12
  • 13. Natural Landscaping SourcebookSample buffer criteria for a stream greenwayFor more information about stormwater:Reducing the Impacts of Urban Runoff.Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission:1997.Strategic Plan for Water Resource Management.Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission:2001.13
  • 14. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook CHAPTER 2: Reduced costs of landscape installation and maintenance BENEFITS OF NATURAL There can be a cost savings in the installation of LANDSCAPING natural landscaping versus conventional land- scaping, depending upon materials specified. I. Economic Benefits The cost of seed, whether it is conventional Kentucky Blue Grass seed or native seed, is sim- II. Environmental Benefits ilar. The installation of sod increases costs, as III. Educational and does the installation of plugs in natural land- Recreational Benefits scaping. The significant savings is in the cost of Prairie Phlox installing an irrigation system, which is neces- sary for maintaining a conventional landscape.The numerous potential benefits of natural land- Native plant installation costs can often bescaping may be divided into economic, environ- reduced where the project sponsor or co-spon-mental and educational/recreational themes. sor is a public or private entity with plant prop-These categories are the focus of this chapter. agating capabilities. Volunteers are often willingI. ECONOMIC BENEFITS to assist in the installation and maintenance of native landscapes, which further reduces costs.The “bottom line” can be a strong motivationfor installing and maintaining natural landscap- A major savings of natural landscaping is theing instead of a conventional lawn. The savings lower cost of landscape maintenance over thethat can be realized through natural landscaping long-term. The combined costs of installationfor municipalities, park districts, school-dis- and maintenance for natural landscape over atricts, corporations, and institutional campuses ten year period may be one fifth of the costs forare dramatically illustrated in later examples, conventional landscape maintenance.where approximately nine-tenths of convention- Native perennial plants are well adapted to theal landscape maintenance costs were eliminated. local soils and to environmental conditions,For some organizations, reducing site mainte- such as summer heat and drought. The costs ofnance costs may be a significant factor in being the following maintenance factors are signifi-able to balance the budget. cantly reduced or eliminated through natural landscaping: labor, water, fertilizer, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, replanting annual flow- ers, and mowing. In some locations the costs of 14
  • 15. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookwater for irrigation can be very high and are tation in detention basin bottoms and on sideavoided by natural landscaping. The reduced slopes is less expensive to maintain than con-consumption of fossil fuel for lawn maintenance ventional turf landscaping, in addition to beingequipment is an additional benefit. Typical orig- a more reliable soil stabilizer.inal maintenance requirements of natural land-scapes involve annual mowing or burning and Creation of a distinctive community image thatsome weed removal (mostly in the few years strengthens real estate marketsafter installation). High quality natural features such as river corri-Appendix 8 contains detailed installation and dors and woodlands strengthen the identity of amaintenance cost analyses based on the experi- community or neighborhood. Distinctive natu-ence of firms that design, install, and maintain ral landscaping that preserves the unique char-natural landscaping projects. acteristics of a community is a unique communi- ty asset.Reduced expense for stormwater managementfacilities Real estate within a well-designed distinctive landscape setting can possess a marketing edgeIn many locations, natural landscaping can and positively affect property values. A com-accommodate storm and flood waters, thereby munity that appears to care for a high qualityreducing the need for expensive, “highly engi- environment establishes a marketing niche thatneered” conveyance and detention facilities. traditional area developments cannot offer.Drainage swales in particular cost considerablyless to install than storm sewers. Where practi- Natural landscaping projects require materials,cal, curbs and gutters can be eliminated, or labor and professional services that generatecurbs can be slotted. To the extent that natural income as well as enhance the environment.drainage measures can increase infiltration of Nurseries, landscape architects, environmentalstormwater, they will reduce runoff volumes restoration professionals, environmental groups,and costs of downstream conveyance and deten- and neighborhood organizations are increasing-tion structures. ly responding to the market for natural land- scaping materials and professional expertise.Detention basins designed with natural land- Some inner-city neighborhood organizations arescaping to resemble wetlands or natural lake considering the economic development potentialsystems reduce costs over conventional basins. of cultivating native plants and seed productsNative wetland and prairie vegetation eliminate for environmental restoration projects. Sourcesthe need for expensive riprap stabilization and for natural landscaping materials must be frompaved low flow channels. Further, natural vege- businesses rather than from the “wild.”15
  • 16. Natural Landscaping SourcebookSupports the natural landscaping component ofthe “green industry”There are many opportunities for creative entre-preneurs in all aspects of natural landscaping.II. ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITSIn many ways, natural landscaping reduces thestress that the “weed-free” lawn places on cleanair, clean water, soil stability and other environ- Deep root systems of native grasses and forbs. Note shal-mental qualities of life. Natural landscaping low root system of conventional blue grass turf at far left.attracts wildlife, such as butterflies and birds, Drawing courtesy of Conservation Research Institute,thus increasing biodiversity. Heidi Natura, 1995.The Biodiversity Recovery Plan, produced byChicago Wilderness, states that natural land- Reduced soil erosionscaping is a way for landowners to increase bio-diversity on their property by creating habitats Natural landscaping has distinct advantagesfor many species, particularly on properties that over conventional turf grasses in stabilizingare adjacent to natural areas, streams, lakes or highly erodible soils. Native plants are particu-wetlands. larly effective on steeply sloped sites, stream banks, and in areas where moving water is pres- ent. The roots of native prairie plants are very dense, fine, and often very deep (in some cases, 5 to 10 feet in mature plants) and hold soil well. By contrast, typical turf grass root systems are only four to six inches deep. Wetland vegetation provides effective soil stabi- lization along streambanks and shorelines by absorbing some of the erosive energy of flowing water and waves. C. strigosus Rattlesnake Master Native vegetation is finding a new use in “bio- engineering” approaches to slope stabilization. 16
  • 17. Natural Landscaping SourcebookDemonstration projects for streambank andshoreline stabilization, such as along the SkokieRiver in the Chicago Botanic Garden, have suc-cessfully used native plants such as prairie cord-grass and various willow species.Improved water quality Drainage of a site through a natural system, rather than through storm sewers, dramatically reduces pollution lev-Native vegetation in naturalized drainage ways els.enhances the infiltration of contaminatedstormwater. The dense, deep root systems aug- Reduced air pollutionment the permeability of the soil and help theuptake of certain stormwater pollutants. Native Standard lawn maintenance equipment createsvegetation buffers are particularly effective significant amounts of air pollution. Equipmentalong the edges of streams, lakes, and wetlands. such as lawn mowers , chain saws, leaf vacu-They can intercept runoff and subsurface water ums, and other fossil fueled lawn maintenancepollutants from urban and agricultural land equipment emit high levels of carbon monox-uses and construction sites. Emergent and sub- ide, hydrocarbons (VOCs) and nitrogen oxidesmerged wetland vegetation provides an addi- (NOx), which contribute to the formation oftional benefit along the edges of lakes and ground level ozone (smog), toxins and otherstreams by serving as a growing surface for particulates. The USEPA estimates that a gaso-microorganisms. These microorganisms break line powered lawn mower emits 11 times the airdown certain pollutants thereby reducing their pollution of a new car for each hour of opera-harmful effects. tion. Gasoline lawn and power equipment, on average, produce 5 percent of “smog”- formingAn additional benefit of native vegetation land- VOCs in nonattainment areas (such as thescaping is its ability to thrive without fertilizers, northeastern Illinois region). Smog is a noxiousor heavy use of pesticides and herbicides. Turf irritant which impairs lung function and inhibitsgrass and other conventional landscapes are plant growth. In addition, the “driver” of suchheavily dependent on chemical applications, equipment is typically positioned where expo-and the excess chemicals inevitably find their sure to such carbon monoxide and toxic emis-way into our waterways where they cause sions is greatest.excessive plant growth and toxicity to fish andother aquatic organisms. Small gasoline spills evaporate and pollute the air as well. The USEPA estimates that every17
  • 18. Natural Landscaping Sourcebooksummer, the few ounces spilled during each Energy Conservationrefueling of lawn and garden equipment addsup to 17,000,000 gallons of gasoline nationwide. Windbreaks on the north and west sides of buildings reduce winter heating costs. In theNatural landscaping can significantly reduce the summer, trees and other vegetation make non-need for fossil fueled lawn and garden equip- air-conditioned buildings more comfortable andment and this reduces the associated air pollu- reduce energy costs for air-conditioned build-tion and health risks. In addition, the native ings.plants themselves can help to improve air quali-ty by reducing particulates and gaseous air pol-lutants. The Clean Air Counts campaign statesthat for every 1,000 acres of natural landscaping,50 tons of VOCs and 5 tons of NOx are avoidedper year.Reduced noise pollutionNoise from lawn and gardening equipment hasbecome a source of increasing dissatisfaction in Planting of vegetation improves climatological conditions.some communities. The installation of naturallandscaping reduces the use of this equipment. Reduced greenhouse effect Natural vegetation can help to combat globalClimatological benefits climate change (the “greenhouse effect”) byTrees and other vegetation benefit the climate on removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmos-three levels: human comfort, energy conserva- phere. Plants remove CO2 from the atmospheretion, and urban climates. and store the carbon in the body of the plant, the root system and the soil.Human comfort Planting native plants can facilitate this CO2Plants intercept infrared radiation directly by removal. The soils beneath the tallgrass prairieproviding shade and indirectly by covering sur- can contain an immense amount of organic mat-faces that reflect or reradiate solar energy. Trees ter and nitrogen. Studies have indicated thatand shrubs can channel air movement. Moving temperate prairie grasslands are superior soilair feels cooler. In the winter, windbreaks reduce carbon sinks when compared to forests of simi-the wind chill factor. lar climate. It is the combination of fire, plants, 18
  • 19. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookroot depth distributions and microbes that pro- factors relating to the ability of a site to provideduce the large amount of soil carbon. the conditions required by specific plant and animal species. Site planning for natural land-Habitat restoration and protection scaping should strive to preserve existing wildlife habitats.Due to extensive urban and agricultural devel-opment, high quality natural communities cover As part of planning natural landscaping, it isonly .07% of Illinois’ land and water, according desirable to complete an inventory of plant andto the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory. With the animal species currently using the site be taken.decrease in habitats, many plants and animals Where desirable species are already using thehave lost the special conditions and require- site for nesting, phasing in a project by keepingments they need for their survival. enough habitat to protect those species should be considered before forging ahead withNatural landscaping plays a part in attracting replanting the entire site.native animals and re-establishing the naturalcycles within which they thrive. In addition, Canada geese have become pests in many citynatural landscaping can be used to create and suburban locations where there are turfbuffers which reduce urban stresses and prox- grass lawns in proximity to open water. A bufferimity of exotic species to high quality natural of thick and tall native plantings around theareas. waterbody will discourage geese from grazing, especially during the growing season when theWhen a site is adjacent to a natural area, special plants are must be taken when considering plantselection. Certain plant species can become inva-sive and disturb the natural area. It is advisableto treat the landscaped area as an extension ofthe natural area.Native insects, including butterflies and moths,attract a wide array of songbirds, who eat theinsects and the plant seeds. If a restored prairieis large enough, it might attract nesting grass-land birds such as meadowlarks and bobolinks,birds whose habitat is decreasing in most partsof their range in the state. The degree of habitat Conservation buffers can help protect wildlife habitatvalue in natural landscaping depends on many in a development. (Shaw, et. al., 1986.)19
  • 20. Natural Landscaping SourcebookBeautification and forest preserve districts are critical entities for bringing natural landscaping into the publicThough it is difficult to quantify, beautification eye. This can be done through educational pro-is an important reason, sometimes the funda- grams such as nature walks and talks, exhibits,mental reason, for natural landscaping. Many and volunteer days sponsored by the abovepeople living or working in natural landscapes organizations. These opportunities provide pos-appreciate the various textures, colors and itive examples of public land management andshapes of native plants and the dramatic pro- increase the awareness and understanding ofgression of hues throughout the seasons. the public about the community which theyWildlife, especially the birds and butterflies reside.attracted to the plants, also enhance the aesthet-ic appeal of natural landscaping.III. EDUCATIONAL AND RECREATIONAL BENEFITSThere is an old saying:“People will only conserve what they love; that theywill only love what they understand; and they willonly understand what they are taught.”Natural landscaping may not be the only way todemonstrate this old adage, but it is a powerful Passive recreation opportunitiesinstrument in our tool kit for the future. Natural landscapes provide recreational oppor-Conservation education tunities such as bird watching and photography. The diverse colors, shapes, sounds, textures,Natural landscaping puts people in touch with a odors, and tastes found in the natural environ-variety of beautiful plants, and native plantings ment provide the observer with sensory experi-enhance the sense of being in a unique and spe- ences not found in more sterile, traditional land-cial place. This familiarity can strengthen com- scapes. Nature offers both tranquility andmunity support for habitat preservation and excitement. It can serve as a place to relax, arestoration, environmental protection, and open place of diversity and excitement. Incorporatingspace acquisition. native landscaping throughout the community offers the opportunity for children to experienceMunicipalities, school districts, park districts, and learn from nature in their own yard and 20
  • 21. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookcommunity. nities for grade school, high school, and com- munity college students to study nature andEnhanced regional recreational corridors carry out their own research close to home. FICTION AND FACT ABOUT NATURAL LANDSCAPESPopular recreational activities such as walking,running, bicycling and skating are increasingly Fiction: They attract rats.accommodated by local and regional trails and Fact: Rats are not attracted to natural landscapes.greenways. Natural landscaping in greenways They live primarily in man-made structures andcan help create new attractive recreation areas, eat garbage.rejuvenate others, and provide connecting corri-dors. Fiction: They breed mosquitoes. Fact: Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Prairies & other natural landscapes absorb more water than conventional lawn, thereby reducing the amount of runoff & standing water. Natural land- scapes also increase the populations of mosquito predators, such as birds. Fiction: They present a fire hazard. Fact: Properly managed natural landscapes do not present more of a fire hazard than any other type of landscape.Photo courtesy of the Lake County Forest Preserve Fiction: They increase pollen & hay fever.District Fact: All flowering plants produce pollen. TheScientific Study most offensive allergens are ragweeds, not plants like goldenrod which are often used in naturalNatural landscapes provide scientists (and ama- plantings.teur observers) with numerous opportunities forstudy. Research can lead to improved propaga- Fiction: They lower property values.tion techniques in urban settings and improved Fact: Property values are a function of public per-availability of plant materials. Scientific study ception. As natural landscaping has become morecan assess the impacts of urban development on accepted, and where it is done well, it is seen asnative species and the benefits of introducing an asset.native species on plant, animal and human com- Source: Adapted from “To Mow or Grow” by Bretmunities. Natural greenways provide opportu- Rappaport in Wildflower, Spring 1996.21
  • 22. Natural Landscaping SourcebookFor more information about greenways:Northeastern Illinois Regional Greenways Plan.Northeastern Illinois PlanningCommission/Openlands Project: 1992. UpdatedJune 1997.For more information about biodiversity:The Biodiversity Recovery Plan. ChicagoWilderness: 1999. Available at 22
  • 23. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook CHAPTER 3: WHAT * Make someone on staff responsible for landscape issues and provide training opportunities relat- ARE THE POTENTIAL ing to natural landscaping. ROLES FOR LOCAL * Develop a multi-year program for retrofitting nat- ural landscaping on existing sites. GOVERNMENT? * Use in-house landscape staff or outside profes- I. Opportunities for sionals to develop plans for new and existing sites. Government Leadership * Develop policies and specifications for new site II. Regulatory Issues planning to encourage the use of natural land- scaping.Nodding Wild Onion * Utilize natural landscaping, especially to remedy situations where traditional turf landscaping is causing difficulties (e.g., eroding gullies orThe officials of local governments, including stream channels).cities and villages, counties, park districts, con-servation and forest preserve districts, and sani- Develop a local policy and a legal frameworktary and school districts can promote and bene-fit from the use of natural landscaping. Adopt or modify local codes and ordinances in order to facilitate the use of natural landscapingLocal officials can play an important role in the on private property. Modify municipal proce-encouragement of natural landscaping through- dures (e.g., planning, public works, public safe-out northeastern Illinois by using such practices ty, recreation) to accommodate natural land-on public lands, promoting natural landscaping scaping:through public policy, sponsoring demonstra- * Review and amend or replace the local weedtion projects and educating the public on the ordinance so that it encourages natural land-benefits of natural landscaping. scaping. * Adopt a natural landscape ordinance.I. WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR GOVERNMENT * Amend subdivision regulations and other ordi-LEADERSHIP? nances that govern landscaping of development sites in order to accommodate and encourage natural landscaping. In particular, amendLandscape public properties “naturally” drainage code language that mandates storm sewers to the exclusion of vegetated swales and filter strips.Provide leadership by increasing the use of nat-ural landscaping on public properties, including * Develop and adopt fire department procedures for permitting and overseeing prescribed burnsstreetscapes:23
