We identify the issues you're facing and implement a plan that solves that problem using natural systems & proven processes.
In taking a practical approach to restoration, we find opportunities that provide long-term solutions to sustainability naturally.
Nature: Where you Live, Work, & Play!
Our process is simple and straightforward. We first have a conversation with you about your piece of nature and what you want to accomplish. You might know: It needs a prescribed fire or it has invasive species that need to be controlled or you want to improve your view or you want better access to experience nature or you want to create a new natural space. Nature welcomes you if you work with it. We want to hear from you. Next, we get to know the site by researching the ecosystems and the history as well as the conditions present today. We take a "where we were, where we are, and where we want to be" approach. To get to where we want to be, we must plan site-specific actions that create opportunities for nature to thrive. With your ideas and our experience in restoring nature, we develop a plan that will produce results.
Restoring nature is a year-round process. You are never too early or too late. The process begins when you are ready to act and the site is ready for work to begin. An example: the prescribed fire season is from late October to late April. We don’t burn outside of that window on 99% of our sites. That time frame is when nature is ready to burn. Another example is the treatment of invasive species. The best time to control or eradicate them is when they are in the most vulnerable state. Each species is different. We know when to act and what to do. We are by your side the entire process. Our goal is to educate you about your site and to make nature yours.
Our projects are nationally recognized, earning over 160 industry awards!
Natural Areas Restoration
Natural areas fall into two categories: Remnant Natural Systems & New Naturalized Areas. Our approach is different for each type:
Remnant Natural Systems
A remnant is a part of nature that has not been destroyed. I compare it to finding a historic old house that is restorable because it retains most of its original character. You might remove the aluminum siding and carpeting to expose the original exterior and hardwood floors. A little repair to the siding plus some new paint and the house is a home. Refinish the floors and the interior glows. In nature the original character is in the native plant communities, the native fauna, the soils, the hydrology (the way water moves onsite) and the topography. Just as in that historic house we have elements that don’t belong in a healthy ecosystem such as plants from Europe/Asia or aggressive native plants both of which diminish or destroy the biodiversity of the site. Safely restoring the natural process of fire helps keep sunlight coming to the ground. More sunlight equals more plants and flowers which means more wildlife habitat. It works, trust us. A few remnant systems are: Oak-Hickory Savanna, Beech-Maple Savanna, Dry/Mesic/Wet Prairie, Wetlands, Sedge Meadows, Bogs, Seeps, Streams, Lakes and so much more. They are all interconnected in a seamless gradient of nature.
New Naturalized Areas
This is just like it sounds. Your site has little of its remnant character remaining. Do not despair though, nature is just waiting to come back. We turn farm fields into prairies and wetlands filled with wildlife. What is now unused lawn can be filled with wildflowers and pollinators. Where your slope or shoreline is eroding can be stabilized and create habitat. We customize all our work to the conditions on site. Doing so creates success. Nature will let you know you did the right thing, for example, when your new Common Milkweed plants attract Monarch Butterflies. If you build it, they will come. We have restored nature to bare soil and to formerly toxic sites.
Many of our sites are a combination of remnant systems and new work. We know how to stitch nature back together to create integrated systems that thrive across the Greater Chicago area and nearby states and communities.
How We Implement Erosion Control
We help you protect your property from erosion. Whether it is erosion on a slope or at the water’s edge our system of restoring the native plant communities along with hard materials creates a long-lasting dynamic solution. In the long run it is the deep roots of the native plants, up to 15’, that stabilize the soil. This works in most settings. Some sites require the use of materials such as erosion control blankets, coir (coconut husk fiber) logs or strategically placed stone to create stability. Using stone alone creates a system that is static. Stone cannot adapt to nature's dynamic conditions and ultimately will fail.
Do you have a restoration project you would like to get started on? Call us today to request a quote.
Our company specializes in making struggling landscapes naturally beautiful! With over 30 years of experience in restoring and maintaining natural land areas, we are the experts in the green industry. If you're ready to begin the restoration of your property in Lake Forest, IL, Barrington, IL, or Naperville, IL, call us at (815) 495-2300 to request a quote.