News Spotlight
Purple coneflower, grass, and permeable pavement pavers.

Illinois Groundwork provides community resources and guidance for creating community green infrastructure

URBANA, Ill. – During large rainstorms, many Illinois residents brace themselves for flooding in their basements, streets, and neighborhoods. Illinois Groundwork,, is a new free, online tool for communities and stormwater

Purple and pink blooming native plant in field

Use the resiliency and sustainability of plants to naturally beautify your garden

URBANA, Ill. – Seasons come and go, but home gardening never stops. Pick up the knowledge you need to embrace a resilient and sustainable home landscape, identify plants that could be problematic, and promote a natural display of beauty throughout the year. 

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wood chip mulch

Make the most of mulch by choosing from living, synthetic, inorganic, or organic

URBANA, Ill. – Every spring, gardeners turn to mulches for their landscapes and gardens for a variety of reasons. One of the main benefits of mulch is reduced soil erosion and compaction. Mulch also moderates soil temperature keeping it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Another

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Cook County invests in the future of urban agriculture
URBANA, Ill. – From helping backyard gardeners provide locally grown foods to supporting the growing urban agriculture system, new University of Illinois Extension staff are dedicated to meeting the needs of diverse communities. ...
Teens named to take on statewide leadership role
Urbana, Ill. – Seven Illinois teens have a new way to make their voices heard on a statewide platform through the Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team. The team is comprised of 20...
Sow seeds of change, learn how to save garden seeds
URBANA, Ill. – As gardeners dream of spring and flip through catalogs looking for the best seeds, it makes you wonder where they come. Sure, seeds come from the fruit of a plant, but how does it happen? A good challenge for any gardener is to learn how to harvest and save seed. If you...
From ground to air to space: Tillage estimates get tech boost
URBANA, Ill. – According to national USDA statistics, no-till and conservation tillage are on the rise, with more than three-quarters of corn and soybean farmers opting for the practices to reduce soil erosion, maintain soil structure, and save on fuel. However, these estimates are based...
New paper offers best practices for LGBTQ+ field scientists and mentors
URBANA, Ill. – People from marginalized gender and sexual identities can have safer experiences participating in ecological field research when leaders incorporate better field safety protocols and advocate for systemic changes, according to a new paper authored by scientists from Earlham...
All in the planning: State policies working to fix Gulf nutrient pollution
URBANA, Ill. – Tackling nutrient pollution in the Gulf of Mexico is a big job, requiring coordination between dozens of states whose waters flow into the Mississippi. Although a 2011 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency memo set a framework for each state to reduce its nutrient load, it was up...
$5M USDA grant funds Illinois-led innovative cover cropping project
Urbana, Ill. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that it is funding a new project led by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that will address major obstacles to adoption of cover crops in the United States. Titled “iCOVER: Innovated Cover-crop Opportunity,...
Tree bark adds visual bite to winter landscapes
URBANA, Ill. – With bright colors and interesting shapes, unusual tree and shrub bark can add visual interest to winter landscapes. Many types of bark become more distinctive and sought after during winter months. Selecting trees based on their bark can bring four seasons of visual interest to...
Hunters, meat processors, and food pantries aim to solve hunger
URBANA, Ill. – When food prices are high, everyone takes a hit, including food pantries. But now, a local and widespread source of protein – venison – is making its way from the field onto plates providing 24,500 meals with the help of the...
Planning a new perennial garden? Plant for the whole garden ecosystem
URBANA, Ill. - Welcome to winter. The days are short and cold, and if you enjoy plants, hopefully, you have a few indoors to boost your mood. However, there is already light on the horizon. Spring will be here before you know it, and now is a wonderful time to plan out your new perennial gardens...
Illinois 4-H alumni to be honored in new awards program
URBANA, Ill. – The Illinois 4-H Alumni Association is announcing a new Illinois 4-H alumni awards program to recognize alumni for their individual achievements, contributions to their industry or profession, service to the community, and...
Ready your agricultural operation for the changing climate
URBANA, Ill. – Weather trends are changing. Are you ready for how it will affect your agricultural operation or natural resources area? The Bi-State Climate monthly webinar series brings together Illinois and Indiana Extension experts to highlight important climate-related topics for...

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