News & Media

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Illinois Extension strives to provide relevant, science-based information that serves residents and businesses in our area and across the state. From blogs featuring the best seasonal tips and techniques to news stories highlighting upcoming learning opportunities, we offer you impactful insights backed by the research and public engagement resources of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois.

News Releases
green acorns on an oak branch
Tree identification workshop highlights importance of Illinois' native oaks
URBANA, Ill. — Illinois is home to 21 different native oak species whose populations provide habitat and food for wildlife, support biodiverse ecosystems, contribute to improved air and water quality, and provide residential shade benefits that help to reduce energy use. Gain a better...
An Indiana Bat with a metal band on its wing
Illinois landowners can support bats with backyard trees, forests
URBANA, Ill. — Fluttering overhead at night, quiet except for their squeaks, bats can be easily overlooked, but these small mammals play a big role in the ecosystem. Bats are also at risk. Illinois is home to 13 species of bats, and more than half of them are listed as endangered, threatened by...
Split trunk of pear tree
Reduce storm damage by looking for tree defects before bad weather strikes
URBANA, Ill. — High winds during summer storms wreak havoc on trees. Tree defects increase the likelihood of failure, and those close to homes can quickly become dangerous. Learn to look for these weak points to be better prepared for severe weather events.   Trees experience damage from...
Lawn with clover next to house.
Go green with eco-friendly lawn care
URBANA, Ill. — Residential lawns consume over 2.5 billion gallons of water a year. This makes taking a natural approach to lawn care appealing for homeowners. Also, almost 3 million tons of fertilizer are applied to residential lawns every year, and homeowners typically use three times more...
staff photo of Eliana Brown
Brown takes on new role focused on water management
URBANA, Ill. — Not enough rainfall puts plants at risk during dry months; on the other hand, it can be frustrating when a swift rain floods a lawn or washes away landscaping. Research shows that rainfall will come harder and faster and dry periods will be longer with our changing climate, so...
wild parsnip
Identify, avoid, and manage troublesome wild parsnip
URBANA, Ill. — Often parsnips, large white carrot-like root vegetables, are substituted for celery in soups and stews. The cultivated parsnip that we eat heralds from the appropriately named wild parsnip, Pastinaca sativa. However, wild parsnip is a plant to avoid. The wild version of cultivated...
weather map showing drought conditions across Illinois
Illinois at increased risk of drought conditions
Parts of northeast, western, and central Illinois have been much drier than normal in the past four to six weeks, causing dry soils and lower streamflow. Perennials, gardens, and young trees in these areas have begun to show some response to the dryness, requiring more frequent watering than...
Screen capture of a website showing a red blooming flower next to a digital map showing its location in the Red Oak Rain Garden
Virtual map provides a tool for rain garden stewardship
URBANA, Ill. – When caring for a rain garden, one of the most helpful tools may not be a rake or a pruner, but a map. The Red Oak Rain Garden interactive map shows the layout of the garden’s native plant placement. This makes maintenance easier and also helps visitors learn about the...
close up of hand holding several small flat larvae of an emerald ash borer
Land-grant universities key in managing devastating Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect that threatens to destroy North American ash trees following its accidental introduction from Asia in the 1990s. Since then, efforts have been underway to identify the most effective means of protecting ash trees from attack.   In recent...
Invasive Maackii fruit plant with text overlay reading Illinois Invasive Species Symposium
Symposium offers 9 sessions on understanding and controlling invasive species
URBANA, Ill. — Illinois is home to beautiful wild spaces, but invasive species are a growing threat in our forests, lakes, backyards, and agricultural fields. Invasive species pose a serious threat to native species and natural ecosystems and cost the country billions of dollars to combat....
Backyard landscape filled with green grass, plants, flowers, and a tree.
Make time to be inspired by nature's lessons
URBANA, Ill. — Spending time in nature allows people to take in the world around them. In today's busy world, learning how to hit pause to take lessons from nature and explore the benefits of outdoor activities is vital. University of Illinois Extension...
A pair of redbud trees in bloom with pink flowers in spring alongside gravel road
Plant trees for every season
URBANA, Ill. – In a landscape, trees accomplish multiple tasks, from shading our homes to being a home for wildlife. They do everything from providing food to conserving water as well as contributing to our health and community well-being. As trees provide physical, environmental, and emotional...