COOK COUNTY, Ill. — Forest Preserves of Cook County and University of Illinois Extension Cook County partner to bring area residents Conservation@Home, a certification program for properties demonstrating environmentally sound landscape practices.
For a one-time fee of $50, certified homes, schools, and businesses receive recognition through a Conservation@Home yard sign, early notification of upcoming programs and plant sales, and access to our seasonal newsletter. For school Conservation@Home gardens, University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalists/Master Gardeners mentor students and teachers in developing their gardens. Recognition criteria include features such as native plants; active removal and management of invasive species; planting and management practices to attract wildlife; water conservation practices; limiting turf area and/or natural lawn care with minimal inputs; and incorporating garden in classroom curriculum (school gardens only). If you do not meet all the criteria, Extension offers advice and training to help you implement more sustainable landscape practices.
Why should you consider developing a nature friendly yard with Conservation@Home?
• Native plantings support beneficial wildlife and attract songbirds and butterflies.
• Perennial flowering plants increase the beauty and value of your property.
• Reducing the use of chemicals improves water, air, and soil quality.
To date Cook County’s Conservation@Home program has registered 130 yards and gardens at private homes, schools, nature centers, and community colleges.
Register your yard or garden in the Conservation@Home program today.