  • 24. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook of natural areas; inform the public of these asked questions, and sources of other important requirements. information); local libraries and park districts are obvious providers of such information. * Include natural landscaping goals and policies in comprehensive plans. * Include articles on natural landscaping in the community newsletter. * Designate greenways in comprehensive plans, land use plans and park plans. * Conduct a public relations program in conjunc- tion with natural landscaping on public proper- * Require natural landscaping for stormwater facili- ty; this could involve local radio and TV stations, ties and stream, lake and wetland buffers. as well as the print media.Promote demonstration projects II. WHAT ARE THE REGULATORY ISSUES?Work with school districts, park districts, forestpreserve and conservation districts, state and Weed regulationsfederal agencies, chambers of commerce, resi-dents and environmental groups to support Due to their competitive nature, “noxious” anddemonstration projects and other educational “exotic” weeds can be a problem with respect toefforts that will encourage the use of natural preserving and restoring native plants. “Exotic”landscaping: is a term used to describe species that originate from a different geographic area. Some species * Appoint a public/private task force or commis- sion to develop recommendations for furthering can become invasive and spread throughout an higher standards of landscaping within the com- area, eliminating other species. Exotic species munity. are especially prone to becoming invasive, since * Promote lectures, slide shows, field trips, work- there are no natural predators or barriers to curb shops, exhibits and other special events that help their growth. to educate all groups of citizens about natural landscaping. States have established laws to control the fur- * Work with neighborhood groups to develop ther spread of some of these problem plants, guidelines that will promote distinctive land- and it is illegal for nurseries to sell many of scapes within selected neighborhoods. them. Local extension services, arboretums, or landscape professionals and naturalists areProvide educational materials and information available to help identify any possible existing invasive species, and make recommendationsInform the general public of the methods and for removal.benefits of natural landscaping: * Provide informative materials on natural land- scaping (including plant lists, answers to often 24
  • 25. Natural Landscaping SourcebookIllinois Noxious Weed Law ious weeds.The Illinois Noxious Weed Law (505 ILCS 100/1) Illinois Exotic Weed Actis intended to control weeds that are a problemto agriculture, and enforcement of the law is Another law that addresses weeds is the Illinoisassigned to the Illinois Department of Exotic Weed Act of 1972 (525 ILCS 10). This ActAgriculture. The list of noxious weeds is deter- tries to avoid spreading non-native invasivemined by Director of the Department of plants that degrade natural plant communities,Agriculture, the Dean of the College of reduce the value of fish and wildlife habitat, orAgriculture of the University of Illinois, and the threaten Illinois endangered or threatenedDirector of the Agricultural Experiment Station species. The Act prohibits the buying, selling,at the University of Illinois. distributing, or planting of seeds or plants of designated exotic weeds.The list of official noxious weeds, updated in2002, includes: Designated exotic weeds include:- marijuana - Canada thistle - Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)- giant ragweed - perennial sow thistle - Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora)- common ragweed - musk thistle - Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)- kudzu - perennial members of the sorghym genus In 2003, the Illinois Exotic Weed Act was amend- ed to include kudzu and invasive species ofCounty boards are defined as the “control buckthorn. The buckthorn species are commonauthorities” for weed control operating under buckthorn, glossy buckthorn, dahurian buck-rules established by the Department of thorn, saw-toothed buckthorn, Japanese buck-Agriculture. Land owners are responsible for thorn and Chinese buckthorn.controlling noxious weeds on their property.The control authority can issue notices for such Similar laws exist in Wisconsin and Indiana.control in order to require compliance. A site plan for natural landscaping may necessi-Local officials could work with county govern- tate the removal of both noxious and exoticment and the Illinois Department of Agriculture identifying and eradicating infestations ofnoxious weeds. Volunteer stewards working Municipal Weed Ordinances:with conservation organizations often have Municipal weed laws have sometimes becomeexperience in the techniques for removing nox- the “lightning rod” for controversy associated25
  • 26. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookwith natural landscaping. Communities adopt majority of neighbors.weed laws in order to prevent unsightlinessfrom poor property maintenance and to prevent Improved Weed Lawshazards from vermin and fire, which werebelieved to be caused by unkempt vegetation. More recently enacted weed laws allow naturalThe drafting of such laws usually occurred prior landscaping “by right” without case by caseto or without knowledge of natural plant com- neighbor or city permission. There are threemunities. Weed laws, if not carefully worded, main approaches to crafting or modifying acan equate natural landscaping with unman- weed law:aged landscapes. In fact, natural landscaping is * Require a setback.managed and does not pose the hazards that * Include broadly worded exceptions for nat-weed laws are intended to address. ural landscaping.Community and neighborhood sentiment * Encourage natural landscaping.regarding aesthetics and appearance has some- Require a setback - Weed laws have traditional-times led citizens to look to weed laws as a way ly regulated height. For example, weedsof opposing natural landscaping. Courts have exceeding 10 inches in height may not be per-determined that concerns about natural land- mitted. The newer and more sophisticatedscapes, including vermin, fire hazards, mosqui- weed laws address the appearance issue bytoes, and allergies are unfounded. A well-crafted requiring that a setback or buffer strip on theordinance, coupled with public education illus- periphery of the property be maintained at atrating the benefits of natural landscaping, maximum height (such as 12 inches). Vegetationshould be adequate to provide a local frame- behind the setback and within the yard is unreg-work to support natural landscaping. ulated except for control of listed noxiousMunicipalities have responded to the natural weeds.landscaping movement and weed laws in vari- Setback distances depend on the type of com-ous ways. munity and size of the typical lot. Communities with homes on large lots could have as much asPermissive Approach a twenty-foot setback, while in towns withMadison, Wisconsin was among the first com- smaller lots, a two- or three-foot setback wouldmunities to encourage natural landscaping by be more suitable.taking a permitting approach. The ordinance Setback laws have several advantages and rep-requires homeowners to file an application for resent a workable compromise between thenatural landscaping and obtain approval from a sometimes diverse interests of the village, natu- 26
  • 27. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookral landscapers and neighbors. Primarily, set- tual stabilization of soil fertility through the useback ordinances allow for the unregulated of various plant species.growing of vegetation on a majority of the lot.Like a frame around an abstract painting, the Governmental programs - any federal, state orsetback around the perimeter of a natural area local programs which require the unimpairedcreates a tended look that satisfies neighbor and growth of plants during a majority or all of thevillage concerns of conformity and aesthetics. growing season.The yard takes on its intended look. A setback Educational programs - any areas designated foralso solves the practical problems caused by educational studies.large plants and grasses lopping over intoneighbor yards or across sidewalks. The setback Cultivation - any plant species or group of plantordinances are also easy to understand and species native or introduced and grown for con-enforce. Both the village and the natural land- sumption, pleasure or business reasons.scaper benefit from a clear and simple law.Neighbor complaints are generally satisfied by Biological control - the planting of a particularsuch compromise and living in a community plant species or group of species which willmakes compromise essential. effectively out-compete and replace a noxious or troublesome weed species without additionalA reasonable exception to setback requirements soil disturbance of the where adjacent landowners mutually agree tocontinuous natural landscaping across adjacent Parks and open space - any and all public parksproperty lines. and open space lands whether under the juris- diction of federal, state, or local agencies includ-Include broadly worded exceptions in the ing private conservation/preservation organiza-weed ordinance for beneficial landscapes - tions.These exceptions may include the following: Stormwater Control – the use of natural landscap-Native plantings - the use of native plant species ing to convey and store stormwater run-off.for aesthetic and/or wildlife reasons Wooded areas - all areas that are predominantlyWildlife plantings -the use of native and/or intro- wooded.duced plant species to attract and aid wildlife Encourage natural landscaping - This approachErosion control - to offset and control any soil promotes the use of natural landscaping in itsloss problems both occurring and predicted. broadest sense.Soil fertility building - the enrichment and even- Long Grove, Illinois is a good example of a com-27
  • 28. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookmunity that embodies this policy. Long Grove nity may want to try a pilot program directedhas no law regulating vegetation height. The vil- within a selected neighborhood, pertaining tolage requires developers to include scenic ease- particular land uses such as campus-style uses,ments, at least one hundred feet deep and plant- or targeted towards less visible locations oned with native plants, wildflowers and grasses sites. See Appendix 6 for additional informa-between the homes and major streets in their tion and sample ordinance language.subdivisions. Large portions of the town aredesignated natural areas as determined by a sci-entific ecological survey. Long Grove employs a (This section draws heavily from the John Marshallnaturalist to advise developers and homeowners Law Review, Volume 26, Number 4, Summer 1993,on how to cultivate and maintain natural land- written by Bret Rappaport.)scapes. Long Grove sells native plants and seedmixes to residents and has a committee thatreviews prairie restoration projects within thevillage.Schaumburg, Illinois, created its own biodiversi-ty recovery plan for the village. To implementthe plan, the Board amended the municipalcode with an ordinance for biodiversity regula- Black Oaktions. The ordinance requires environmentallybeneficial landscaping and sustainable develop-ment practices. For more information about updating local ordi-Fort Collins, Colorado employs a full time nances:wildlife biologist and has a ten acre nature pre- Conservation Design Resource Manual,serve in the heart of downtown on land that Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission:used to be a formal park. There is a city pro- 2003.gram to identify and certify homeowner’s back-yard wildlife habitats. To receive this certifica- Available attion, homeowners must let nature reclaim their lawns. Hundred of citizens partici- cpdf/CD_Resource_Manual.pdfpate in the program.There are many variations that can be devel-oped to respond to local conditions. A commu- 28
  • 29. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook CHAPTER 4: THE larger scale projects include corporate campus- es, university lands and large community parks. “HOW TO” OF NATUR - AL LANDSCAPING I. ETHICS OF USING NATIVE PLANTS Regardless of the scope or goals of your project, I. Ethics of Using Native an important ethical consideration is the acquisi- Plants tion seeds or plugs from a reputable supplier. It II. Developing an Approach is inappropriate for amateur gardeners or pro- fessionals to collect seeds or plants from “the Arrowhead III. Natural Landscaping on a wild,” except by permission of the owner or as Small Scale part of a restoration program.IV. Natural Landscaping on a Large ScaleV. Considerations for Installation Collection of too many plants or seeds can seri- ously reduce the ability of the plundered site toVI. Savanna and Woodlands replenish itself. Seed collecting ethics are rigor-VII. Wetland and Lakeshore Stream Habitats ously followed by volunteer groups working with forest preserve districts, owners of naturalVIII. Natural Landscaping for Stormwater sites, and professionals in the nursery business.ManagementDesigning, installing and managing natural II. DEVELOPING AN APPROACHlandscaping projects will vary in complexity andapproach depending upon the nature of the site Planning, even if informal, is a fundamentaland the project goals. There are different ingredient for a successful natural landscapingdegrees of natural landscaping, ranging all the project. The greater the ambition or the shorterway from a small native flower patch, to a full- the timetable, the more planning and technicalscale replication of a plant community covering expertise will be required. A starting point formany acres. An otherwise traditionally land- any natural landscaping project is to analyze thescaped site may be installed with a “natural” current amenities, opportunities and limitationsstormwater pond with a fringe of native wet- of your site and articulate reasonable plants and upland buffer to trap sediment. A basic underpinning for any natural landscap-Larger projects have the most at stake, financial- ing project would be an understanding of cur-ly and visually. They require a detailed and rent soil conditions. This knowledge will assisttechnical planning process. Some examples of you with your decision about what you can29
  • 30. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookplant where, since soil conditions can vary dra- look at alternative plants.matically across a site. Some plants thrive in * Are professional assistance and field labor avail-dry soil conditions, and others require wet soil able at appropriate skill levels to undertake andconditions in order to thrive. A soil scientist, maintain a complex project?such as your local agent from the U.S. * What sources of labor are available for installa-Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources tion and follow-up stewardship?Conservation Service (formerly the Soil * What are the local government regulationsConservation Service) can tell you the type of affecting the use and ongoing management ofsoil that you have and the kind of material from natural landscaping? Regulations may affect the location of natural landscaping on the site andwhich it was derived. The more a project is ori- the types of plants used. You need to know localented towards restoration, the more it must take weed ordinances and/or fire regulations beforefactors such as particular soil conditions into proceeding.account. * What is the project’s relationship to adjacent properties? Being a good neighbor is important,Prairie, woodland/savanna, and wetland/ripari- so a consideration of adjacent land uses is criti-an projects have different requirements and will cal. Natural landscaping adjacent to existing nat-be treated separately in this chapter, although ural open space is obviously much easier than the first introduction into a conventional turfall could exist on one site. In addition, this chap- subdivision. Educating adjacent landownerster will discuss how to address stormwater prior to installation is a valuable using natural landscaping inte- Taking the longer view and adopting a willing-grated into a project’s overall design. ness to phase in a project over a few years might be the pragmatic thing to do. It is quite possible, however, that the newly natural landscape willThe complexity of any natural landscaping proj- be so attractive that adjacent property ownersect will be determined by a variety of considera- will want to follow suit.tions. * Do any nearby or adjacent ecological restoration * Is this a small scale project with very limited projects suggest a rationale for installing natural budget and limited access to technical services? landscaping or have a physical linkage? Or is it a large, well-funded project intended to achieve complex ecological restoration objec- III. NATURAL LANDSCAPING ON A SMALL SCALE tives? * Do you know your soil types, the kind of vege- Many homeowners are looking for an alterna- tative community that is appropriate for your tive to the continuing efforts necessary to main- site, and your growing season sun and shade tain the bluegrass lawn. They are particularly patterns? uncomfortable with the application of costly * Does the vision for the project require the use of chemical herbicides and fertilizers. The shift to a plants that are “fussy” about soil, drainage and more natural, environmentally friendly yard other conditions? If so, prudence might dictate a 30
  • 31. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookwith groundcovers, shrubs, grasses and colorful years according to changing conditions of sunforbs is an inviting alternative. and shade. An ecologist who has tended a natu- ral garden in Park Ridge for over 30 years findsIndividuals about to undertake the transition of that a garden flows like a river; it is ever-chang-a turf lawn to a natural landscape will find ing.many helpful resource books in libraries and inlarger or specialty bookstores. In addition, local In the natural perennial garden, treasured senti-restoration organizations such as the North mental favorites, even exotics, can thrive inter-Branch Restoration Project in the Chicago mixed with native plants to create an aestheti-region, regional nurseries devoted exclusively to cally and personally rewarding landscape.native stock, local nurseries that are enlarging Gardeners can even try incorporating foodtheir selection of native plants, and professional plants, such as herbs and tomatoes. They canlandscape architects who “design with nature” also create a “rain garden” by directing theirwill readily share their knowledge. downspout to a depression planted with native wetland plants.Homeowners can volunteer with restorationorganizations to grow native plants in their It is tempting to begin with quick-spreadingyards and harvest them, and beautify their ground covers and perennials in order to makeyards in the process. It is important, however, a beautiful display at the start and prevent soilthat plants producing seeds intended for erosion. Showy plants such as the exotic, early-restoration grow in separate areas from those blooming dame’s rocket, and later-bloomingpurchased at nurseries, because it is necessary to native black-eyed susans and purple coneflow-keep the native stock to be used for restoration ers can be used to brighten a garden reliably in“pure.” its first year. However, it is important to avoid the trap of starting with extremely aggressiveHomeowners and owners of small sites who perennials and groundcovers that will thenenjoy “digging in the dirt” may find the gradual require much time and effort to dislodge.approach to converting their lawns a less expen-sive alternative than a one-time project using a In the first year, generous mulching will keepprofessional designer and installer. With this precious water in the soil and deter weeds andgradual approach comes the delight of experi- erosion. Eventually, the native flowers andmentation with plants and their habitats. In grasses should outcompete the non-natives,addition, the maturing converted gardens can which are not so well adapted to the Midwestserve as plant nurseries for newly dug beds. climate.Plants will teach the gardener where they like togrow and will relocate themselves over the31
  • 32. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook management) to accomplish the goals and objec- tives; * design a monitoring program to assess project performance; * implement the project (installation on the site); * manage the project; * evaluate the project and report on its progress. Reputable and experienced guidance is the best insurance for a successful restoration program, whether from a staff manager, consulting ecolo- gist, or other source. V. CONSIDERATIONS FOR INSTALLATION Prairie Vegetation Prairies are open “grasslands”which are fire-cli- max communities. Historically, whether fires were started by lightning or by man, they beatIV. NATURAL LANDSCAPING ON A LARGE SCALE back any trees and large shrubs which tried to grow and kept them at a low shrubby stage.Natural landscaping on medium to larger sitesrequires considerable advance planning because Prairies are dominated by perennial grasses andof the size of the initial investment and the cost forbs. Soil type and hydrology are probably theimplications of making serious mistakes. A rig- primary determinants of different species com-orous program would include the following position on the prairie.tasks, undertaken with the assistance of a quali-fied professional: Site preparation: removal of existing undesirable * inventory ecological resources, current site condi- vegetation tions and potential for restoration; The primary methods of preparing the site * study site history and review technical literature; include: burning, baking under black plastic, * develop goals and objectives for the overall proj- herbicides, tillage, and removal by hand. Local ect (and subareas of the site, as appropriate) conditions and personnel considerations may * develop a plan (site design, installation, and call for flexibility and creative approaches. Site 32
