Chicago Botanic Garden

Your Garden — conservation

Plant Information: Conservation Topics

Find helpful conservation tips and techniques from the list below:

What You Can Do – Conservation in the Home
Bees
ABCs of our native bees

Humans play an important role in protecting one of nature’s premier pollinators. Learn about bees and discover how you can help these hardworking, beneficial insects.

Composting
Easy, even for beginners!

A healthy compost pile is easy to maintain, has no offensive odor, and does not attract animals. Best of all, composting provides an elegant earth-to-earth closed system.
Fungi
Nature’s most effective recyclers

The Chicago area is host to more than a thousand species of mushrooms and mushroomlike fungi—beneficial, symbiotic organisms, critical to the survival of our forests and grasslands. Why should we care?
Green Garden Tips
Simple and sustainable

Save money while you help save the planet. Follow these seven easy steps to create and maintain an earth-friendly garden.
Habitats
Native or invasive plants

In urban environments like Chicagoland, landscaping with invasive plants has caused natural processes to break down. Active restoration and land management can protect biodiversity and help conserve and restore the health of natural habitats. Learn what you can do.
Lawn Care, Ecofriendly
Tips from Garden experts

Some of the best tips for lawn care actually reduce our carbon footprint. Discover how to address soil problems and create a healthy growing environment for your turf as you solve the mysteries of watering, seeding, and feeding.
Planting and Mulching, Proper
More tips from Garden experts

Planting and mulching seem like basic gardening skills, but some of the worst gardening mishaps occur when gardeners overthink or overspend. Avoid the trauma by heeding our advice.
Rose Care
Healthy and ecofriendly techniques

Rose care requires work, but it is straightforward, the rewards are rich, and many "green" tips make the work easier, are less expensive than traditional techniques, and are healthier for your garden.
Saving Seeds
Conservation in banking heirloom seeds

Environmental threats have caused many plants to become rare or endangered. By banking seeds of these plants in safe storage, the Garden is working to safeguard their long-term survival. You can bank seeds, too.
Rain Gardens
What they are, and why you may need one

Enhance your landscape’s aesthetic while absorbing and cleaning rainwater. Visiting the Garden's Rainwater Glen is a good way to see how the process works and to gather ideas for your own rain garden.
What We Are Doing – Conservation at the Garden
Common Reed
Distinguishing the native from the invader

Ever wonder what that tall plant with a feathery-tufted top is that you see growing along our roadside ditches? It’s called common reed, and in recent years this highly invasive plant has spread through the Chicago region at an alarming rate. We're doing something about it.
Green Roof Garden
Visit ours—then plan your own!

Green Roof Gardens conserve water, reduce noise, stem stormwater runoff, minimize urban heat island effect, and provide necessary habitat for native birds and insects. Ours is a working wonder!
Herbarium
A unique resource at the Garden

The Garden’s Nancy Poole Rich Herbarium is home to 12,000 specimens of plants—from our own Cook County backyard and the Upper Midwest to Russia, Korea, and China. Why is the herbarium important?
Prairie
Plant reproduction in the wild

Garden scientists have taken two different approaches to try to solve the problem of diminishing prairie plant populations.