Incorporating native plants in your lawn is a great way to provide crucial habitat for pollinators, cut down on water usage and costs, and promote the health of our community. Since they are perennial and thrive naturally once established in Northern Illinois, you’ll use less water and money on yard maintenance throughout the summer! You also do not need to use fertilizer, as leaf litter fallen from trees naturally provides nutrients to native plants. Inorganic pesticides are unnecessary: these plants benefit from insects.
Native prairie plants survive by growing deep roots that improve carbon storage and soil quality. Native wetland plants are adapted to frequent flooding: they improve water drainage and filtration of their surrounding environment. This means planting natives result in less water and less polluted water running off into streams and waterways during major rain events. Gardens that seek to maximize drainage using native plants and smart landscaping are called rain gardens. Learn more and find resources for planning rain gardens on the Chicago Botanical Garden’s website.
Native plant suggestions
Given the hardiness and adaptability of native plants to our area, there’s always a native plant suited to your outdoor space! To encourage a sustainable Northbrook, the Village provides the following pamphlet to help you choose the right native plant based on specific site conditions.
The Village hopes to lead by example in restoring Northbrook's natural landscape qualities to conserve water and promote pollinators. The garden began in 2011 and is currently being revitalized by Northbrook's Sustainability Coordinator. Fall 2020 updates on this project are provided here. Any time is a great time to begin planning your native garden. Residents are encouraged to use this guide to native garden planning to get started on transforming your outdoor space into a corridor for wildlife!
Village Reminders for Garden Installation:
Any fencing installed around a new garden must comply with fencing height restrictions set forth in the Municipal Code. For more information, visit the Village’s Fence Permit page.
Any new garden must not become a nuisance (i.e. cause mud, icing or water to pool and accumulate on public sidewalks) or exceed the yard height limits allowed under the municipal code.