  • 33. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookconditions throughout the region have been sodisturbed that successful approaches on onesite, or one portion of a site, may not work onothers.Often techniques are used in combination. For Butterfly Weed Purple Prairie Clover Coneflowersmall areas where appearance is not a factor,covering an area with black plastic for a grow-ing season is a very environmentally safe Site preparation and control of weeds are themethod of killing turfgrass and other vegetation. most important steps in the restoration process.This is not as practical with large sites. Here Procuring seeds and plants:herbicide treatments may need to be conductedtwice: once following an initial burn to remove Seeds and plants can be acquired from manylitter and duff, and then several weeks later to specialized nurseries. (See Appendix 4.) It iseliminate any germinating or resprouting unde- most desirable to use local genetic stock fromsirable plants. Use a low toxicity, non-persistent seed collected and propagated within a 150-200herbicide. mile radius. (Some restorationists recommend a 15 mile maximum radius.) The seed should beBurning can occur early in the season at a time cleaned, should meet high quality seed testof low moisture. Tilling can occur as soon as requirements, and should be accurately labeled.soils thaw in the spring. It makes strategic Locally collected seeds are also useful, (notesense to till after existing vegetation has germi- ethics discussion earlier), but quality controlnated or sprouted in order to expose it to the may be a problem if the seeds are not cleanedstress effects of tilling and warmer weather. and tested. More than one project has failed orTillage can bring weed seeds to the soil’s surface been seriously delayed because of poor qualityand create a longer-term weed problem. Where seed. Seeds are most economical for larger proj-tillage is used, carefully timed repetition over ects, while plants provide quicker results at aseveral months, or even for an entire growing higher cost. A larger project can include strategi-season, has been used to control weeds. Cover cally placed plantings in combination with larg-crops may be used in-between tillage events to er seeded areas.stabilize soils. Cover crops can include annual Highest priority should be given to creating arye grass, barley, oats, and other annual species matrix of native grasses. Prairie forbs can bethat grow quickly. installed with the prairie grasses or introduced later. Some restorationists introduce special blends of pioneer grasses and forbs at the begin-33
  • 34. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookning and add carefully chosen matrices of more tion and early growth. Straw, mulches, or alter-conservative plants over the years as the prairie natively, cover crops including oats, barley, etc.,matures. One common strategy is to include can be seeded simultaneously with the prairievery colorful prairie plants such as black-eyed seeds and plants to provide protection againstsusans in the beginning. These may be short erosion and desiccation, and also to control sub-lived but will provide a highly visible, colorful sequent weed germination. Cover crop seedingand very positive initial impression. rates should be light to moderate so they do not compete with developing seedlings.Planting: The cost of installation can be reduced by usingPlanting is largely a late fall or early spring volunteers who are often eager to be stewardsactivity. Planting in very hot and dry summer and learn about natural landscaping.conditions may delay germination and growthor require irrigation. Irrigation of seeded areas, Initial management:however, is usually not mandatory as nativespecies will usually germinate when conditions After cover crops (and some inevitable weeds)are most appropriate. However, as with any reach a height of 1-2 feet, usually by late June ofplanting, watering may be necessary to help a the first year of planting, mow the planting to aplanting that has already germinated but is in height of no lower than 6-8 inches. Use a rotaryearly vulnerable growth stages when a drought mower that does not leave thick mats of clip-or heat wave begins. An effective mulching sys- pings, which smother young prairie seedlings.tem can usually address moisture retention and Noxious weeds such as thistles may need extragreatly help a young planting. As with any attention. Hand removal or direct applicationlarge scale agricultural activity, however nature by wick treatment with herbicides may be suffi-can wreak havoc on even the best planned proj- cient.ect. Follow-up maintenance:Sowing can be accomplished by use of tractors Occasional mowing may be necessary for 2-3and appropriate drills or broadcasters on larger years to keep weeds down and prevent themprojects while hand broadcasting can often be from suppressing young prairie plants. There isused in smaller projects. Native plants are no prescribed season or number of times forinstalled the same way as any other potted or mowing, but weather will be an important fac-bare root stock by digging a hole large enough tor in growth of the newly planted prairie andso it will not constrict root systems. Mulching is will affect the mowing schedule. The services ofoften necessary to ameliorate soil and moisture a qualified professional will be invaluable inconditions and ensure successful seed germina- decision making about maintenance during the 34
  • 35. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookfirst years. In the spring following the first year Strategies for Being a Good Neighbor withof planting, prescribed burning can be used to Natural Landscaping:begin the maintenance process. Noxious weedmanagement may also be needed at this time. Conflicts with neighbors can be avoided by fol- lowing a few simple rules:Routine maintenance will primarily involve use 1. Create a border of lawn, hedge, fence,of prescribed burning. Prescribed burns can be path, etc. to frame the natural landscape.conducted anytime plant fuel is combustible. 2. Recognize the rights of property ownersHowever, late spring and early to mid-summer to be different; don’t be arrogant about yourburns, alternated with fall burns, have been very native plantings.useful. Do not be reluctant to burn annually if 3. Advertise by educating neighbors aboutnecessary to accelerate the rate of performance what to expect before you start your proj-of the prairie during the first 4-6 years. ect. 4. Start small to develop your learningWhat to expect for the first 5 years curve and minimize the rate of change for neighbors.Expect cover crops and weeds during years 1-3as the prevailing vegetation. Usually, in years 3- 5. Humanize your landscape with human touches, such as places to sit, bird houses,5, native grasses and a series of early succession- etc. in order to maximize enjoyment andal native flowers (e.g., black-eyed susan and yel- link people with the landscape.low coneflower) will dominate. Depending on Adapted from: To Mow or Grow,” by Bret Rappaport inthe species mix, prairie restorations usually Wildflower, Spring, 1996.become better, more diverse, and more aestheticwith time. Uniform mowing maintenance asdescribed above not only helps the prairiedevelop but also improves public relations dur-ing the first couple of years of establishment. Spotted Joe Pye Weed Purple Joe Pye Weed35
  • 36. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook 36
  • 37. Natural Landscaping SourcebookVI. SAVANNA AND WOODLANDS however. In our region the cultivation of turf grass under established oaks, and the soil com-Woodlands are a major component of the paction which accompanies it, results in theregion’s natural environment. They originally slow, but certain, demise of the oak. Therefore,existed in upland areas in a delicate, see-saw remaining oak groves should be protected andrelationship with prairies, and in lowland areas restored. Landowners might even want to beginas well. Their location and density depended a woodland “from scratch.” The process oflargely upon climate changes. The Chicago met- woodland restoration is even less well under-ropolitan area is world renowned for its oak stood and defined than prairie restoration, yetsavannas, an open woodland form dominated this should not deter the property owner fromby oak species such as burr oak. beginning to grow woodland plants and work- ing towards re-establishing healthy ecosystems.Dense oak/elm/ash/maple “big woods” con-tained many fire-intolerant fast-growing tree Installationspecies with thin bark. This “forest” communityprobably experienced fire much less often than Creating a woodland “from scratch” is a long-“oak openings,” whose dominant oak tree has term, if not multi-generational project. The timethick, fire-resistant bark. Both woodland types required for the maturing of trees, creation ofshare many, but not all, of the same understory more natural woodland soil conditions, etc.plants. requires patience and vision on the part of the project sponsor. The effect can be enhancedThere is considerable academic interest and through the strategic introduction of some fasterdebate regarding the historical predominance of growing but short-lived trees, which can jumpoak woodlands and relationships with other for- start the creation of shaded conditions to sup-est trees such as maple, hickory and elm. The port woodland understory vegetation and soilnatural transition from one type of vegetation to building. These will be replaced later by matur-another in a woodland and in the transition ing, oaks, maples, or other species, dependingzone between woodland and prairie and savan- on the type of woodland you are is also still being studied. Existing savannas and woodlands throughoutMuch of the remaining oak woodland has been the region are often seriously degraded andincluded within the holdings of the forest pre- dominated by such plants as European buck-serve districts. Other woodlands have become thorn and garlic mustard. Thus, natural land-highly desirable locations for subdivisions and scaping often means taking a highly degradedestate homes. Oak woodland and conventional existing forest remnant, eliminating exoticturf-dominated landscaping are not compatible, species and re-introducing species that have37
  • 38. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookbeen eliminated. It should be noted that nurseries market non- native trees such as the Norway maple which,Oak trees of any species often do not reproduce with its deep shade, self-propagating vigor andin their own shade and need openings for widely-spreading surface roots, eliminate vege-sprouting and maturing. Also, ground cover is tation underneath them. Maples in general haveshade suppressed by European buckthorn and this effect but some of the cultivars are a partic-other nonnative and native shrubs and trees. To ular problem and should be avoided. Lack ofcreate the conditions for oak regeneration and light beneath them will retard the growth of thethe growth of savanna grasses and forbs, both understory and promote erosion, loss of topsoilnative and nonnative shrubs need to be and nutrients.reduced. The procedure should include manualor machine cutting and treatment of stumps Certain profusely growing, “weedy” nativewith an herbicide to prevent re-sprouting. trees, such as box elder, are often considered a detriment to regeneration of desirable plantsThe follow-up can be a wait-and-see-what- and are removed. These trees are often valuedcomes-up strategy, or the introduction of seeds by the public which often doesn’t distinguishand plants. Seedbank testing (placing soil sam- among species and which values vegetationples in a flat and seeing what germinates) will largely for scenic buffering and wildlife purpos-often verify that native species are present and es. Therefore, removal of vegetation should bethat they will be stimulated to germinate by approached carefully with a regard for adjacentremoval of the shade suppressing shrubs and property owners. Education, evaluation of thetrees. If the seed bank is depleted, seed pur- need for removal, and the phasing of projectchase or local collection may be required. Using components can help alleviate problems.the same guidelines as for procurement of seedsfor prairies, appropriate species and quantitiesshould be installed.Introduction of the herbaceous layer into awoodland or savanna can be by simple handbroadcasting, usually in late fall, winter, or earlyspring (mid- November through March). Inespecially bare soil areas that might be erosionprone, light raking of the soil surface mayaccomplish better seed incorporation requiredfor germination and minimize seed loss to ero-sion. Persimmon Woods, St. Charles, IL 38
  • 39. Natural Landscaping SourcebookInitial management and follow up shrubs. In most degraded sites, all native trees are of a single age; expect saplings, young andIn a woodland or savanna, other than spot middle age trees in the future rather than justremoval of noxious weeds (e.g., garlic mustard, the older existing trees. These varying age class-Canada thistle and re-sprouting buckthorn, pre- es will scatter throughout and contribute to ascribed burning is both the initial and long-term parkland aspect as times goes and maintenance tool. Initially,prescribed burns should be light ground fires. Repeated removal of re-sprouting buckthorn and other undesirable shrubs and trees shouldThere are different professional opinions as to be expected management challenges during thewhether spring or fall is the best time to burn. first five years. Once a ground cover sedge andThe timing of burns can be varied, however, and grass layer is present, the aesthetic will increasethe results monitored. Often a late spring date substantially, and the management requirements(mid April - mid May) is most effective at con- will diminish.trolling the noxious weeds that have alreadyleafed out and have minimal root energyreserves. Thus, burning at this time is most VII. WETLAND, STREAM AND LAKESHORE HABITATSstressing to them. There is a perceived conflict Wetlands, streams and lakes can be importantwith burning at this time; spring ephemeral amenities on a development site. Waterfront (orplants (e.g., trout lilies, spring beauties, mayap- riparian) property, in particular, can substantial-ples and trillium) are often in bloom. Burning ly enhance real estate values. Natural landscap-will of course initially set these species back. ing is particularly applicable in the vicinity ofHowever, most will immediately re-grow, and wetlands and waterbodies for the following rea-all will bloom the following year with apparent sons: 1) Natural landscaping can enhanceindifference to fire. A burn plan can divide the degraded conditions which commonly existproject into thirds. Subsequent burn rotations prior to development; 2) Natural landscapingevery third year will provide cover for wildlife can protect existing high quality wetland andescaping the fire. water amenities; 3) Natural landscaping tech-Expectations for the first five years niques can be used to “fix” problems in these areas (e.g., shoreline erosion) more cost effec-Savanna and woodland sites with an intact seed tively than conventional approaches. Each ofbank will respond very quickly to management. these natural landscaping opportunities is dis-A lush native grass, sedge and wildflower cover cussed in the following the ultimate goal in conjunction with regener-ating oaks, hickories, and other native trees and39
  • 40. Natural Landscaping SourcebookNatural landscaping for enhancement of wet- An assessment of early surveyors’ data may pro-lands and riparian zones vide a good indication of the type of plant com- munity to strive for in this zone.Over time, many of our wetland, streamside,and lake shore environments have become While description of the techniques for prairiedegraded by human-induced disturbances and savanna/woodland landscaping will not bewhich not only affect their natural functions but repeated here, one particular consideration isalso reduce their aesthetic value. One such dis- worth mentioning. Most of the existing streamturbance is the introduction of invasive non- and river environments in northeastern Illinoisnative plants, including reed canary grass, pur- bear little resemblance to the natural conditionsple loosestrife, European fragile willows, and which existed prior to settlement in the mid-buckthorn. Such species reduce habitat value, 1800’s. The typical stream is now densely tree-contribute to an unkempt, weedy appearance, lined (commonly with European buckthorn, boxand obscure the waterbody from view. Wetlands elder, and other invasive species). Not only doand waterbodies also may be disturbed by land these trees often completely obscure the streamdevelopment activities in adjacent areas and in from view, they also shade out understoryupland areas within the watershed. These dis- plants which are important for soil stabilization,turbances, resulting in sediment deposition, pollutant filtering, and aquatic habitat. Part ofnutrient enrichment, and increased stormwater the natural landscaping challenge in these areasflows, present a landscaping challenge in wet- is to develop acceptance of a new aesthetic forland and riparian environments. riparian areas and dispel the notion that the removal or thinning of trees along streams isNatural landscaping to enhance degraded con- undesirable. Fortunately, there are some highditions in wetlands and riparian environments visibility restoration projects in the region,should focus on two zones. notably the Skokie River restoration at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe and the DesUpland transitional zone Plaines River Demonstration Project inLand that is adjacent to the normally wet or Wadsworth, which effectively convey the beautyinundated area is a critical upland transitional and functionality of rivers meandering throughzone. This transitional zone is extremely impor- prairie and open savanna landscapes.tant to the health, function, and appearance of There are varying recommendations for thethe wetland or waterbody. Natural landscaping width of riparian buffer zones. Standardsin this transitional zone should be based on the adopted by some northeastern Illinois commu-same principles and techniques previously nities range from about 25 to 50 feet on bothdescribed for prairies and savanna/woodlands. sides, although narrower widths may be appro- 40
  • 41. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookpriate adjacent to intermittent streams or small Regulated activities include filling, draining,wetlands. Buffers will be discussed at greater and regrading. Most natural landscaping activi-length later in this section. ties which are limited to vegetation manage- ment are not subject to a Corps permit. If a per-Wetland/open water zone mit is needed, formal wetland delineation also will be required and more explicit mitigationWetland and open water zones range from hav- criteria must be met. Wetland mitigation guid-ing saturated soil below the ground surface ance is beyond the scope of this Source Book.(such as in a wet meadow) to being completely You should check with the U.S. Army Corps ofinundated with water (such as a lake shoreline Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, oror a streambank). These areas can support a Natural Resources Conservation Service torange of wetland plant species ranging from determine possible permitting and mitigationvarious sedges and shrubs which are intolerant requirements. (See Appendix 4 for more infor-of inundation, to emergent species, to sub- mation.) If the wetlands are designated as iso-merged or floating leaved plants. Some of the lated, and are no longer protected by federalbasic principles of wetland landscaping, such as regulations, local governments—specificallythe importance of determining site history and county stormwater agencies—have or are devel-previous vegetation, are similar to prairie and oping regulations for protection.woodland principles, but many other factors areunique to wetlands. Restoration of degraded plant communitiesThe most important consideration in wetland In dealing with existing wetlands with degrad-landscaping is hydrology. Hydrology defines ed plant communities, reduction of nonnativethe presence of water in a wetland, including vegetation can best be addressed by using thesuch factors as average and maximum depth, techniques presented for prairie, savanna andduration of inundation, and degree of soil satu- woodland systems. Once undesirable species areration. Hydrology establishes the soil and plant under control, wetland enhancement mayconditions which distinguish different wetland require temporary cover crops, modest speciestype sand streambank and shoreline environ- enrichment, or in extreme cases, completements. reseeding or replanting. Most wetland sitesIt should be noted that certain types of activities have a seedbank (both native and nonnative)in wetlands, lakes and streams require a Section that will respond once weeds are reduced.404 permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. However, if deep sediment burial has occurred,(The Corps’ Chicago District regulates activities seed banks may not be present. Understandingin the six-county northeastern Illinois region.) the history of sediment burial is a key to deter-41
  • 42. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookmining the regenerative capability of the exist- Restoration of channelized streamsing site. In some cases, it may be desirable andfeasible to remove accumulated sediments to A natural landscaping opportunity for streamexpose the seedbank and to create depressions corridors is the restoration of meandered chan-and open water zones. This type of restoration nels to replace artificially straightened channels.can enhance the aesthetics and marketability of There are numerous opportunities for this typethe new development. (The project designer can of restoration in northeastern Illinois since overfind assistance from the Natural Resource 40 percent of the existing stream miles haveConservation Service or a consulting wetland or been straightened or ditched. Several recent resi-soil scientist regarding appropriate restoration dential developments have incorporated streamtechniques.) channel restoration into their site plans to enhance the aesthetics and marketability of theirRestoration of drained wetlands projects. Once the natural contours have been restored, native wetland and prairie plants areAnother important consideration in wetland planted on the streambanks to provide soil sta-landscaping is an appreciation of the fact that bilization and aquatic habitat benefits.extensive draining of naturally wet (or hydric)soils was done to accommodate intensive agri- Enhancement of streambanks and lake shoresculture. Hydric soils are often found on farm- Natural landscaping of streambanks or lakeland that has been (or is about to be) converted shores typically begins with the elimination ofto urban uses. One of the simplest ways to “cre- invasive overstory plants which shade outate” (or expand) a wetland landscape is to iden- native wetland species. In many cases, emer-tify the location of hydric soils and the presence gent wetland plants will then propagate on theirof drain tile systems or surface drainage ditches. own. If not, planting of live plugs or tubers isRestoration of wetland hydrology can be accom- recommended. Native wetland and prairieplished by breaking up or plugging the drain plants are much more protective of waterbodytile or eliminating the ditch. This method is fair- edges than conventional turf grass which isly reliable and is less expensive than excavating intolerant of extended inundation. While wet-a wetland depression. Good technical planning land plants are expected in many streambankis essential so that neighboring properties are and lake shore settings, there are some locationsnot adversely affected with undesired nuisance where wetland plants will not grow. For exam-wetness. Once the hydrology is restored, wet- ple, rocky substrates or large river/lake systemsland plants are likely to reappear. Supplemental with large fluctuations in water levels may notseeding or planting may be appropriate if support wetland plants.greater diversity is desired. 42
