Suggested reading

Bringing Nature Home
Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens

by Douglas W. Tallamy

Biodiversity is critical to human survival. This book proposes liberal use of native plants in suburban yards to restore biodiversity and to sustain the wildlife that depends on them. Hundreds of color photos show key species of plants and insects.

Organic Lawn Care Manual
The Organic Lawncare Manual

by Paul Tukey

Tukey describes a natural, low-maintenance system for maintaining a beautiful, safe lawn.

Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies

The Xerces Society Guide, Eric Mader et al.

This volume reflects the latest understanding about creating and managing pollinator habitat. It is illustrated with hundreds of color photographs and dozens of specially created illustrations.

Miracle Under the Oaks: The Revival of Nature in America

by William K. Stevens

Stevens chronicles the discovery of the savanna ecosystem and the success of the Vestal Grove restoration, the first of its kind anywhere. It is a tribute to Steve Packard’s expertise and vision.

Suggested Webinar Videos

50 Ways to Improve Habitat In Your Yards

by Peggy Simonsen

Learn important ways to use native shrubs, trees, and plants in all seasons, water resources, and earth-friendly practices to increase habitat for birds, pollinators, and other useful critters. Naturalist Peggy Simonsen shares how she has integrated more than 200 native plant species in her beautiful landscape. Includes best native plants for the Northeastern Illinois region. Video Link HERE

2021_CommEd_Bluebird photo by Steve Barten
Backyard Wildlife: If You Build It, They Will Come

By Dr. Stephen Barten, Naturalist, Veterinarian, and Wildlife Photographer

Stephen Barten will focus on the wildlife in his backyard after 25 years of clearing buckthorn and other invasives and planting native plants. Using observation, photography and trailcam videos he has documented more than 20 species of mammals and 15 species of reptiles and amphibians, plus myriad birds. His message is clearly the benefits of restoration, encouraging others to improve the habitat in their own yards to achieve similar results. Stephen is a veterinarian at Vernon Hills Hospital and an accomplished wildlife photographer. Video Link HERE

2021_Raingarden picture_Mar_22_program
Stormwater Management Success

By Andy Hay, 2020 Lake County Steward of the Year and Project Manager of Tower Lake’s Project.

Solutions to successfully managing stormwater challenges can also be beautiful and provide important habitat when native plants are used. Andy Hay, recipient of Lake County’s 2020 Steward of the Year award, shares how the Village of Tower Lakes addressed road runoff pollution and the volume of stormwater entering the Village lake and drainage system using Raingardens and Bioswales. Details of the project planning and fundamentals for homeowners are highlighted. Video Link HERE.