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    Whether prairie plant or pansy, native or ornamental, gain insight into all aspects of gardening & wildlife.

Contact Us

Valerie Kehoe
Program Coordinator, Horticulture
University of Illinois Extension
9415 South Western Avenue, Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60643
Phone: 773-233-2900
FAX: 773-233-9183

Gemini Bhalsod
Extension Educator, Horticulture
University of Illinois Extension
1114 N. Arlington Heights Road
Suite 201
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Phone: 847-201-4176
FAX: 847-201-4175

Susan Gasper
Extension Educator, S.T.E.M.
University of Illinois Extension
9415 South Western Avenue, Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60643
Phone: 773-233-2900
FAX: 773-233-9183

Nancy Kreith
Extension Educator, Horticulture
University of Illinois Extension
4747 Lincoln Mall Drive
Suite 601
Matteson, IL 60443
Phone: 708-679-6889
FAX: 708-679-6855

Conservation@Home Program

Conservation@Home Program

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Conservation@Home Cook County recognizes and certifies properties that demonstrate environmentally sound landscape practices. This program is brought to you by the partnership of Forest Preserves of Cook County and University of Illinois Extension.

Through the Conservation@Home certification program, residents of Cook County have the opportunity to shape their private landscapes in a conservation-minded way with guidance and criteria provided for them. Criteria can be downloaded below.

The biggest reward for integrating sustainable practices on your property is being aware that you are contributing to clean water, rich soil and resilient ecosystems that support people and wildlife. The Conservation@Home certificate recognizes yards and sites that are conscientiously improving their area for the environment and humanity.

Stay tuned for our expansion to schools with the spring 2019 Conservation@School Certification Program.

For more information, please contact Val Kehoe at or 773.233.2900.

Conservation@Home is a program of The Conservation Foundation. University of Illinois Extension is pleased to be a partner.

Have Your Land in Cook County Evaluated

For a one-time fee of $50, certified home gardeners will receive a Conservation@Home sign to post in their yard, a subscription to our seasonal newsletter, and receive early notifications of upcoming plants sales and Conservation@Home programs in the Forest Preserves. *Fee waivers are available for those with financial need.

Before applying, please review Conservation@Home Criteria. To apply for Conservation@Home certification click here.

Certification Process

1. Resident submits application online

2. C@H Coordinator reviews application and consults with resident

3. If it is determined that the resident is ready for a home visit, resident submits $50 fee

4. Evaluator conducts phone interview and schedules home visit to last approximately one hour

5. Yard is evaluated and if certifiable, C@H sign is awarded

6. Resident begins receiving C@H perks

Upcoming FREE Programs at Forest Preserves of Cook County

Winter Pruning

Don’t let cold weather stop you from gardening; pruning trees and shrubs in winter has many benefits. Join University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners to learn tricks of the trade.

- Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 1 p.m.

    Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest

- Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 10 a.m.

    Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont

- Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 10 a.m. 

    Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs

Creating Habitats for Native Pollinators in your Garden

Native pollinators not only pollinate plants humans depend on for food and products, but also are vital for ecosystem health. Due to invasive species, pesticide use, and habitat destruction, native pollinator populations are declining nationwide. Join University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists in a program where participants will learn how to support native pollinators in their garden year round.

   - Saturday, 1/26/19 at 10 a.m.

         Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland 

   - Sunday, 02/17/19 at 1 p.m.

         Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington

For more information or if you need a reasonable accomodation, please call: 847.201.4176

    ** The first 15 participants will be able to make a bug hotel to take home!

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