  • 43. Natural Landscaping SourcebookAn additional consideration for natural wetland learn your plants and their hydrologic and soillandscaping, particularly near open water, is the requirements to choose species that will work.need to protect plantings from geese. If geese Field tests may be useful for delineating plant-are likely to be present, special “goose cages” ing zones on a site which contains a range ofshould be provided to protect new plantings. wetness regimes.Once the plantings are well established, theywill be able to withstand predation. It is important to get a desirable mix, or diversi- ty, of wetland plants and not a monotypic standPlant species selection of reed or cattails. Certain aggressive species which are very easy to establish, such as non-Selection of plants for wetland, streambank, and native reed canary grass, should not be planted.lake shore zones is closely tied to the hydrology Extremely aggressive wetland plants will out-of the site, particularly water depths and flood compete and eventually dominate less robustdurations. Other factors such as shading and colonizers. (See Appendix 3 for plant lists andwater clarity also must be taken into account. other sources of information.)Planting in open water areas typically involvesthe use of tubers, plugs, and potted plants. Initial and long-term management and maintenancePlanting in non-ponded wetland zones ofteninvolves both seeds and live plants. You need to Noxious weed control is needed in wetland areas, as in other natural landscapes. Prescribed burning is a commonly used technique for wet- lands as well as natural streambanks and shore- lines. Timing is important as these areas burn well only at very specific times of the year. Fires in wetland areas can be very intense, especially where cattails and giant reed grass (Phragmites communis) are present. Therefore, extra care is warranted. A two to three year rotation is gen- erally appropriate for wetland burning. Chemical weed control also may be needed, especially for species (e.g., purple loosestrife and reed canary grass) which are difficult to eliminate. Herbicide techniques are different from upland sites primarily because herbicides Restoration of Coffee Creek, Chesterton, Indiana have to be licensed for use in or near waterbod-43
  • 44. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookies, wetlands and other aquatic systems. Read Galurecella sp. which damage purple loosestrifethe product labels, and make sure that only a is available through the Illinois Department oflicensed herbicide applicator conducts this Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Division,work. as well as county forest preserve districts (see Appendix 4 for details).What to expect Natural landscaping buffers to protect high qualityIf hydrologic and soil conditions are conducive,wetland plantings often respond very rapidly. wetlands and waterbodiesExtensive cover of native plants often can be Wetlands, streams and lakes do not exist in iso-achieved during the first growing season. lation. Their long term health is heavily depend-Often, noxious weed control via herbicides, ent on the management of adjacent landscapesmowing, or pruning is necessary during the first as well as upland areas in upstream watersheds.several years. Some replanting also may be nec- Native vegetation can be used to establishessary. A stable, diverse, and aesthetic buffers along wetlands, stream edges and lakewetland/riparian landscape may take three to shores, known as riparian zones. Native vegeta-five years to achieve. tion buffers help to stabilize streambanks and shorelines, filter out sediment and other runoff pollutants from adjacent developments, protect the habitat in sensitive nearshore areas, preserve aesthetic values, and provide access for mainte- nance and/or trails. Design guidance Hoary Cress Natural landscaping buffers are recommendedPurple loosestrife is a particularly aggressive, on all sites containing wetlands, streams, ornoxious wetland weed and merits special atten- lakes. The design and management of ripariantion here. If it gets out of control, the landscap- buffers should follow these general criteria:ing project may be in trouble. When the weed is *The minimum buffer width should be 25 feet.present in a limited area, it may respond to Wider buffers (e.g., 50-100 feet) should be estab-hand pulling or to several doses of herbicides. It lished for larger or more sensitive streams, lakesis important to attack before it goes to seed. or wetlands.Recently, biological controls for purple looses- *Buffers should be planted using native vegetationtrife have been introduced in Illinois. indigenous to the riparian zone (See Appendix 3 for plant lists).Information on the European beetles of the 44
  • 45. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook * Applications of fertilizers or pesticides should be steel pilings, which have been traditionally used avoided once the buffer is established. to stabilize eroding streambanks and shorelines. Maintenance should be limited to occasional It enhances aquatic habitat and aesthetics. It mowing or controlled burns necessary to control weeds and maintain native plant diversity. If cer- provides shading for nearshore areas. Once root tain noxious weeds need additional control, lim- systems become established, the ability to stabi- ited use of approved herbicides may be appro- lize erosive banks increases over time. priate in localized areas. Native plants can be used alone or in combina-NIPC has published a Model Stream and tion with other materials in what are commonlyWetland Protection Ordinance that may be used called bioengineering methods. Several commonby municipalities to protect stream corridors. bioengineering methods are described as fol-Streambank and shoreline stabilization techniques lows:Conventional landscaping, particularly turf Vegetative stabilizationgrass, is generally unsuitable for most stream- Native prairie, wetland or woodland vegetationbank and shoreline applications. Turf grass is can be planted as seeds, dormant cuttings orvery shallow-rooted and is intolerant of extend- plant plugs. Planting generally follows removaled inundation which is common in low-lying or thinning of non-native trees or shrubs.areas. As a consequence, bare soil and erosion Common plantings include prairie grass plugsare common occurrences on conventionally or dormant willow poles on streambanks, orlandscaped lake shores and streambanks. Native emergent wetland plants on lake shores. Thesevegetation is increasingly being utilized as a approaches work best where bank slopes arelow-cost alternative for restoring and stabilizing moderate (e.g., 1:1 or flatter) and erosive veloci-these areas. It provides several important ties are not severe.advantages over conventional landscaping. * Appropriate native vegetation is tolerant of Brush layering/branchpacking inundation, even surviving extended floods. These methods utilize layers of dormant tree or *The deep, dense root systems of native plants hold the soil firmly in place. shrub branches, typically willow or dogwood species, alternating with layers of soil. The pro- *Native plants dissipate wave and current energy truding ends of the branches physically deflect and protect erodible banks. erosive flows and the brush roots eventually sta-In addition to these advantages, native vegeta- bilize erodible soils. These methods can betion also has several advantages over conven- applied to a range of slopes and velocities.tional engineering solutions, such as riprap or45
  • 46. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook children’s jacks, are placed in a linear nested arrangement along an eroding bank or shore- line, backfilled with soil, and planted with stabi- lizing vegetation such as willow poles. Lunkers are rectangular boxes constructed of wood or plastic lumber and built into the toe of the bank. Both of these techniques are effective in stabiliz- ing the toe of an eroding slope and should be integrated with native plants. An excellent description of alternative stabiliza- tion techniques has been developed by DuPage County Department of Environmental Concerns. Its Streambank Stabilization Program report (1995) describes the advantages, disad- vantages, and installation techniques of a range of natural vegetation and bioengineeringFiber rolls approaches.Fiber rolls are constructed of coconut fibers VIII. NATURAL LANDSCAPING FOR IMPROVEDwhich are densely packed into a cylindrical STORMWATER MANAGEMENTshape and wrapped with a polypropylene mesh. As previously described, natural landscapingFiber rolls are partially submerged at the toe of provides an environmentally conscious alterna-an eroding streambank or shoreline and secured tive to conventional methods of addressingwith construction stakes. Native vegetation is stormwater management and other waterplanted into the fiber roll and on the slope resources concerns. This section describes theabove it. This method is most appropriate in implementation of several natural landscapinglow to moderate velocity zones where the toe of techniques for conveying and storing stormwa-the slope is eroding. ter runoff in a more environmentally consciousA-Jacks and lunkers and cost effective manner.These techniques rely on hard-edged materials On an undisturbed site, there is very little sur-to stabilize the toe of the slope in combination face runoff. Most precipitation infiltrates intowith native vegetation planted on the upper the ground and slowly recharges undergroundbanks. Concrete A-Jacks structures, resembling aquifers or moves laterally to recharge streams, 46
  • 47. Natural Landscaping Sourcebooklakes and wetlands. When surface runoff does chy, are described below.occur, it moves slowly across the vegetatedlandscape, through natural depressions, and via Preserve natural drainage systemsswales into larger streams. Existing swales, depressions, wetlands andIn contrast, the developed site produces dramat- stream corridors should be preserved in the siteically more surface runoff due to impervious plan wherever possible. In some cases this willsurfaces and soil compaction. Conventional require clustering the development arounddrainage relies upon curbs, gutters, channels these important features. By siting the build-and sewers to quickly convey the water away. ings, homes or other structures on only a por-As a consequence, pollutants in stormwater tion of the total site, clustering has the addedrunoff are flushed downstream and the pulsat- benefits of reducing the total impervious areaing flows contribute to increased flooding and associated with roadways and minimizing soildestabilization of downstream channel systems. compaction associated with mass grading activi- ties.Natural drainage designs attempt to replicateelements of the pre-development drainage Utilize vegetated filter stripsscheme by: *minimizing disturbances of the original drainage A critical consideration in designing a natural network and the area of impervious surfaces and drainage plan is to identify opportunities to dis- *maximizing opportunities to infiltrate surface perse runoff from impervious surfaces — runoff, to hold runoff water in natural depres- rooftops, streets and parking lots—onto the per- sions, and to release it slowly through surface vious, vegetated areas of the site. These vegetat- swales and drainageways. ed areas, or filter strips, allow runoff to infiltrate into the ground before it is conveyed to swalesWhile it will be impossible to replicate com- or other conveyance devices. Runoff is directedpletely the pre-development hydrologic condi- to filter strips in several ways. It can be con-tions of a site, studies estimate that natural veyed from rooftops via downspouts. Fromdrainage designs can substantially reduce both roads, driveways or parking lots, runoff issurface runoff volumes and pollutant loads directed to filter strips as sheet flow or throughcompared to conventional drainage designs. For slotted curbs.example, for a clustered, naturally drained resi-dential development in Grayslake, Illinois, esti- Applicabilitymates suggest a 65 percent reduction of surfacerunoff. Recommended elements of a natural Filter strips are suitable on most types of devel-drainage approach, or runoff reduction hierar- opment but are probably most effective in set-47
  • 48. Natural Landscaping Sourcebooktings where there are relatively wide expanses over turf grass. Forested filter strips also can beof pervious area adjacent to impervious sur- effective because of their ability to take up cer-faces. Filter strips are readily accommodated in tain pollutants from the root zone and storethe following development situations: them in their biomass. *residential Utilize vegetated swales *office and industrial campuses *expressways and rural roadways Swales function much like filter strips except (where right-of-way is adequate) that their purpose is to convey concentrated * buffer zones adjacent to sensitive environments flow. Unlike conventional storm sewers, swales move water more slowly and allow a portion ofDesign guidance the runoff to infiltrate the ground.There are several basic design considerations for Applicabilityfilter strips which will maximize their perform-ance and reliability: Swales are suitable alternatives to storm sewers for many types of development , particularly * A robust stand of vegetation should be estab- lished. where the number of driveway crossings is not large. Swales are easily implemented on the * Ground slope should ideally be relatively flat (i.e., preferably less than 5-10 percent slope). rolling to gently rolling topography which is common in northeastern Illinois. Swales are *A width of at least 10-20 feet is recommended. strongly recommended in the following devel- * Runoff onto the strip should be evenly dis- opment situations. persed. *large lot residential sites (e.g., 1/2 to 1 acre or *Contributing drainage areas should be relatively larger) small (less than five to ten acres.) *office and industrial campusesHealthy vegetation is important to minimize *roadways where right-of-way widths are ade-erosion and to improve the filtering of pollu- quatetants in the runoff water. Where high concen- *parking lot medians and edgestrations of salt are expected due to roadway de-icing, salt tolerant vegetation should be planted. Where feasible, runoff should be routed intoNative prairie vegetation is ideal in most filter swales from filter strips. Runoff also can bestrip applications (choose salt-tolerant species directly conveyed from parking lots or road-where necessary). Its deep root zones and exten- ways via sheet flow or through slotted curbs.sive biomass give it performance advantages Swales in parking lot medians represent a departure from the conventional design which 48
  • 49. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookelevates landscaped islands or medians above ter pollutants, improve aesthetic appearance,the pavement. It is recommended instead that and reduce maintenance needs.medians be excavated to collect runoff. Parkinglot swales also are useful for the disposal of There are two recommended natural detentionplowed snow. basin types. A wet bottom basin has a large, deep permanent pool in the basin bottom. ADesign guidance wetland basin contains smaller deep pools near the outlet and/or inlets. The remainder of theThe design guidance for vegetated swales is basin bottom, which either has very shallowsimilar to the criteria for filter strips. ponding or is dry between storm events, is vege- *Slopes should be adequate to minimize nui- tated primarily with wetland plants, sometimes sance ponding — roughly 1-2 percent as a mini- in combination with prairie vegetation or turf mum. grass. *Where existing gradients are steep (e.g., greater than 5-10 percent) and erosion is a concern, the Design guidance effective slope of swales can be reduced through the use of drop structures. The basic philosophy of natural detention *Swales should be wide and shallow with side designs is to replicate the components of natural slopes no steeper than 3 horizontal to 1 vertical. lake and wetland systems. The following *Swales can be vegetated with turf, prairie or wet- design considerations are important. land vegetation as appropriate. If high salt con- *Shoreline slopes of open water areas should be centrations are expected in runoff, salt-tolerant relatively flat (e.g., 5:1 to 10:1). plant species should be utilized. *Shoreline zones and frequently flooded areasUtilize natural detention basin designs should be planted with native wetland vegeta- tion.Before runoff leaves the development site, it *Where feasible, basin side slopes should be veg-should be routed through a detention basin to etated with prairie grasses and forbs.further slow the peak flow rates and to provide *Basin shapes and open water contours shouldan opportunity to remove runoff contaminants. be irregular to enhance appearance.While most northeastern Illinois communitiesrequire detention via subdivision ordinances, An important cautionmost conventional basins are very “engineered” Because natural wetlands are often in the lowestin appearance, with hard edges or concrete spot in the landscape, there is sometimes achannels. Natural landscaping of detention temptation to convert them to detention basins.basins incorporates native plants and gradual This generally should be avoided, particularlyside slopes to enhance the removal of stormwa-49
  • 50. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookfor wetlands containing sensitive habitats or For more information about stormwater manage-diverse plant communities, because the subse- ment:quent changes in water levels and pollutant Best Management Practice Guidebook forloadings associated with urban runoff will has- Urban Development, Northeastern Illinoisten their degradation. Planning Commission: 1992. For more information about stream protection: Restoring and Managing Stream Greenways: A Landowner’s Handbook, Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission: 1998. For more information on plant material: Native Plant Guide for Streams and Stormwater Facilities in Northeastern Illinois, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Chicago Metro Urban and Community Assistance Office: 1997. A natural approach to retention basin design 50
  • 51. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook CHAPTER 5: CASE ples are visible from public areas. Interested parties who wish additional information or STUDIES IN NATURAL want a closer look should contact the property LANDSCAPING owner or manager. There are many other demonstrations of natural landscaping in the northeastern Illinois area. These are only a few, I. An Innovative Planned selected to illustrate the wide range of natural Development landscaping applications. II. Natural Landscaping for Prairie Dock Urban Lots I. AN INNOVATIVE PLANNED DEVELOPMENT III. Natural Landscaping for Prairie CrossingCorporate Office Campuses Illinois Rt. 45 and Casey RoadIV. Natural Landscaping for an Industrial Park Grayslake, Lake County, Illinois www.prairiecrossing.comV. Public Parks and Citizen InvolvementVI. Natural Landscaping for a School Prairie Crossing, located in northern Lake County, is an innovative large scale clusteredVII. Natural Landscaping for a Government residential development which includes pre-Complex served open space and agricultural areas, asVIII. Natural Landscaping in a Right-of-Way well as multi-use development adjacent to com-IX. Golf Courses as Opportunities muter rail stations. The Prairie Crossing plan is designed to achieve comprehensive naturalX. Natural Landscaping Along a Shoreline resource management objectives while creatingThe upper midwest, including northeastern a highly marketable residential environment.Illinois, is an excellent location to see a wide Natural landscaping is a concept inherent in thevariety of applications of natural landscaping. philosophy and concept of this project.The natural landscaping “movement” is rela- Prairie Crossing is a 678 acre residential devel-tively new. These projects displayed, even at opment with 362 mostly clustered homes.their earlier stages, the multiple benefits of the Mindful of cultural as well as natural heritage,natural landscaping approach. Prairie Crossing integrates existing farm fieldsA selection of natural landscaping projects, with a natural landscape of restored prairies,demonstrating a wide variety of land uses, site wetlands, meadows and lakes.area, habitat type, and sponsor are briefly Nearly 197 acres of native prairies and wetlandsdescribed below. Most of these case study exam-51
