Here’s another one of those government services that the general public might not be aware of but can be an awesome resource for homeowners, homeowner associations and communities.
Hey, you’re a taxpayer, so you’re paying for these services one way or another. Why not use them?
The Kane-DuPage Soil & Water Conservation District is holding a Spring 2017 Tree Sale, and it’s got some great deals, convenient pickup and can make your home more beautiful and eco-friendly for generations to come.
Here’s just one example: You can get a container-grown Sugar Maple for $9. The Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) grows to be 60 to 75 feet tall, with upright oval to rounded shape. It has dense foliage and turns a brilliant yellow to burnt orange and red in the fall. It attracts birds for food and shelter is used by pollinators such as bees, moths and butterflies for at least part of its life cycle.
Pretty darned cool, right?
And the Sugar Maple is just one of a score of trees, shrubs, woodland and prairie plants in the district’s 2017 Conservation Catalog. Available for ordering are:
- Large Deciduous Trees
- Smaller Deciduous Trees
- Deciduous Shrubs
- Bundles of Trees
- Bundles of Shrubs
- Evergreen Trees
- Conservation Books
- Single Woodland Plants
- Single Prairie Plants
- Prairie & Pond Packages
Other Cool Stuff
There’s a bunch of other cool stuff, if you look closely at the catalog. For example, you can get a hummingbird garden kit for $65. The package is appropriate for areas with full sun to nearly full sun and a variety of soil types. The package consists of 10 forbs and two or three grasses chosen from a list of options based on the grower’s availability.
- March 17, 2017 — Last day to order trees and shrubs
- April 24, 2017 — Last day to order prairie, pond and woodland plants
Pick-Up Dates and Places
- 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, 2017 — Pick-up day for trees, shrubs, and rain barrels at the Kane County Fairgrounds
- 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, 2017 — Pick-up day for prairie plants and pond packages at the Kane-DuPage SWCD office, 2315 Dean St., Suite 100, St. Charles.
More Info on Plants and Planting
- University of I Extension Selecting a Tree for Your Home
- Selecting a Shrubs for Your Home
- USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Plants Database
- Illinois Wildflowers
What Conservation Planting Can Do For You
SHADE —MEANS ENERGY CONSERVATION
A well placed deciduous tree can provide shade in the heat of the summer when air conditioners are going, but allow full advantage of the sun’s energy on those bright winter days. Trees provide nesting habitat and cover for birds. Some tree species also provide food for the birds.
WINDBREAKS FOR CONSERVATION
Windbreaks can protect your property from winter winds that steal your heating energy dollars, control drifting snow, protect outside work areas and livestock and also provide food, cover and nesting habitat for wildlife.
EROSION CONTROL FOR SOIL CONSERVATION
Keep your soil from washing away! Plantings for bare soil areas, slopes and banks keep soil in its place. Plantings along creeks and streams should utilize a minimum 5 to 10
foot buffer zone. Stream corridor plantings will help reduce erosion, filter out pollutants, and improve habitat.
GROUNDWATER RECHARGE AND PROTECTION
Groundwater is the major resource for drinking water in Illinois. Aquifer recharge is critical for replenishing groundwater. Impervious surfaces such as roads and roofs not only increase water runoff, but also impede water’s ability to percolate down through the soil to recharge aquifers.
GIVE WILDLIFE A BREAK
Planting a variety of evergreen, deciduous, and herbaceous plant species can provide food, cover and nesting habitat for wildlife. Varying your plant species can vary the number of songbirds and mammals that use it.
SOURCE: Kane-DuPage Soil & Water Conservation District website
About Soil & Water Conservation Districts
Soil & Water Conservation Districts, established in 1937 under the Illinois Soil and Water Conservation District Act, are local units of government. The Act gives SWCD’s the responsibility to provide technical information to individuals and groups on methods of soil and water conservation, and provide natural resource inventory information on properties slated for zoning changes. Kane County Soil & Water Conservation District was formed in 1944 and later combined with DuPage County. There are 98 SWCDs in Illinois.
Kane-DuPage Soil & Water Conservation District