‘Every acre counts’ — Land conservancy group stresses new ways to beautify yards
By Susan DeMar LAfferty firstname.lastname@example.org March 6, 2014 8:14PM
Mokena's Crystal Creek Park | Susan DeMar Lafferty~Sun-Times Media
For more information on the Land Conservancy of Will County call (815) 469-5292 or go to willconserve.org, Facebook and Twitter @willconserve.
Updated: March 6, 2014 8:49PM
Whether you have a small urban backyard or acres of land, there are many ways to beautify it besides mowing.
“It’s about gardening in a new way, bringing nature into our yards,” said Julia Plumb executive director of the Land Conservancy of Will County.
These new ways of incorporating native plants and sustainable techniques will be demonstrated by Marcus de la fleur, a noted landscape architect and creative conservationist, at the Land Conservancy’s annual meeting March 30.
He will speak about his award-winning project “One Drop at a Time, 168 Elm Avenue,” in which he designed a rain garden, gravel grass, green roof, bioswales, porous pavement and more on his urban lot.
The public is encouraged to attend this event from 4 to 6 p.m. on March 30 at CD and ME, 23320 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort. In addition to de la fleur’s program, it will include dinner provided by Parmesan’s Restaurant, conservation awards to area students, silent auctions and networking with conservation-minded folks.
Students who have been involved in local conservation projects — individually or as a group — may apply for the $250 cash award by March 21.
Dinner tickets — $10 for Land Conservancy members, $15 for non-members who register by March 15, and $20 after March 15 — are available at willconserve.org or at (815) 469-5292.
LCWC is a Frankfort-based non-profit organization founded in 2005 to work with private landowners, developers, and municipalities to preserve and protect pockets of precious land.
It works with private developers who want to build conservation designed subdivisions, provides advice and educational programs to homeowners and organizations, establishes conservation easements and is focused on protecting watersheds.
It currently has a 50-acre conservation easement in the Palomino Estates subdivision in Green Garden Township and manages a 45-acre restored prairie and wetland within Mokena’s Crystal Creek subdivision.
But to the conservancy, smaller pockets are just as valuable. It recently acquired a one-acre privately owned wooded parcel abutting the Thorn Creek Nature Preserve in Park Forest and has one acre of floodplain behind Alsip Nursery in Frankfort.
They are now reaching out to landowners in the Thorn Creek, Forked Creek and Jackson Creek watershed, to help them protect the land that buffers these high quality streams. “Every acre counts,” Plumb said.
It is the only grassroots land protection non-profit agency working in Will County, and tries to fill the gap between the larger parcels protected by the Forest Preserve District of Will County, she said.
It is directed by a nine-member board and funded by memberships, fundraisers and private gifts, such as the $5,000 donation it recently received from Enbridge Energy, USA.
The annual dinner meeting also is an opportunity to learn more about the Land Conservancy’s future plans. Those who join receive a free five-gallon native oak tree from Possibility Place Nursery.