  • 52. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookhave been restored through and around the resi- chemicals, plant native plants and minimizedential areas of the development. These areas, in lawn area. A community supported garden pro-addition to their habitat and aesthetic benefits, gram provides additional opportunities toserve as part of an alternative stormwater man- involve homeowners with natural resources andagement system. The system utilizes a develop a greater understanding and apprecia-“stormwater treatment train” which is a tion for natural landscaping.sequenced series of native landscape unitsincluding vegetated swales that surround all Use of natural landscaping for water con-home clusters. These swales convey the water to veyance and management saved several millionexpansive prairies in which most of the water dollars in stormwater piping and installation.quality enhancement and management occurs. When compared to conventional lawns, the nat-Some contaminants are removed within the ural landscaping is much less expensive inupland prairies. Water that does not infiltrate or terms of costs of initial installation and long-evaporate flows slowly from the 175 acres of term maintenance. In addition, stabilization ofprairies into 22 acres of created wetlands, and the lake and pond on the site are achievedultimately into 27 acres of created lakes. entirely through the use of native plants and natural materials. This reduces costs of shorelineThe use of natural landscaping and ecological maintenance by controlling shoreline erosion.restoration in this project not only integrates thedevelopment by its presence everywhere, but Appreciation of the natural landscaping hasalso serves this vital water management func- been demonstrated by higher than averagetion. home values, by resident involvement, includ- ing many homeowners now naturalizing theirImmediate aesthetic benefits on the large yards, and the unprecedented local and nationalacreage of prairie was achieved through use of a media attention the project has garnered. Incover cropping system (Barley and winter rye). addition, wildlife use of the open spaces andThe extensive fields looked like grain fields dur- restored landscapes has been exceptional anding the first year. The Prairie Crossing project greatly appreciated within the community.demonstrates its deep commitment to publiceducation during the home sales process and Zoning and regulatory approval for the projectafterward by providing a handbook on “Living was greatly expedited by the overall conserva-with Nature” and numerous educational oppor- tion focus. Although many construction detailstunities for residents throughout the year. and plans, including the stormwater manage-Homeowners are educated regarding the envi- ment scheme, required long and arduous nego-ronmentally progressive aspects of the develop- tiations, the local community and public offi-ment and are encouraged to minimize use of cials were supportive and encouraged alterna- 52
  • 53. Natural Landscaping Sourcebooktive strategies for landscaping and stormwater The garden area was initially tilled and plantedmanagement. with annuals and perennials. Perennials now occupy 3/4 of the area. There is an emphasis on prairie plants although the garden is not a strict prairie restoration and contains many other flowering plants. Costs of this garden have been exceptionally low. The original tilling was labor intensive. Ongoing maintenance falls into the realm of hobby rather than labor. Many of the plants have been obtained from other gardens. The owners feel that overall the garden is less work than lawn maintenance. The planting of annuals is an ongoing but not excessive cost, given that Prairie Crossing Site Plan they only occupy 1/4 of the garden. An inexpen- sive weeping hose system has been installed for watering, the need for which is reduced throughII. NATURAL LANDSCAPING FOR URBAN LOTS the use of compost and mulch.200 Block North ElmwoodOak Park, IllinoisVisitors to the 200 block of north Elmwood inOak Park, Illinois will notice a significant trendtowards the use of natural landscaping on rela-tively small urban single family lots. One of thebest examples is where two adjacent homeown-ers have collaborated in the development of awildflower garden which fills their adjacent sideyards and portions of the front yards. This proj-ect was based upon a shared interest in reduc- This Oak Park home features natural landscapinging the amount of turf grass and associated useof herbicides and pesticides. The owners were Each owner maintains her half of the garden.interested in a more diverse landscape and the The owners had no initial contact with localability of the garden to attract butterflies. government regarding installation of the gar- den. There have not been complaints and the53
  • 54. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookgarden won the “Garden of the Year” award. ways.Other homeowners in the neighborhood have Areas near the primary structures are land-undertaken similar projects. It is estimated that scaped with a combination of traditional land-at least 30 to 40 natural gardens have “sprout- scaping and the ornamental use of native plantsed” in Oak Park. and stone. Water features have been created that extensively use limestone slabs over which water flows into naturalized ponds surroundedIII. NATURAL LANDSCAPING FOR CORPORATE OFFICE by native vegetation. Native plants have beenCAMPUSES incorporated into key entrance and other highlySears Corporate Headquarters visible locations in order to carry out the themePrairie Stone Business Park of natural landscaping.Higgins and Beverly RoadHoffman Estates, Illinois The overall plan called for the preservation and enhancement of existing wetlands and the cre-The Sears corporate headquarters and business ation of new wetland systems as part of thepark (Prairie Stone) is located on 780 acres adja- site’s stormwater management plan. The land-cent to Interstate 90. The project was conceived scaping therefore reduces the amount of surfaceas an integrated land planning process which water runoff, and what runoff there is is treatedrecognizes natural systems and relationships by filtering through vegetated filter strips andbetween the built and natural environments. swales and a series of naturalized retention and detention basins connected by the vegetated swales. Lucent Technologies Bell Labs Innovations 2600 Warrenville Road (Warrenville Road east of Naperville Road) Lisle, Illinois and Warrenville Road and Naperville Road Naperville, IllinoisSears Corporate Headquarters, Hoffman Estates, IL In the 1990’s, what was then AT&T’s NetworkNative plants have been incorporated into the Software division was mandated by the nationallandscape in ornamental as well as functional 54
  • 55. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookheadquarters to find ways to reduce or elimi- were gradually replaced by the more dominantnate the costly annual replacement of bluegrass and longer-lived prairie flowers that wereturf caused by severe erosion, disease and nui- included in the planting mix.sance goose population. Motivated by anemployee-organized ecology club, AT&T initiat- In the late nineties, new research facilities builted the conversion of 18 acres of bluegrass turf to on each campus reduced the acreage devoted tonative prairie forbs and grasses. After develop- natural a comprehensive master plan, the problemturf areas were tilled under and reseeded using IV. NATURAL LANDSCAPING FOR AN INDUSTRIAL PARKthe disk method followed by broadcast seeding. Lakeview Industrial ParkAs a result of the success of the Lisle program, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsinan additional 30 acres of AT&T’s nearby LucentTechnologies campus in Naperville were con- Lakeview Industrial Park is a 1500 acre develop-verted in the summer of 1994. ment between Chicago and Milwaukee, near Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. The project goal was to integrate expansive native landscapes within an industrial park design. Nearly 500 acres of the Park have been included in a large dedicated Natural Area along the Des Plaines River. The Des Plaines River bisects the develop- ment, which includes extensive floodplain wet- lands, oak savannas, prairies, and the riverine system. Wisconsin’s second largest population of the Federal and State Endangered White Fringed Prairie orchid, rare fishes, rare birds, Lucent Technologies’ Corporate Campus and rare snakes are also present in or immedi- ately adjacent to the property.Both projects used the same seed mix which wastailored for varying conditions on the sites, i.e. Coordination with the Wisconsin chapter of Themesic prairie, savanna understory, wet prairie, Nature Conservancy resulted in the gifting ofetc. Both seed mixes included annual and short- this large area and additional areas of createdlived perennials for ground cover and immedi- wetland and prairies within the industrial park.ate visual effect. The colorful display from In addition, coordination with the local town-dames rocket and poppy helped create the ship and community has resulted in the addi-extremely positive popular response. These tion of over 100 acres of open space and co-55
  • 56. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookdevelopment of a new park with a high quality and conservation groups.oak savanna, additional floodplain areas includ-ing very high quality wetlands, and a 120 acre The natural landscaping and ecological restora-created lake (a former gravel quarry). Uplands tion in this project provided the basis for successaround this lake, and other areas including the in a number of ways. The industry has savedlake system, are treated in part by natural land- significant sums of money through use of nativescaping. landscaping and by conveyance of valuable property.A new access road created to service the devel-opment impacted 31 acres of floodplain wet- The ecological benefits of this project havelands. To compensate for this, several large exceeded expectations. Rare species, includingfarm fields were converted to wetlands through an endangered orchid, were not known to beexcavation and removal of farm drain tiles. In present at the time of the agreement on the con-addition, significant upland buffers around veyance and landscaping plans for the land andthese wetlands have been restored to prairies. are now found on the property. This under-The created wetland systems are connected to scores the importance of large projects whichflood events in the adjacent Des Plaines river. can offer protection, native landscaping, andThe result has been fish spawning opportuni- ecosystem management strategies.ties, including use of the areas by rare fishes,and the presence of numerous rare birds. V. PUBLIC PARKS AND CITIZEN INVOLVEMENTThroughout the regulatory and local approval Gompers Parkprocesses, this project encountered no problems Chicago Park Districtwith its use of native landscaping, a significant Foster and Pulaskiprotection plan, and restoration program. Chicago, IllinoisPrescribed burning is used frequently, and withlocal approval, although at times it is difficult to In 1995, the Chicago Park District undertook theobtain the fire department’s permission unless restoration of a small wetland in the floodplainmeteorological conditions meet their standards. of the North Branch of the Chicago River on Chicago’s northwest side. The two acre site,The project has won wide acclaim for its innova- located in Gompers Park, had been filled in thetive address of ecological resources and was one 1960s, altering the site’s hydrology, causingof The Nature Conservancy’s very first projects flooding of adjacent park areas and nearly elimi-which involved the wetland mitigation process. nating the indigenous wetland plant communi-The positive feedback has forged an important ty. The three main goals of the project were to:conservation partnership between the industry *Restore the function of the wetland’s flood-water 56
  • 57. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook retention capability, re-establish the physical management, participating in weeding sessions connection between the wetland and the and keeping the area free of litter and trash. A Chicago River and bring back the appropriate plant and animal communities. qualified contractor burns the site every year to encourage the native Midwestern plants which *Facilitate a resource for education, scientific study are adapted to seasonal burning and to discour- and community stewardship to a multi-genera- tional, community-based population, education age invasive weed species. and training in wetland ecology, restoration, monitoring and management and provide, for that population. *Establish a model of local and federal government agencies, community groups and not-for-profit organizations working cooperatively and in col- laboration as a team in the restoration of a sig- nificant ecological system in an urban context.The total cost of Gompers Park Project was$90,000, the majority of which was spent remov-ing two feet of fill over the two acre site, re-grading and installing a dike and water control Gompers Park in Chicago, ILstructure. The remainder of the project costwent for plant material, signage and educational In the years since the completion of the wetlandprogramming in conjunction with the project. project, other natural areas at Gompers Park have been developed and expanded, includingAfter construction was complete, the site was restoration of the fishing lagoon and enlarge-seeded with a cover crop of annual rye for tem- ment of the native plantings adjacent to the wet-porary soil stability, then drill-seeded with a land. Additionally, the Chicago Park District hasdiverse mixture of appropriate native perennial built upon the knowledge and experiencegrasses, sedges and forbs. An experienced plant- gained from the Gompers Park project. To date,ing contractor installed plugged plant materials more than 50 natural areas throughout the cityin the submergent, emergent and sedge-mead- have been rehabilitated through the Parkow planting zones. Volunteers completed the District’s Natural Areas Program.planting, installing more than 2500 plant plugsinto the wet and mesic prairie zones during the This initiative, to develop new natural areas andweekend work events during the spring and enhance existing significant or sensitive sites,summer of 1995 and 1996. includes a wide range of projects. The program includes the restoration of riparian systems andVolunteers continue to help with the wetland’s wetland habitat associated with Chicago’s57
  • 58. Natural Landscaping Sourcebooklagoons, river edges and lake shore and the tory for hands-on environmental education. Theestablishment and enhancement of other native project consultant developed a master planhabitats, such as woodlands, savannas, prairies which identified appropriate zones for the re-and dunes, as well as the development of nature introduction of various prairie community typesgardens and the improvement of lakefront bird and incorporated requested outdoor classroomhabitat. elements.The Natural Areas Program is augmented and During Earth Day week in April 1995, studentssupported by the Park District’s Urban installed the first phase of the master plan,Stewardship Program, which enlists public par- approximately 2.5 acres of upland mesic andticipation in the monitoring and maintenance of wet prairie plantings.the natural areas. The Audubon Certification ofPark District golf course program, whichinvolves the conversion of out-of-play areas tonatural habitat, is being pursued. Additionally,the Park District is involved in the UrbanMonitoring program, tracking the populationcharacteristics of five significant natural areaindicators, including frogs, butterflies, dragon-flies, birds and threatened and endangeredplants. Wheaton Warrenville South High School CampusVI. NATURAL LANDSCAPING FOR A SCHOOLWheaton Warrenville South High School VII. NATURAL LANDSCAPING FOR A GOVERNMENT1920 South Wiesbrook Road COMPLEXWheaton, Illinois DuPage Government CenterAddressing many issues simultaneously, East Campus Detention BasinWheaton Warrenville South High School began County Farm Rd. and Manchester Rd.incorporating native landscape treatments into Wheaton, Illinoistheir school grounds in 1995. The school hadseveral goals: to reduce maintenance on unused When developing the 57-acre Governmentlawn areas and time demands on limited staff, Center, DuPage County looked to incorporateimprove overall aesthetics, restore native habi- natural landscapes into the site through nativetats, and more important, create a living labora- plantings within compensatory water storage 58
  • 59. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookareas. The East detention basin was modeled County hopes to maximize all the benefits ofafter the West Basin, which was previously natural landscaping as a part of the Governmentplanted with native vegetation but is currently Complex.under construction.In 2003, DuPage County has been working to Third Avenue Drainage Projectincorporate native wetland and prairie vegeta- State Route 83 and Byron Avenuetion into the landscape design for the East Basin. DuPage County, IllinoisNative prairie grasses, herbaceous plants, trees, In the fall of 2002, DuPage County completed aand shrubs surround the basin. Emergent and drainage project that encompasses water storagefloating aquatic vegetation enhance the wetter and native landscaping. Drainage problems inbottom of the basin. These wetland plants act the area required a 3-acre detention basin to benaturally to filter water and improve flood con- built. The county used this project as an oppor-trol capabilities. tunity to incorporate native plantings into aAnother benefit of the natural landscaping in detention basin project.the East detention basin is that it can be a deter- The native plantings function to improve waterrent to Canada geese. The geese have been a quality for the on site wetlands and, on a largerproblem in this area for years. Not only are they scale, the Salt Creek watershed. Water enteringan overcrowded, nuisance species, but they can the site is runoff from roads and residentialcause ecological problems, such as E.coli bacte- areas. This water is likely to be contaminatedria, to water bodies as well. Tall vegetation with lawn pesticides and other pollutants. Plantaround a pond or basin discourages the geese selection for the detention basin has emphasizedfrom inhabiting or feeding in the area. DuPage the use of species tolerant to such conditions. The plantings give the basin aesthetic appeal as well. Over 50 different wetland and prairie species were planted in and around the basin. The overall effect of the project is that it simulta- neously performs flood control functions, water filtration, and habitat for wetland species. West Basin at the DuPage Government Center59
  • 60. Natural Landscaping SourcebookVIII. NATURAL LANDSCAPING FOR A RIGHT-OF-WAY W being managed for native vegetation are desig- nated by signs and are not subject to conven-Among the significant landowners in metropoli- tional mowing routines.tan areas are the owners of roadways and utilityright-of-ways. The interconnected, linear nature Commonwealth Edisonof these extensive ownerships creates opportu-nities for a highly visible use of natural land- Commonwealth Edison has initiated the use ofscaping. In addition, natural landscaping in native landscaping as part of its land manage-these corridors can help provide continuity of ment and environmental programs.habitat and habitat linkages that are important Commonwealth Edison has completed a num-for species propagation and survival. ber of prairie plantings in their right-of-way in the Chicago metropolitan area. This is beingIllinois Department of Transportation done for environmental, economic and aesthetic reasons. Natural landscaping along I-55 near Springfield, IL Native landscaping on Commonwealth Edison right-The Illinois Department of Transportation has a of-waysprogram of planting native plants and wildflow-ers along Illinois state highways. Travelers to One location for viewing CommonwealthSpringfield are aware of the extensive use of Edison’s work is at the Power House energyprairie grasses in the Interstate 55 right-of-way museum in Zion, Illinois. Commonwealthas one approaches the state capitol. Edison also has a voluntary stewardship pro- gram which encourages Commonwealth EdisonIn recent years IDOT has been using native employees, families and friends to participate inplantings more extensively in the Chicago met- prairie restoration efforts.ropolitan area. Segments of right-of-way that are 60
  • 61. Natural Landscaping SourcebookIX. GOLF COURSES AS OPPORTUNITIES constructed in native oak/hickory woodlands. Through the years, many of the native treesOlympia Fields Country Club have died and been replaced with non-native2800 Country Club Drive species. Out-of-play areas and hillsides werenear Vollmer Rd. and Western Ave. mowed, precluding the natural growth of newOlympia Fields, Illinois oak trees and understory plants. In order toGolf courses are a major land use in metropoli- restore the original nature of the land, an exten-tan areas where conversion from traditional to sive planting program was initiated with thenatural landscaping can have very positive and planting of native trees supplied by a local nurs-highly visible impacts. The Olympia Fields ery. All of the plants are grown from locally col-Country Club has been participating in the New lected seed (some seed is collected from plantsYork Audubon Society Cooperative Sanctuary at the country club). Plants range in size fromProgram since 1992 and became fully certified in 6” caliper trees in strategic, highly visible loca-February of 1996. Certification areas include: tions to one year old seedlings in wooded areasenvironmental planning, wildlife cover enhance- that are no longer mowed. Of equal importancement, water conservation, and water quality to the planting is the removal of invasive non-management. native plants which compete with the native plants.Olympia Fields Country Club blends two cham-pionship 18-hole golf courses into a unique nat- Other areas of the property were originallyural setting of native woodlands and rolling prairie and were farmed prior to construction oftopography with large oak trees lining the fair- the golf course. Where appropriate, prairie vege-ways. Butterfield Creek winds through the tation is being re-established. A 1 3/4 acreproperty. Numerous areas on both courses are demonstration area has been reseeded to prairieideal for enhancing the existing vegetation and vegetation. Initially, 7 grasses and over 25 forbshabitat and re-introducing vegetation types that were re-introduced. As in all of the plantinghad been eliminated from the property over programs, care is taken to match the plant to itstime. Planting native trees and woody understo- site, taking into account soil type, moisturery from locally collected seed, removal of inva- requirements, sunlight needs, etc. Prescribedsive non-native species, re-establishing prairie burning and hand weeding are used to keepand savanna vegetation, prescribed burning of non-native plants out of the prairie areas. Inprairie and savanna areas, and the control of one area of the North Course, prairie vegetationwater feature erosion with native vegetation are has begun to re-establish on a site that had beensome of the programs in progress. mowed for over 70 years. Also, prairie grasses and forbs are used in various landscape situa-A significant portion of both golf courses was61
