Collaborative Permaculture Project

Citizens for Conservation and Smart Farm have begun a collaborative project to demonstrate the benefits of adopting permaculture practices in gardening and farming. Efforts include volunteers from both organizations working together collaboratively. The project also supports CFC’s Barrington Greenway Initiative (BGI) vision to link ecosystems.

Permaculture is a design system that follows principals found in nature. It aims to create environments that are sustainable and productive, while greatly reducing the work and energy required to maintain them.

The first joint workday was on September 7, 2019. Volunteers from both groups worked together to plant 3,000 sedges in a wetland area to create a high-density rain garden. The sedges will improve the soil quality, stability, and help move rainwater to replenish the local aquifer. 

In the CFC/Smart Farm project, local native plants will be strategically added as companion plants in Smart Farm’s demonstration gardens. These will encourage beneficial pollinators, birds, frogs and other creatures that feed on pests and benefit the gardens. Introduction of these native plants will also help process and eliminate the residual herbicides in the soil from prior corn and soybean farming.

CFC also plans to share some of its collected native seeds to be cultivated in the Smart Farm greenhouses. These plants will then be added to the permaculture garden, and additional plants like elderberries and filbert trees may be added to these native plant strips.

This project is another action in support of CFC’s BGI vision to link 14,000 acres of quality habitat to help native pollinators, insects, birds, wildlife, and plants naturally migrate. This parcel will create a strategic connection link and stop-over habitat between CFC’s Flint Creek Savanna Preserve and several Lake County Forest Preserves just north of Smart Farm.

Watch for updates on CFC’s Facebook and Instagram pages.