In the fall of 2015, the Village partnered with The Conservation Foundation and established a pilot program to re-introduce native pollinator plants on several properties. These locations include a portion of Kuhn Rd. and 4 flood-buy-out properties on Illini Dr. and Silverleaf Blvd. In the fall of 2016, the Village received a $10,000 grant through the ComEd Open Lands program (along with donations from Baxter & Woodman, CH2M, and Bedrock Earthscapes) and developed a native prairie at the Water Reclamation Center (WRC). Our goal is to combat the decline of pollinators, like honeybees, hummingbirds and butterflies, and promote environmental sustainability by converting turf grass into pollinator meadows. Once these meadows fully mature, they require little to no upkeep thereby reducing carbon emissions, maintenance costs, and fuel consumption. By absorbing more rain than turf grass, these meadows can also reduce stormwater runoff, which pushes pollutants into creeks, streams and storm sewers. To learn more above native plants check out this video.
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Many corporate campuses, schools, and cities are converting large turf grass areas to native plantings. Carol Stream is one of the very first in the area to adopt a pilot program to establish native pollinator plantings adjacent to a local road and other communities are now following suit. We are excited to announce that our Native Prairie is now open behind the WRC at 245 Kuhn Rd. The Carol Stream Native Prairie and educational signage were designed with the help of the Glenbard North Green Panthers. The prairie features mulched pathways, educational signage, benches, and recycling/trash containers. The Village is excited to share this native prairie with our residents and local pollinators and we invite you to tour this green initiative. The prairie is accessible by a walking path off of Arrowhead Tr. and Bennet Dr. where there is limited on street parking.
The process of establishing healthy pollinator mixes generally takes at least 3 years. As these native flowers begin to bloom, the Village advises residents to refrain from picking these plants for personal gardens or for consumption. These habitats are very sensitive and are periodically treated with herbicide to limit weed growth. The success of this pilot program, and future restoration projects, depends on all of us working together. Your cooperation is appreciated. If you have any questions or would like to receive free native pollinator seeds, please contact the Public Works Department at 630-871-6260.