  • 62. Natural Landscaping Sourcebooktions on the golf course and around the club- of the Cooperative Sanctuary Program. The clubhouse. Several savanna remnants still are evi- newsletter is used on a monthly basis to informdent on the South Course. Those areas were the membership of ongoing environmental pro-burned to eliminate some non-natives and stim- grams. Also, the grounds superintendent hasulate the dormant seed bank. Results after the made presentations to local superintendentfirst year were encouraging. groups and local environmental and social groups on the Olympia Fields Country ClubA program of erosion control, using native vege- environmental program.tation, had been initiated along ButterfieldCreek and lake shorelines. In previous years,riprap was placed on the creek banks to controlerosion. Grass was mowed to the water’s edgealong streambanks and shorelines. Vegetativebuffers were established where practical, andvegetation such as rushes, iris and cordgrasshave been planted to protect the soil on thebanks. This program will be expanded in futureyears.The Olympia Fields Country Club Grounds Olympia Fields County Club, Olympia Fields, ILDepartment practices an environmentally sensi-tive fertilizer and pesticide program. An exten-sive Integrated Pest Management program is inplace utilizing scouting, threshold levels, cura- X. NATURAL LANDSCAPING ALONG A SHORELINEtive disease control, least toxic chemicals, organ-ic fertilizer and biological control. No-spray Frankfort Prairie Park Connects with Old Plank Road Trail, east ofbuffer zones have been established around envi- White Streetronmentally sensitive areas such as water fea- Frankfort, Illinoistures. Many weeds, such as crabgrass and dan-delions, are controlled through hand picking on The Village of Frankfort created the Frankfortthe fairway, greens and tees. Fewer chemicals Prairie Park on a vacant parcel that includes aare used on the 36 holes than are used on many high-quality natural area containing over 4018 hole facilities. species of prairie plants. The Village had three objectives in developing the park: the park mustMember and non-member awareness of the preserve and protect the native prairie species ofenvironmental programs are important aspects plants; demonstrate environmental conservation 62
  • 63. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookpractices and educate visitors; and provide out-door recreational opportunities.The park contains a lake fed by a drainage waythat conveys surface runoff from the downtownand historic districts. The lake is edged by wet-land plants and rock outcroppings for publicaccess. Though most people see only the beauti-ful naturalized park, the lake is part of a treat-ment system for the storm water runoff. Thestorm water first enters a separator basin androck creek that collects heavy solids. The water Frankfort Prairie Park, Frankfort, ILthen travels to a stilling pool that is plantedwith wetland plants to filter additional solids. Awater pump helps to maintain a flow of water ina rocky stream that, in turn, helps to aerate thewater. The stream then flows into the lake forstorm water storage. The lake is stocked withnative game fish. From the lake, water flowsinto a wet prairie and a bioswale, where hydro-carbons, nutrients and other contaminants areabsorbed by native plants.The park provides a connection to Old PlankRoad Trail, and educational markers describethe flora and fauna on the site.63
  • 64. Natural Landscaping SourcebookAPPENDIX 1: GLOSSARY erosion, filter runoff pollutants, disturbances of wildlife) affecting the sensitive environmentalAnnual: A plant that lives for one year or one site.growing season. Clustered Development: Accumulation of develop-Beneficial Landscaping: Using different landscap- ment onto only a portion of a site, therebying techniques to achieve all kind of benefits allowing sensitive areas to be protected with no(e.g., decrease of maintenance costs, reduction of loss in the number of lots and maintaining thestormwater runoff, beautification of the land- gross density of the site.scape, preservation of endangered species, etc.). Ecosystem: A community of plants and animalsBiennial: A plant that grows from seed and pro- interacting with each other and theirduces leafy growth the first year. In the second physical/chemical environment.year, the plant produces flowers, sets seed and Emergent: Pertaining to aquatic plants whichdies. have some portion of the plant extended out ofBiodiversity: A measurement of the number of the water.species and the variety of life and its processes Exotic Species: A non-native plant or animalin an area. introduced from another geographic area.Bioengineering: The use of vegetation for civil Forest: Plant communities which exist alongengineering purposes like slope stabilization, floodplains or on the eastern side of riverswater erosion control, shoreline protection, bar- where they were protected from fires. They areriers for noise reduction, etc. dominated by trees that are intolerant of fireBog: Found almost exclusively in glaciated and can grow in poorly drained soils, althoughdepressions, soils are highly acidic, have low bur oak trees can be a part of this community.nutrient levels, and are saturated throughout the In Northeastern Illinois, the word “forest” isgrowing season. Vegetation consists of a variety often used interchangeably with “woodland” orof emergents, carnivorous plants such as sun- “woods,” as in the “Big Woods.”dew and pitcher plants, and shrubs or small Fen: A type of wet meadow with highly alkalinetrees occurring on consolidated peat. Bogs usu- soil. Vegetation is primarily composed of herba-ally have an area of open water called the “eye.” ceous species, encircled by zones of plants ofBuffer/Buffer Strip: A management area closest to increasing height and woodiness.a sensitive environmental site (e.g., wetland, Forb: Any herbaceous plant that is not a grass.waterbody, etc.) in which human activities areprohibited or limited in order to minimize the Greenway: A greenway is a corridor of open landnegative impacts from adjacent land uses (like that provides one or more of the following bene- 64
  • 65. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookfits: (1) protection and management of natural property (Illinois Noxious Weed Law; 505 ILCSand cultural resources; (2) provision of recre- 100.)ational opportunities; and (3) enhancement of Oak Savanna: A transitional community betweenthe quality of life and the aesthetic appeal of prairie and forest, sustained by fires, character-neighborhoods and communities. ized by scattered, open-grown oak and hickoryHabitat: The physical, chemical, and biological trees and grasses and forbs which flourish inenvironment in which an organism lives. partly shady conditions. These savannas wereHerbaceous plant: Any plant that is not woody. often called “oak openings” by the pioneers. Definitions of density of trees vary widely, fromLandscaping: The design of outdoor space to a few scattered trees to an almost closed canopy.serve the needs of people by planting, alteringthe contours of the ground and/or building Perennial Plant: A plant which lives for morestructures like pedestrian ways, paths, picnic than two years.areas, etc. Prairie: A plant community dominated by aMesic: Soil condition that is medium-wet. diversity of perennial herbaceous plants grow- ing between a majority of grasses, and formingNative Landscaping: Landscaping only by using a dry flammable turf in autumn. Prairie commu-native plants. nities are categorized by soil conditions into dryNative Species: A plant or animal that originally (sandy or shallow hilltop soils), mesic (mediumoccurred in an area. Also referred to as wetness) and wet prairies (poorly drained soils).Indigenous Species. Often characterized by very deep rooted plants,Natural Landscaping: Landscaping in a way that prairie vegetation also consists of shallow-root-tries to capture the character and spirit of nature ed species, some with widely spreading rootin a designed landscape by arranging plants in a context similar to their arrangement Prescribed Burn: Controlled application of fire toin nature. May be planted exclusively with naturally occurring vegetative fuels under speci-native plants or incorporate some small percent fied environmental conditions and followingof exotics. appropriate precautionary measures, whichNoxious Weed: Any plant which is determined causes the fire to be confined to a predeter-by the Director, the Dean of the College of mined area and accomplish the planned landAgriculture of the University of Illinois and the management objectives.Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station Sedge: A plant that resembles a grass, but is partat the University of Illinois, to be injurious to of a distinct plant family that typically grows inpublic health, crops, livestock, land or other damp, wet, or marshy habitats.65
  • 66. Natural Landscaping SourcebookSetback: Area between intensive development(e.g., structures) and a protected area (e.g.,waterbody or wetland).Stormwater Detention Basin: A waterbodydesigned to detain stormwater runoff andreduce flooding.Submergent: Aquatic plants that live and growentirely below the water surface.Weed: Any undesirable or troublesome plant,especially one that grows profusely where it isnot wanted. 66
  • 67. Natural Landscaping SourcebookAPPENDIX 2: SELECTING ASSIS- __ Site problems to be addressed/solved (e.g., drainage problems, poor or compacted soil,TANCE FOR YOUR NATURAL salt-tolerant species required in some loca- tions)LANDSCAPING PROJECT __ Soil type(s)Checklist for landowner __ Sun/shade patterns over the growing season __ Natural landscape history of your siteFor your project, have you considered?: __ Pertinent local laws and regulations__ The type of project (e.g., noise or privacy buffer, butterfly garden, large restoration of __ Rights-of-way and property lines (e.g., plat plant communities) of survey)__ Other goals (e.g., reduction of chemical and __ Location of utility lines (in Northeastern water use) Illinois, call JULIE) 1-800-892-0123__ Appearance desired (e.g., low “designed” Background Questions for Consultant or look, wild prairie, ground cover) Supplier__ “Fit” with other neighborhood landscapes (discussions with neighbors?) __ Scope of services? (Designing, installing, maintaining)__ Project size and scope __ Plant materials provided by other landscape__ Project time-line (e.g., phasing in slowly contractors or “home-grown” instead of planting your entire site at one time) __ Training, experience, knowledge__ Cost parameters (installation and future __ Projects managed; Role in those projects maintenance) __ Landscape specialty__ Maintenance level desired (e.g., minimum, __ Where can completed and in-process proj- or backyard hobby garden) ects be seen__ Existing amenities to be retained (e.g., speci- __ References men trees) __ Major influences on professional direction__ Existing and proposed habitat attractive to wildlife (e.g., current nesting bird census __ Any work performed as a volunteer design and impact of the project on them) professional__ Type of plant materials desired (e.g., com- __ Insurance coverage pletely native?) __ Guarantees__ Advantages/disadvantages of the site or parts of the site for natural gardening67
  • 68. Natural Landscaping SourcebookDetails for your project__ Cost estimate__ Timeline__ Maintenance required__ Justification for plant selections and loca- tions__ Drawings/site plan__ Source of landscape materials__ Terms and conditions of payment__ Contract including all of the above 68
  • 69. Natural Landscaping SourcebookAPPENDIX 3: PLANT LISTS for moisture. Where species need particular states of dryness, that information is noted onThe plant lists include some of the species that this list. It is also important to understand thatare commonly available in nurseries and are rel- many plants have a “wide ecological ampli-atively easy to grow, yet it lists only a very small tude,” that is, they are not extremely pickypercentage of the plants in those categories. It is about where they grow, while others have moredirected towards the novice and the home gar- exacting requirements. In any garden, the plantsdener who is doing a modest first planting. will sort themselves out according to their needsGardeners with experience with natural land- and the conditions with which they are present-scaping and maturing landscapes will go way ed. Plant catalogs are often listed according tobeyond this list. Large projects, which can conditions of sun and shade, or in alphabeticalaccommodate a wide variety of species, will order by Latin, or scientific name. This list isundoubtedly be led by a consultant and will alphabetical by Latin name within categories.also go well beyond the confines of this list. Herbaceous Plants for Full Sun:Relatively few plants grow exclusively in onecommunity type. The species listed below as Forbs:characterizing one type of woodland communi- Lead Plant (Amorpha canescens)ty are often also found in different communitytypes. Let it be said that selecting representative Pasque Flower (Anemone patens)plants from among the over 15,000 plants foundin a region with one of the richest and most var- Heath Aster (Aster ericoides)ied matrix of land forms and floristic communi- Silky Aster (Aster sericeus)ties is a daunting task. The lists must be takenas only the barest token selection. Cream Wild Indigo (Baptisia leucophaea)The herbaceous plant lists are divided into Sand Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)plants which thrive in full sun, partial sun andshade. A very general rule of thumb is that Prairie Coreopsis (Coreopsis palmata)prairie species need full sun; savanna specieswill grow in partial shade and many will grow Pale Purple (Echinacea pallida)as well (or better) in full sun; and shade species Coneflowerwill grow in woodlands. It is very important to Rattlesnake (Eryngium yuccifolium)check catalogs and nursery information before Masteryou buy, because plants also vary in their need69
  • 70. Natural Landscaping SourcebookPrairie Smoke (Geum triflorum) Purple Love Grass (Eragrostis spectabilis)Western (Naked) (Helianthus occidentalis) June Grass (Kohleria cristata)Sunflower Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum)False Boneset (Kuhnia eupatorioides) Porcupine Grass (Stipa spartea)Round Headed (Lespedeza capitata)Bush Clover Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans)Rough Blazing Star (Liatris aspera) Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolopis)Cylindrical (Liatris cylindracea) Prairie Cord Grass (Spartina pectinata)Blazing Star (wet prairie)Pale Spiked Lobelia (Lobelia spicata) Herbaceous Plants for Full Sun-Part ShadeWild Quinine (Parthenium Forbs: integrifolium) Nodding Wild Onion (Allium cernuum)Prairie Cinquefoil (Potentilla arguta) Prairie Thimbleweed (Anemone cylindrica)Deam’s Rosin Weed (Silphium integrifolium) Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)Gray Goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis) Smooth Blue Aster (Aster azureaus)Riddell’s Goldenrod (Solidago reddellii) Sky blue aster (Aster laevis)Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea) New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)Grasses: White Wild Indigo (Baptisia leucantha)Big BluestemGrass (Andropogon gerardii) Showy Tick Trefoil (Desmodium canadense)Little Bluestem Grass (Andropogon scoparius)(dry prairie) Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia)Sideoats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)(dry prairie) Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) 70
  • 71. Natural Landscaping SourcebookFoxglove Beard (Penstamon digitalis) Yellow Trout Lily (ErythroniumTongue americanum)Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana) Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum)Ohio Goldenrod (Solidago ohiensis) Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohioensis) May Apple (Podophyllum peltatum)Heart-Leaved (Zizia aptera)Meadow Parsnip Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum canaliculatum)Grasses: Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)Common wood reed (Cinna arundinacea) Trillium (Trillium spp.)Canada Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis)Virginia Wild Rye (Elymus virginicus) Grasses:Fowl Meadow (Glyceria striata)(Manna) Grass Ear-leaved Brome (Bromus latiglumis)Bottlebrush Grass (Hystrix patula) Woodland Brome (Bromus pubescens)Herbaceous Plants for Shaded Areas Silky Wild Rye (Elymus villosus)(closed savanna & woodland communities): Beak Grass (Diarrhena americana)Forbs: Sedges:Wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) Plantain-leaved (Carex plantaginea) Wood SedgeJack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema atrorubens) Broad-leaved (Carex platyphylla)Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) Wood SedgeDutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) Common Oak Sedge (Carex pensylvanica)71
  • 72. Natural Landscaping SourcebookCurly-styled (Carex rosea) Mesic WoodlandsWood Sedge (Savanna grasses are often part of this commu- nity)Trees and Shrubs for Woodland Communities Trees:Oak Savanna: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)Trees Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata)Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata) Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanicaWhite Oak (Quercus alba) subintegerrima)Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) White Oak (Quercus alba)Black Oak (Quercus velutina) Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)Shrubs: Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) Red Oak (Quercus rubra)American Hazelnut (Corylus americana) Basswood (Tilia americana) (American Linden)Floodplain Forest: American Elm (Ulmus americana)Trees: (found less frequently today due to Dutch ElmSilver Maple (Acer saccharinum) Disease)Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) Shrubs:Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Grey Dogwood (Cornus racemosa) subintegerrima) Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)Shrubs: Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) 72
  • 73. Natural Landscaping SourcebookPlants for Generally Wet Conditions Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)Marsh: Fen Thistle (Cirsium muticum)Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) Fowl Meadow (Glyceria striata) GrassBlue Joint Grass (Calamagrostis canadensis) Narrow-Leaved (Lysimachia quadriflora) LoosestrifeCommon Lake Sedge (Carex lacustris) Lake and Pond CommunitiesSedges (Carex sp.) Great Spike Rush (Eleocharis palustris)Spotted Joe Pye Weed(Eupatorium maculatum) Common Rush (Juncus effusus)Common Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) Rice Cut Grass (Leersia oryzoides)Rice Cut Grass (Leersia oryzoides) Pickerel Weed (Pontederia cordata)Common Water (Lycopus americanus)Horehound Swamp Dock (Rumex verticillatus)Common Cattail (Typha latifolia) Common Arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia)Dark Green Rush (Scirpus atrovirens)Great Bulrush (Scirpus validus)Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata)Calcareous wet soil communities (fens)Great Angelica (Angelica atropurpurea)New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)Porcupine Sedge (Carex hystericina)73
  • 74. Natural Landscaping SourcebookAPPENDIX 4: SOURCES OF INFOR - Chicago WildernessMATION AND ASSISTANCE 8 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 900 Chicago, IL 60603 (312) 580 - 2137American Society of Landscape Architects http://www.chicagowilderness.orgIllinois ChapterP. O. Box 4566 Chicagoland Environmental NetworkOak Brook, IL 60522 Brookfield Zoo(630) 833-4516 3300 Golf Rd. Brookfield, IL 60513 (708) 485-0263, ext. 396To request an Illinois Landscape http://www.cen.nidus.netArchitecture Firms directory Clean Air CountsAudubon Society of New York State, Inc. 53 West Jackson Boulevard, Suite 23046 Rarick Road Chicago, IL 60604Selkirk, NY 12158 (312) 554 -0900(518) 767-9051 Sanctuary Programs for GolfCourses and Schools) Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Master GardenersChicago Botanic Garden1000 Lake Cook Road Chicago North Unit:P.O. Box 400 (773) 292 - 4444Glencoe, IL 60022-0400(847) 835-5440 Cook County-North Suburban: (847) 298 -3502City of Chicago Department Cook County-South Suburban:of Environment (708) 532 -333730 N. La Salle St. Suite 2500Chicago, IL 60602 DuPage Unit: (630) 653 - 4114(312) 744-7606 Kane County: (630) 584 -6166 Lake County: ( 847) 223 - 8627 McHenry County: ( 815) 338 - 4747 Will County: ( 815) 727- 9296 74
  • 75. Natural Landscaping SourcebookIllinois Department of The Nature ConservancyNatural Resources IL Field OfficeOne Natural Resources Way 8 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 900Springfield, IL 62702 Chicago, IL 60603(217) 785-5500 (312) 346-8166 http://www.nature.orgIllinois Department of Northeastern Illinois Planning CommissionNatural Resources (NIPC)Division of Natural Heritage, Region II 222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 18002050 W. Stearns Road Chicago, IL 60606Bartlett, IL 60103 (312 ) 454-0400(847) 608-3100 Environment and Natural Resources DepartmentIllinois Native Plant Society http://www.nipc.orgForest Glen Preserve20301 East 900 North Road US Army Corps of EngineersWestville, IL 61883 Permit Evaluation Section Chief(217) 662-2142 US Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory BranchMadison Arboretum 111 N. Canal St.University of Wisconsin Chicago, IL 606061207 Seminole Highway (312) 353-6400, x 4028 (for information aboutMadison, WI 53711 wetlands regulations)(608) 263 -7888 USDA: Natural Resources ConservationThe Morton Arboretum Library Service4100 IL Route 53 (formerly the Soil Conservation Service):Lisle, IL 60532 719 -7932 Chicago: NRCSNational Wildflower Research Center Chicago Metro Urban & Community Assistance4801LaCrosse Avenue OfficeAustin, TX 78739 313 W. Naperville Road, Suite J(512) 292-4200 Plainfield, IL 60544 815 - 577-359775
  • 76. Natural Landscaping SourcebookDuPage and Kane Counties: United States Environmental Protection AgencyNRCS and Kane-DuPage Soil & Water 77 West Jackson BoulevardConservation District St. Charles Field Office Chicago, Illinois 60604545 Randall Rd. (800) 621-8431St. Charles, IL 60174 584-9534 (NRCS)(630) 584-7961(SWCD) Wild Ones - Natural Landscapers, Ltd. PO Box 1274Lake County: Appleton, WI 54912-1274NRCS and Lake County Soil & Water (877) 394-9453 (toll free)Conservation District (920)730-3986 (local)100 N. Atkinson Rd, Suite 102-A http://www.for-wild.orgGrayslake, IL 60030-7805(847) 223-1056 Sources of Native Seeds, Plants and Garden CatalogsMcHenry County:NRCS and McHenry County Soil & Water Company names mentioned on the followingConservation District pages are presented strictly for informationalWoodstock Field Office1143 N. Seminary, P.O. Box 168 purposes; there is no implied endorsement orWoodstock, IL 60098 recommendation. Other companies provide(815) 338-0049 (NRCS) materials for natural landscaping. An exhaustive(815) 338-0099 (SWCD) listing is not possible for this type of publica- tion.North Cook County:NRCS and North Cook Soil & Water IllinoisConservation District Berthold NurseryAddress: P.O. Box 407, Streamwood, IL 60107 434 E. DevonLocation: 899 Jay Street, Elgin, IL 60120 Elk Grove Village, IL 60007(847) 468-0071 (NRCS) (847) 439-2600(847) 991-4330 (SWCD) Blazing StarSouth Cook and Will Counties: 2107 Edgewood Dr.NRCS and Will-S. Cook Soil & Water Woodstock, IL 60098Conservation DistrictJoliet Field Office (815) 338-47161201 Gouger Rd. New Lenox, IL 60451 462-3106 (NRCS)(815) 462-3151 (SWCD) 76
  • 77. Natural Landscaping SourcebookBluestem Prairie Nursery Spring Bluff NurseryRoute 2, Box 92 41 W. 130 Norris RoadHillsboro, IL 62049 Sugar Grove, IL 60554(217) 532-6344 (retail only) (708) 466-4278 (retail only)Enders Greenhouse104 Enders Drive The Natural GardenCherry Valley, IL 61016 38 W. 443 Hwy 64(815) 332-5255 St. Charles, IL 60175 (630) 584-0150Genesis Nursery23200 Hurd Road The Prairie GardenTampico, IL 61283 705 South Kenilworth(815) 438-2220 Oak Park, IL 60304(plants for a variety of restoration activities, (708) 386-7495including wetlands) Windsong Prairie NurseryLaFayette Home Nursery, Inc. 5412 N Ridgeway RoadRt. 1, Box 1A Ringwood, IL 60072LaFayette, IL 61449 (815) 653-6936(309) 995-3311 (seeds only)Lee’s Gardens WisconsinPO Box 5 Applied Ecological and Taylor Creek25986 Sauder Road Restoration NurseriesTremont, IL 61568 P.O. Box 256(309) 925-5262 17921 Smith Road(Woodland native plants, retail only) Brodhead, WI 53520 (608) 897-8641Possibility Place Nursery http://www.appliedec.com7548 W. Monee RoadMonee, IL 60449 Johnson’s Nursery(708) 534-3988 W 180 N 6275 Marcy Road Menomonee Falls, WI 53051 (414) 252-498877
  • 78. Natural Landscaping SourcebookMilaeger’s Gardens Plant Sales held by Not-for-Profit4838 Douglass Ave. Organizations:Racine, WI 53402-2498(414) 639-2371 Illinois Wildflower Preservation and PropagationPrairie Future Seed Company Committee (McHenry County Defenders)PO Box 644 Held annually the first Sunday of MayMenomonee Falls, WI 53052-0644 (815) 338-0393(414) 491-0685 Chicago Botanic GardenPrairie Nursery A Bloomin SalePO Box 306 1000 Lake cook RoadWestfield, WI 53964 Glencoe, IL 60022-0440(608) 296-3679 (847) 835-5440Prairie Ridge Nursery http://www.chicago-botanic.org9738 Overland Road Held annually in May; check for datesMt. Horeb, WI 53572(608) 437-5245 Indiana Friends of the Indiana Dunes Native Plant SaleReeseville Ridge Nursery Indiana Dunes National LakeshorePO Box 171 1100 N. Mineral Spring Road309 S. Main Street Porter, IN 46304Reeseville, WI 53579 (219)926-7561, ext. 225(414) 927-3291 Gibson Woods Wild OnesGardens on the Prairie Native Plant Sale3242 W. 169th Street Gibson Woods Nature PreserveLowell, IN 46356 6201 Parrish Avenue(219) 690-0911 Hammond, IN 4632-1266 (219) 844-3188JF New Native Plant Nursery http://www.lakecountyparks.com128 Sunset Dr. Held annually in April; check for datesWalkerton, IN 46574(574) 586-2412 78
  • 79. Natural Landscaping SourcebookAPPENDIX 5 Reduced Costs of Stormwater ManagementFACT SHEET: WHAT IS NATURAL Natural landscaping reduces the amount ofLANDSCAPING AND WHY IS IT stormwater runoff, thereby reducing infrastruc-BENEFICIAL? ture costs. Stormwater conveyance and deten- tion facilities that replicate natural systems areWhat is Natural Landscaping? less expensive to build and maintain.Natural landscaping is the design, construction, Creation of Distinctive and Attractive Propertiesand maintenance of landscapes which provide The visual interest and diversity of natural land-the beneficial natural functions that are lost scapes are assets to property owners and com-through cultivation of conventional lawns. munities. Natural landscapes are a part of highNatural landscaping stresses the preservation quality design and environmental stewardship.and reintroduction of plants native to our area.The native plants used in natural landscaping Support of the “Green Industry”are hardy and attractive. They can be used tostabilize soil, reduce flooding, absorb pollutants, Natural landscaping is an increasingly impor-and sustain wildlife. tant segment of the green industry. There are opportunities for business development, espe-Conventional turf, composed of cool season cially in relation to landscape design and thegrasses (e.g. Kentucky blue grass), is costly to propagation and installation of plant materials.maintain; dependent upon environmentallydamaging chemicals; non-supportive of the Environmental Benefitsdiversity of organisms that are characteristic of ahealthy environment; and lacking in visual Reduced Soil Erosioninterest. Native plants appropriately used on slopedWhy is Natural Landscaping Beneficial? sites, stream banks, drainage ways, and shore- lines can effectively hold the soil and reduceEconomic Benefits erosion.Reduced Costs of Landscape Installation and Improved Water QualityMaintenance Native vegetation in naturalized drainage waysNatural landscapes do not require irrigation; enhances the infiltration of contaminatedthey need no or infrequent mowing; lawn main- stormwater. The root systems improve soil per-tenance services are not needed. meability and help the uptake of pollutants.79
  • 80. Natural Landscaping SourcebookVegetated buffers along streambanks and shore- Educational and Recreational Benefitslines intercept surface runoff and subsurfacewater pollutants. The avoidance of fertilizers Conservation Educationand other chemicals is also a big factor in pro- Natural landscaping puts people in touch withtecting water quality. nature. Municipalities, school districts, park dis-Reduced Air and Noise Pollution tricts, forest preserve and conservation districts, as well as private educational organizations, canLawn mowing equipment is a heavy air polluter use natural landscaping as an educational tool.and is noisy. Natural landscaping requires littleor no mowing. Recreation Natural landscapes are ideal locations for birdClimatological Benefits watching, photography, walking and hiking,Native plants store large amounts of carbon and simply enjoying the quiet and beauty ofwhich would otherwise exist in the atmosphere carbon dioxide and contribute to global Scientific Studywarming. Natural landscaping can provideshade and windbreaks to reduce costs of air Natural landscapes provide professional scien-conditioning and heating. tists and science students with outdoor laborato- ries for studying nature.Habitat Restoration and ProtectionNatural landscaping protects and restores habi- Who Should Use Natural Landscaping?tats for wildlife. The introduction of nativeplants can enhance the populations of birds, Natural landscaping should be consideredinsects, and animals which are essential compo- where the ground surface is not required to bearnents of healthy ecosystems. intense usage. Wherever there is conventional lawn there is potential for small or large scaleBeautification conversion to natural landscaping. New devel- opment projects should consider natural land-Natural landscaping can provide a diversity of scaping at the site design stage. Natural land-color and texture throughout the year which sig- scaping is especially appropriate for:nificantly contributes to the beauty of sites andcommunities. *home sites and planned developments *governmental properties: civic building sites, schools, and libraries 80
  • 81. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook *corporate and office campuses projects. *institutional sites Where can I go for Additional Information? *golf courses United States Environmental Protection Agency *parks 77 West Jackson Boulevard *roadway right of way and utility corridors Chicago, Illinois 60604 *stormwater conveyance and detention areas (800) 621-8431 Can I Do in my Community to Promote the Northeastern Illinois Planning CommissionUse of Natural Landscaping? 222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 1800As a property owner you can install natural Chicago, Illinois 60606 (312) 454-0400landscaping on your own land and encourage http://www.nipc.orgother property owners to do likewise.As a public official you can install natural land-scaping on new and existing public sites. Youcan adopt or amend the local weed ordinancesand development regulations so as to encouragenatural landscaping. You can provide informa-tion about natural landscaping to residents,developers, and civic organizations. You canidentify natural areas within the communitythat need to be preserved or restored. You cansponsor demonstration projects and award cre-ative efforts.As a volunteer you can assist in the installationand monitoring of natural landscaping projects.You can work with local officials and conserva-tion organizations to promote natural landscap-ing.As a developer you can include natural land-scaping as a component of new development81
  • 82. Natural Landscaping SourcebookAPPENDIX 6: SAMPLE LOCAL natural landscaping.ORDINANCES Harvard, Illinois takes a similar approach within its weed ordinance by providing for exceptionsChapter 4 discusses the role of local government and a permit process for natural encouraging the use of natural landscaping Exceptions are for native planting, wildlifeand describes a range of regulatory approaches plantings, erosion control, soil fertility building,that help eliminate local weed ordinances as a government programs, educational programs,deterrent to natural landscaping. cultivation, biological control, parks and open space, and wooded areas.The text of natural landscaping ordinances istoo voluminous to include in this document. A model ordinance included in Bret Rappaport’sInstead, several municipal ordinance sources are John Marshall Law Review article (Volume 26,identified here and full text can be found on the Summer 1993, Number 4) takes the approach ofUSEPA web page: providing for a setback: 1. Prohibition: untended, rank and undamagedThe Madison, Wisconsin natural lawn ordinance growth of vegetation on any property within theexemplifies the permit approach: city which is visible from any public way, street, sidewalk or alley is declared to be a public nui- “Any owner or operator of land in sance and may be abated in accordance with the the City of Madison may apply for procedures set forth in articles 2-3 of the ordi- approval of a land management plan nance. This prohibition shall not apply to vege- for a natural lawn, one where the tation native to [state or region], provided there grasses exceed eight (8) inches in is a setback of not less than four (4) feet from the height, with the inspection unit of the front line of vegetation not in excess of eighteen department of planning and develop (18) includes exclusive of trees and shrubs. ment.” 2. Procedure: the city shall issue a written cita-The City of Madison has published “An tion to a landowner whose property is in viola-Introduction to Naturalized Landscapes: A tion of article 1 of this ordinance. This citationGuide to Madison Natural Lawn Ordinance,” shall inform said landowner of the basis of thewhich provides excellent supportive informa- citation and shall include the following informa-tion, including sketches illustrating various tion: 1) the date of any inspection and the nameapproaches to using natural landscaping in resi- of the inspector; and 2) the names and addressesdential lots. There are tips on how to sustain of any neighbor(s) of the landowner or othercompatibility with neighbors who do not use 82
  • 83. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookperson(s) who contacted the city or was contact- garden does not encroach upon property owner-ed by the city regarding the alleged violation of ship lines or right-of-way, and the owner/occu-article 1 of this ordinance. The citation shall be pier complies with notice provisions:adjudicated in accordance with art. ___, of themunicipal code relating to adjudication of [traf- “Section 1. Natural heritage and ornamentalfic offenses]. gardens. Not withstanding any provision of any other ordinance, an owner or occupier, who has3. Abatement and penalty: upon a finding of written authorization of the owner, of residen-guilty in accordance with article 2 of this ordi- tial property may establish and maintain a natu-nance, the landowner shall have twenty-eight ral heritage or ornamental garden, provided(28) calendar days in which to abate the nui- that:sance. If he/she does not so act, the city maytake whatever reasonable action is necessary to a) Such a garden, or any portion thereof, doesabate the nuisance. The costs of such abatement not encroach any property ownership line orshall be assessed against the landowner and public right-of-way: and, b). the owner or occu-shall constitute a fine, the collection of which pier complies with the notice provision ofmay be made pursuant to the provisions of art. Section 2.___[relating to imposing a lien on the property]. Section 2. Notice if any natural heritage or orna-Long Grove, Illinois, a low-density conservation mental garden, or the combination thereof,conscious community takes a comprehensive occupies an area in excess of fifty percent of theapproach involving the creation of upland and surface area of the property, not otherwise occu-lowland conservancy districts, as well as scenic pied by buildings, structures, or improvements,corridor districts. The municipality works the owner or occupier shall file a notice withdirectly with the Illinois EPA to regulate burn- ________. Such notice shall contain: a). Theing. The village has a conservancy/scenic corri- name and address of the owner or occupier fil-dor committee and an application and review ing the notice; b). A drawing or sketch thatprocess for residents wanting to make landscap- depicts the area of the garden ... c). In the case ofing improvements within the conservancy dis- a natural heritage garden, the drawing shalltricts. Residents are also provided with plant identify the type of natural community which islists and lists of seed and plant sources. intended to be simulated.”The Milwaukee Audubon Society has promul- An ordinance proposed for Appleton, Wisconsingated a model natural landscaping ordinance reads, in part, as follows:which establishes the right to landscape natural- “The ordinance recognizes the fundamentally provided the natural heritage or ornamental right of every landowner to develop and main-83
  • 84. Natural Landscaping Sourcebooktain his landscape in the manner of his choos- were obtained not in violation of local, state oring, insofar as it is not in a state of neglect, nor federal laws. No commissioner or other agent ofpresents a hazard to the public health or safety, the [town, city, village, county, etc.] may under-or to the agricultural environment. take to damage, remove, burn, or cut vegetation on a preservation or restoration project or in any(a) every landowner possessing lawns of the conven- other landscape incorporating native plants,tional bluegrass type shall be responsible for main- except those specifically prohibited herein, andtaining them at a height not to exceed eight inches. except on order of a court of record following a hearing at which it is established (1) that nox-(b) every landowner shall be responsible for the ious weeds specifically named in the weed ordi-destruction of all weeds on every parcel of land nance exist in such preservation or restorationwhich he shall own or control. projects and that a condition creating a clear andThe city acknowledges the desirability of per- present hazard to public health or safety hasmitting and encouraging the preservation and arisen or (2) that the project is a threat to therestoration of natural plant communities within agricultural economy. An action for a courtits boundaries. It acknowledges its citizens’ order under this subsection shall be maintainedrights to enjoy and benefit from the variety, as an action to enjoin a public nuisance. A courtbeauty, and other values of natural landscaping, order under this subsection shall provide thatincluding freedom from toxic chemicals, and it the destruction, cutting or removal of vegetationseeks to guarantee citizens the freedom to pur- shall be selective unless general cutting, destruc-sue restoration projects as viable and desirable tion, or removal is necessary to eliminate thealternatives to other conventional modes of offending condition.”landscaping. In such cases, the city encourages, A 1996 proposal to amend the city and villagebut does not require, landowners to discuss powers in the state of Nebraska contained lan-their intentions with the weed commissioner guage pertaining to the weed control powers ofbefore undertaking such endeavors.” local government, with the specific provisionA proposed natural landscape ordinance from that:the national wildflower research center in “For purposes of this section, herbaceous vege-Austin, Texas provides a broad legislative pur- tation that endangers the public health, safety,pose to support natural landscaping and then and welfare does not include native grasses andestablishes the right to landscape naturally: plants indigenous to Nebraska that are (a) plant-“It shall be lawful to grow native plants, includ- ed and maintained as part of a garden or foring ferns, grasses, forbs, shrubs, and trees, in a landscaping purposes or (b) planted and main-managed landscape design when said plants tained for erosion control, weed control, or des- 84
  • 85. Natural Landscaping Sourcebookignated wildlife areas.” es (18”) on all other lots, tracts or parcels of land. (Ord. 95-2650, 5-15-1995)Lisle, Illinois rewrote its weed ordinance, givingexception to native prairie grasses defining them (B) Controlled Burns:as such: 1. Controlled open burning of landscape areas8-4-1: DEFINITIONS: and landscape waste is permitted, in nonresi- dential areas of the Village but only if:NATIVE ILLINOIS PRAIRIE GRASSES: Plantsaccepted as native in the tallgrass prairies of the (a) A waiver is granted by the Vice PresidentMidwestern United States and described as such and Board of Trustees pursuant to ordinance;in the publication Plants of the Chicago Region, andby Floyd Swink and Gerould Wilhelm (1994), orin subsequent editions of said publication. (b) The petitioner has complied with all require- ments and conditions as stated in the “Village ofThe ordinance continues with requirements as Lisle Policies and Procedures Requestingfollows: Granting of a Waiver from the Village Code Open Burning Prohibitions February 7, 1995”, as8-4-5: NATIVE ILLINOIS PRAIRIE GRASSES: amended from time to time.(A) Management; Nuisance: The Village hereby 2. Controlled burns shall not be conducted atdeclares that it shall be a nuisance if native anytime on land zoned in any residential dis-Illinois prairie grasses are allowed to grow trict. (Ord. 98-2960, 2-16-1998)uncontrolled, without limitation, and withoutproper management/maintenance and it shall be (C) Requirements; Exceptions: The provisions ofunlawful for any person owning or controlling subsection (A) of this Section shall not applyland to permit native Illinois prairie grasses to provided the person owning or controlling thegrow or to remain on any lot, tract, or parcel land adheres to the following conditions contin-under that person’s ownership or control if the uously and simultaneously:plants are grown: 1. Management/Maintenance Plan: All native1. In excess of a height exceeding twelve inches Illinois prairie grasses shall be mowed or cut(12”) on lots, tracts or parcels of land with a per- down to the height set forth for the weeds andmanent structure erected or in the process of turf grasses in Sections 8-4-3 and 8-4-4 of thisbeing erected thereon, or contiguous thereto; or Chapter no less than once every twelve (12) months. 2. Setback Requirements: The afore-2. In excess of a height exceeding eighteen inch- mentioned height restriction shall not apply if85
  • 86. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook the person owning the property or controlling wildlife promotion, to attract and aid wildlife,the property provides the required basic lot line and/or to offset and control any soil loss prob-setbacks, structural setbacks, and graduated set- lems either occurring or predicted. It shall bebacks as follows: the duty of any person owning, leasing, occupy- ing, or controlling any plot of ground in the(a) Minimum Basic Setbacks: jurisdiction to prevent the growth of noxious weeds such as cockleburs, thistles, ragweed,(1) A minimum basic lot line setback of five feet burdock, and wild lettuce thereon.(5) from the perimeter of a lot, tract or parcel ofland must be provided for native Illinois prairie In Orland Park, Illinois, special criteria are listedgrasses grown up to two feet (2) in height. to promote the use of natural landscaping and include bonuses in the form of reduction in(2) A minimum basic structural setback of five meeting other requirements for the builder.feet (5) from the foundation of all buildings and Some of the criteria include:from the edge of all decks and other structuresmust be provided for native Illinois prairie *Landscaping should be designed to be naturalgrasses grown up to two feet (2) in height. looking while having proportion, balance, unity, variety of species, and variety of color throughout(b) Graduated Setbacks: A minimum one foot the seasons.(1) of lot line setback and one foot (1) of struc-tural setback, in excess of the basic lot line and *Landscaping materials that are native to the areastructural setbacks required above, must be pro- should be selected wherever feasible.vided for each additional foot of height of nativeIllinois prairie grasses grown in excess of grass- * Landscaping should provide massings of naturales grown to two feet (2) in height. (Ord. 95- colors and shapes to offset the mass of a building2650, 5-15-1995) and to provide a visual relief to the straight lines of building architecture, parking lots and otherHighland Park included a similar amendment to man-made features.their weed ordinance, and it reads as follows: * Landscaping should provide a natural habitat forAll areas shall be kept free from weeds or plant birds and other animal life, and should preservegrowth in excess of 10 inches (254 mm). Weeds existing natural vegetation and other natural feashall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and tures of a site so as to enhance overall site designvegetation other than trees or shrubs provided, and protect animal population and other ecologi-however, this term shall not include cultivated cal and gardens, including but not limitedto native plantings used for aesthetic and/or86
  • 87. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook*Landscaping should be innovative and creative, and ment. Such landscaping shall be in confor- should ensure the proper long term maintenance and mance with best management practices (BMPs) replacement of landscaping as needed. as determined by the Village of Schaumburg asIn Schaumburg, Illinois, an extensive biodiversi- part of the NPDES program. Retention andty ordinance was created, based on the develop- detention basins should be designed to resem-ment of their biodiversity recovery plan. Their ble natural land forms, whenever possible.general requirements for landscaping include: Trees, shrubs, turf and prairie plantings should be located below the normal water line. ReferLandscaping and Screening to the Village of Schaumburg Subdivision Control Ordinance, Section 151.09, for grading,(A) Purpose. The landscaping and screening seeding and sodding requirements on differentrequirements specified herein are intended to slopes.foster aesthetically pleasing, environmentallybeneficial, and sustainable development thatwill protect and preserve the appearance, char-acter, general health, safety and welfare of thecommunity. Specifically, these regulations areintended to increase the compatibility of adja-cent uses requiring a buffer or screen betweenuses, and in doing so, minimize the harmfulimpact of noise, dust and other debris, motorvehicle headlight glare or other artificial lightintrusions and other objectionable activities orimpacts conducted or created by an adjoining ornearby use.Requirements for detention and retention basinsare as follows:(F) Detention and retention facilities.Landscaping shall be required around theperimeter of all retention and detention basins.Such landscaping shall consist of trees, shrubs,and emergent plantings in a quantity, species,and arrangement that will create an aestheticallypleasing and ecologically functional environ-87
  • 88. Natural Landscaping SourcebookAppendix 7: Illinois EPA BurningPermit Information88
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  • 92. Natural Landscaping SourcebookAppendix 8: Examples of Natural The following tables represent 2003 costs. Costs vary among different firms, but overall savingsLandscaping Installation and are similar.Maintenance Costs Turf Grass Lawn with an Irrigation System vs. Native Prairie; from Seed Estimated Annual Cost Per Acre; for a Five-Acre Planting Project Turf Grass Lawn Year One Year Two Year Three Year Four Year Five Annual Thereafter Installing Seed, Mulch and Fertilizer $ 2,770.00 Mowing $ 2,400.00 $ 2,500.00 $ 2,600.00 $ 2,750.00 $ 2,900.00 $ 3,000.00 Fertilizer Application $ 750.00 $ 765.00 $ 770.00 $ 780.00 $ 790.00 Irrigation System $ 4,000.00 $ 400.00 $ 500.00 $ 500.00 $ 600.00 $ 750.00 Municipal Water $ 1,500.00 $ 800.00 $ 800.00 $ 800.00 $ 800.00 $ 800.00 Aerating/De-thatching $ 850.00 $ 875.00 $ 1,115.00 Annual Expense $ 10,670.00 $ 5,300.00 $ 4,665.00 $ 5,695.00 $ 5,080.00 $ 6,455.00 Total Cost After Five Years $ 31,410.00 Native Prairie Year One Year Two Year Three Year Four Year Five Annual Thereafter Installing Seed and 2-1/2" Plugs $ 4,300.00 Mulching $ 675.00 Mowing $ 800.00 $ 400.00 Spot Herbicide Treatment $ 200.00 $ 500.00 $ 500.00 $ 330.00 $ 200.00 $ 150.00 Prescribed Burn $ 2,125.00 $ 2,150.00 $ 2,200.00 $ 550.00 Annual Expense $ 5,975.00 $ 3,025.00 $ 2,650.00 $ 330.00 $ 2,400.00 $ 700.00 Total Cost After Five Years $ 14,380.00 Notes: 1 Project size is 5 acres, continguous; costs are per acre for a project of this size Total Annual Cost 2 Prairie installation includes seeding 20 species and planting 500 2-1/2" plugs Turf Prairie 3 Prairie burn cost is based on one prescribed burn every four years Year One $10,670 $5,975 4 Figures are not adjusted for inflation Year Two 5,300 3,025 5 To compare turf grass lawn without irrigation, simply subtract irrigation system from Year Three 4,665 2,650 turfgrass cost Year Four 5,695 330 6. Prairie seed and plug installation can be made less expensive by including fewer species Year Five 5,080 2,400 and fewer or no plugs Five Year Total 31,410 14,380Source: Applied Ecological Services, Inc. 92
  • 93. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook Cost Comparison of turf and native landscape treatments (per acre costs) Prairie Grasses Turf Grass and Forbs Installation and Seed Costs Cost Notes Cost Notes Seed & Installation $2,600 1 $2,600 4 Irrigation system $3,000 2 Ground preparation $1,300 3 $800 5 Irrigation related to installation $900 $7,800 $3,400 Annual Maintenance costs mowing & trimming $2,500 Core aeration $250 6 Weed control and fertiliza tion $1,600 7 Irrigation (moderate to heavy) $1,200 8 Mow management (years 1 - 2) $2,000 Herbicide & burn management (years 3 - 5) $1,900 Annual burning (years 5 - ~) $1,200 9 $5,550 $1,600 10 Notes 1 - Tractor installed seed 2 - Inground irrigation system 3 - Finish grade establishment 4 - All seed, no plugs 5 - herbiciding and/or ground breakup 6 - May not be necessary every year and/or on every site 7 - 4 applications per year 8 - includes maintenance & operation or irrigation system and water 9 - Assumes weeds under control & only burn management required 10 - 10 year average Above costs are typical averages for a small site Costs will vary depending on site conditions, size of site, level of ground preparation, seeding rate, and desired appearanceSource: Conservation Design Forum93
  • 94. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook 10-year Cost Comparison of Turn to Native Prairie Grasses and Forbs (Based on 25 -acre site) Turf Grass Prairie Grasses & Forbs Year Cost Cost Savings 1 $298,000 $135,000 $163,000 2 $75,000 $5,000 $70,000 3 $75,000 $25,000 $50,000 4 $35,000 $25,000 $10,000 5 $35,000 $25,000 $10,000 6 $35,000 $3,500 $31,500 7 $35,000 $3,500 $31,500 8 $35,000 $3,500 $31,500 9 $35,000 $3,500 $31,500 10 $35,000 $3,500 $31,500 Total $693,000 $232,500 $460,500 Notes: Cost of burning substantially reduced due to 25 -acre siteSource: Conservation Design Forum 94
  • 95. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook 10729 Pine Road, Leland, IL 60531 (815) 495-2300 Cost Comparison Turf Grass Lawn from Seed with a Sprinkler System vs. Natural Area from Seed. Year 1 2 3 4 5 10 Turf with a Sprinkler System Install $5,200.00 Mow $3,500.00 $3,500.00 $3,605.00 $3,713.15 $3,824.54 $4,433.69 Fertilizer $525.00 $525.00 $540.75 $566.97 $583.98 $676.99 Irrigation $5,600.00 $500.00 $515.00 $530.00 $545.90 $632.85 Overseeding / Aerating $900.00 $927.00 $1,075.00 Annual Expense $14,825.00 $5,425.00 $4,660.75 $5,727.57 $4,954.52 $6,818.53 Total Turf Expenses to Date $14,825.00 $20,250.00 $24,910.75 $30,638.32 $35,592.84 $64,710.64 Native - Prairie, Savanna or Wetland Install $3,500.00 Herbicide (Pre-planting) $330.00 $198.00 Weed Control $2,000.00 $2,250.00 $2,317.50 $500.00 Burn Management $500.00 $515.00 $530.45 $546.36 $633.38 Annual Expense $5,830.00 $2,948.00 $2,832.50 $1,030.45 $546.36 $633.38 Total Native Expenses to Date $5,830.00 $8,778.00 $11,610.50 $12,640.95 $13,187.31 $16,175.03 Savings $8,995.00 $11,472.00 $13,300.25 $17,997.32 $22,405.43 $48,535.61 Percentage Savings 61% 57% 53% 59% 63% 75% Assumptions Total Project Area <1 Acre Water Cost Not Calculated Inflation Factor - 3% Irrigation - System Installation & Maintenance Labor Rate - Non Prevailing Wage Professional Landscape Maintenance Company Hired to Maintain Lawn.95
  • 96. Natural Landscaping Sourcebook 10729 Pine Road, Leland, IL 60531 (815) 495-2300 Cost ComparisonGolf Course Mowing (Rough & Non-Play) vs. Wildflower plus Short Grasses Year 1 2 3 4 5 10 20MowingMow $2,000.00 $2,060.00 $2,121.80 $2,185.45 $2,251.02 $2,609.55 $3,507.01Fertilizer & Herbicide $250.00 $257.50 $265.23 $273.18 $281.38 $326.19 $438.38Annual Expense $2,250.00 $4,567.50 $2,387.03 $2,458.64 $2,532.39 $2,935.74 $3,945.39Total Turf Expenses to Date $2,250.00 $4,567.50 $6,954.53 $9,413.16 $11,945.56 $25,793.73 $60,458.34Wildflower + Short Grass PlantingInstall $3,500.00Herbicide to Kill Lawn $350.00Weed Control - by owner $200.00 $220.00 $226.60Burn Management $1,000.00 $500.00 $515.00 $530.45 $614.94 $826.42Annual Expense $4,050.00 $1,220.00 $726.60 $515.00 $530.45 $614.94 $826.42Total Native Expenses to Date $4,050.00 $5,270.00 $5,996.60 $6,511.60 $7,042.05 $9,942.77 $17,203.82Savings -$1,800.00 -$702.50 $957.92 $2,901.56 $4,903.51 $15,850.96 $43,254.52Percentage Savings -80% -15% 14% 31% 41% 61% 72%Assumptions Total Project Area >1 Acre Inflation Factor - 3% Owner Maintenance 96
  • 97. Natural Landscaping SourcebookAppendix 9: President’s Executive PART 6—LANDSCAPING MANAGEMENT PRACTICESOrder on Beneficial Landscaping Sec. 601. Implementation.Executive Order 13148 of April 21, 2000 a. Within 12 months from the date of this order,Greening the Government Through Leadership each agency shall incorporate the Guidance forin Environmental Management Presidential Memorandum on Environmentally and Economically Beneficial LandscapeBy the authority vested in me as President by Practices on Federal Landscaped Grounds (60the Constitution and the laws of the United Fed. Reg. 40837) developed by the FEE intoStates of America, including the Emergency landscaping programs, policies, and practices.Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of1986 (42 U.S.C. 11001-11050) (EPCRA), the b. Within 12 months of the date of this order, thePollution Prevention Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. FEE shall form a workgroup of appropriate13101-13109) (PPA), the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Federal agency representatives to review and7401-7671q) (CAA), and section 301 of title 3, update the guidance in subsection (a) of this sec-United States Code, it is hereby ordered as fol- tion, as appropriate.lows: c. Each agency providing funding for nonfederalPART 1—PREAMBLE projects involving landscaping projects shall fur- nish funding recipients with information onSection 101. Federal Environmental Leadership. environmentally and economically beneficialThe head of each Federal agency is responsible landscaping practices and work with the recipi-for ensuring that all necessary actions are taken ents to support and encourage application ofto integrate environmental accountability into such practices on Federally funded day-to-day decision-making and long-term planning processes, across all agency mis- Sec. 602. Technical Assistance and Outreach. Thesions, activities, and functions. Consequently, EPA, the General Services Administrationenvironmental management considerations (GSA), and the USDA shall provide technicalmust be a fundamental and integral component assistance in accordance with their respectiveof Federal Government policies, operations, authorities on environmentally and economical-planning, and management. The head of each ly beneficial landscaping practices to agenciesFederal agency is responsible for meeting the and their facilities.goals and requirements of this order.97
  • 98. Natural Landscaping SourcebookPART 10—DEFINITIONS ties.For purposes of this order: Sec. 1005. “Environmentally benign pressure sensitive adhesives” means adhesives forSec. 1001. General. Terms that are not defined in stamps, labels, and other paper products thatthis part but that are defined in Executive can be easily treated and removed during theOrders 13101 and 13123 have the meaning given paper recycling those Executive orders. For the purposes ofPart 5 of this order all definitions in EPCRA and Sec. 1006. “Ozone-depleting substance” meansPPA and implementing regulations at 40 CFR any substance designated as a Class I or Class IIParts 370 and 372 apply. substance by EPA in 40 CFR Part 82.Sec. 1002. “Administrator” means the Sec. 1007. “Pollution prevention” means “sourceAdministrator of the EPA. reduction,” as defined in the PPA, and other practices that reduce or eliminate the creation ofSec. 1003. “Environmental cost accounting” pollutants through: (a) increased efficiency inmeans the modification of cost attribution sys- the use of raw materials, energy, water, or othertems and financial analysis practices specifically resources; or (b) protection of natural resourcesto directly track environmental costs that are by conservation.traditionally hidden in overhead accounts to theresponsible products, processes, facilities or Sec. 1008. “Greening the Government Executiveactivities. orders” means this order and the series of orders on greening the government includingSec. 1004. “Facility” means any building, instal- Executive Order 13101 of September 14, 1998,lation, structure, land, and other property Executive Order 13123 of June 3, 1999, Executiveowned or operated by, or constructed or manu- Order 13134 of August 12, 1999, and otherfactured and leased to, the Federal Government, future orders as appropriate.where the Federal Government is formallyaccountable for compliance under environmen- Sec. 1009. “Environmental aspects” means thetal regulation (e.g., permits, reports/ records elements of an organization’s activities, prod-and/or planning requirements) with require- ucts, or services that can interact with the envi-ments pertaining to discharge, emission, release, ronment.spill, or management of any waste, contaminant,hazardous chemical, or pollutant. This termincludes a group of facilities at a single location THE WHITE HOUSE,managed as an integrated operation, as well asgovernment owned contractor operated facili- April 21, 2000. 98
  • 99. Natural Landscaping SourcebookAPPENDIX 10: Vegetation in Civil Engineering. Cambridge, Great Britain: University Press.SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Dreher, D.W. and T. H. Price, 1992: Best Management Practice Guidebook for UrbanNatural Landscaping Development. Chicago,IL: Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission.Diekelmann, John; Schuster, Robert, 1982: Gray, Donald H.; Leiser, Andrew T., 1989:Natural Landscaping - Designing with Native Biotechnical Slope Protection and ErosionPlant Communities. New York: McGraw-Hill Control. Malabar, Florida: Krieger PublishingBook Company. Company.Harker, Donald; Evans, Sherri; Evans, Mark; Rust Environment and Infrastructure,Harker, Kay; 1993: Landscape Restoration “Streambank Stabilization Program,” August,Handbook. Boca Raton: Lewis Publishers. 1995, for the DuPage County Department ofHenderson, Carrol L., 1987: Landscaping for Environmental Concerns.Wildlife. St. Paul: Minnesota Department ofNatural Resources. Vegetation and Plants (General)Bioengineering Booth, Courtenay and James H. Zimmerman, 1978: Wildflowers and Weeds. New York:Apfelbaum, S. I., J.D. Eppich, T.H. Price, and M. Prentice Hall.Sands, 1995: “The Prairie Crossing Project:Attaining Water Quality and Stormwater Lunn, Elizabeth T., 1982: Plants of the IllinoisManagement Goals in a Conservation Dunesland. Waukegan, IL: Illinois DuneslandDevelopment” in Proceedings from A National Preservation Society.Symposium: Using Ecological Restoration toMeet Clean Water Act Goals, Chicago, IL. Mohlenbrock, Robert H., 1970: Flowering PlantsNortheastern Illinois Planning - Lilies to Orchids. The Illustrated Flora ofCommission,1995. Illinois. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.Austin, Richard L., 1984: Designing the NaturalLandscape. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Mohlenbrock, Robert H., 1982: Flowering PlantsCompany. - Basswoods to Spurges. The Illustrated Flora of Illinois. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UniversityCoppin, N. J., Richards, I.G., eds., 1990: Use of Press.99
  • 100. Natural Landscaping SourcebookMohlenbrock, Robert, H., 1990: Flowering Plants Kirt, Russel R., 1995: Prairie Plants of the- Nightshades to Mistletoe. The Illustrated Flora Midwest: Identification and Ecology.of Illinois. Carbondale: Southern Illinois Champaign, IL: Sties Publishing L. L. C.University Press. Nicols, Stan; Entine, Lynn, 1978: Prairie Primer.Newcomb, Lawrence., 1977: Newcomb’s University of Wisconsin-Extension.Wildflower Guide. Boston: Little Brown andCompany. Rock, Harold W., 1977: Prairie Propagation Handbook. 5th Edition. Wehr Nature Center:Swink, Floyd; Wilhelm, Gerould, 1994: Plants of Whitnall Park.the Chicago Region. 4th ed. Indianapolis:Indiana Academy of Science. Runkel, Sylvan T.; Roosa , Dean M., 1989: Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie: The UpperWerner, William E., Jr., 1988: Life and Lore of Midwest. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State UniversityIllinois Wildflowers. Springfield, IL: Illinois Press.State Museum. Smith, J. Robert; Smith, Beatrice S., 1980: TheYoung, Dick, 1994: Kane County Wild Plants Prairie Garden - 70 Native Plants You Can Growand Natural Areas, Geneva, Illinois: Kane in Town or Garden. Madison, WI: TheCounty Forest Preserve District. 2nd ed. University of Wisconsin Press. Voigt, John, W.; Mohlenbrock, Robert H.: PrairieHabitat Restoration (General) Plants of Illinois. Springfield, IL: Illinois Department of Conservation, Division ofAnonymous, 1981: Illinois plants for habitat Forestry.restoration. Springfield: Illinois Department ofConservation. WoodlandsPrairie Miller, Robert W., 1988: Urban Forestry - Planning and Managing Urban Greenspaces.Costello, David F., 1969: The Prairie World - Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.Plants and animals of the grassland sea. NewYork: Thomas Y. Crowell Company. Mohlenbrock, Richard H.: Spring Woodland Wildflowers of Illinois. Springfield, IL: IllinoisDuncan Patricia D., 1978: Tallgrass Prairie: The Department of conservation.Inland Sea. Kansas City: The Lowell Press.
  • 101. Natural Landscaping SourcebookWetlands Habitat Garden. New York: Clarkson Potter/ Publishers.Caduto, Michael J., 1990: Pond and Brook - AGuide to Nature in Freshwater Environments. Smyser, Carol A., 1982: Nature’s Design / AHanover, NH: University Press of New England. Practical Guide to Natural Landscaping. Emmaus: Rodale Press.Mohlenbrock, Robert, ed., 1988: A Field Guideto the Wetlands of Illinois. Springfield, IL: Snyder, Leon C., 1991: Native Plants forIllinois Department of Conservation. Northern Gardens. Chanhassen, MN: Andersen Horticultural Library.Salvesen, David, 1990: Wetlands: Mitigation andRegulating Development Impacts. Washington, Stein, Sarah, 1993: Noah’s Garden / RestoringD.C.: ULI - the Urban Land Institute. the ecology of your own back yards. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.Natural Gardening and Lawn Alternatives for Wasowski, Sally; Wasowski, Andy, 1992:Homeowners Requiem for a Lawnmower and other Essays on Easy Gardening with Native Plants. Dallas:Note: An increasing selection of books on this Taylor Publishing Company.subject is coming onto the market. The garden-ing section of most larger bookstores and Wilson, Jim, 1992: Landscaping withlibraries will have many titles from which to Wildflowers / An Environmental Approach tochoose. Gardening. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.Austin, Richard L., 1986: Wild Gardening - Wilson, William H. W., 1984: Landscaping withStrategies and Procedures using Native Wildflowers & Native Plants. San Francisco:Plantings. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. Chevron Chemical Company.Bormann, F. Herbert; Balmori, Diana; Geballe, Weed OrdinancesGordon T., 1993: Redesigning the AmericanLawn / A Search for Environmental Harmony. Note: NIPC is collecting and keeping on fileNew Haven: Yale University Press. ordinances adopted by local communities.Daniels, Stevie, 1995: The Wild Lawn Rappaport, Bret, 1993: The John Marshall LawHandbook: Alternatives to the Traditional Front Review. Chicago: The John Marshall LawLawn. Yew York: Macmillan. School. The John Marshall Law Review, Volume 26, Number 4, Summer 1993.Druse, Ken; Roach, Margaret, 1994: The Natural Available at
  • 102. Natural Landscaping SourcebookJ. Prescribed BurningJapsen, Eric N, K. Leigh, R. P. Sliwinski, andJ. M. Andersen, 2001: Midwest EcologicalPrescription Burn Crew Training Manual forChicago Wilderness Members. Rosemont,IL: Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LTD.Note: Chicago Wilderness has additional informationon burn communication.