Native Plant Sale 2023
Thanks to all the volunteers and patrons of our 2nd Native Plant Sale in conjunction with Maine East. We almost sold out and made about $4000 to be split with Maine East Ecology Club.
Native plants are important to help rewild our urban and suburban communities. Habitat loss is a major cause of massive declines in bird, butterfly and pollinator populations. Native plants provide habitat for birds and insects. Birds depend on insects as baby birds cannot eat bird seed! Planting even a few native plants in your yard can help our ecosystem heal and give our wildlife places to live. Native plants are drought resistant and don’t need extra watering once established.
And of course you don’t want to poison the critters you are attracting to your yards so stay away from chemical fertilizers and weed control.
Today’s Woodlands Cleanup was another big success! Around 125 volunteers collected 60-70 bags of trash at five sites! A big thank you to all who participated.
- District 64 Green Teams were at Axehead Lake
- Park Ridge Kiwanis, Maine South Key Club, and Lincoln Service Club were at Devon & Dee
- Go Green, Troop76, Pack 201 & stragglers were at Dam No 4
- Park Ridge Wilderness Scouts & Princess were at Belleau Lake
- Brownies were at Traeger Picnic Area
Wanted: Plastic Bags
Did you know? A plastic bag doesn’t degrade, it only breaks down into smaller pieces and has negative impacts on ecosystems and food chains if not contained. Only about 2% of bags are actually recycled.
You can help the Maine South Environmental Club club divert some of these bags from the landfill by dropping off your clean plastic grocery, ziplock/sandwich, newspaper, bread and cereal bags to the Main South main circle entrance or in the clear storage bin with a blue cover in front of 411 N Aldine.
The club's goal is to collect 500 pounds of plastic bags and turn them into a bench near their front pond.
More drop off locations to be added so stay tuned!
October Forest Cleanup!
It was such a beautiful day for our final forest preserve clean-up of the year. Over 240 volunteers came out across all six locations. Almost 70 bags of garbage were collected, as well vintage cell phones, car mufflers, several milk crates, and 8 buckets of broken glass. Job well done! Clean-up team, we'll see you next year!
Creating Sustainable Yards in the Fall
It’s the time of year when our yards start looking messy. Our suburban sense of order is ruined when flowers die and leaves fall. We feel like good citizens when we clean up our messy yards so that they look tidy and taken care of. These actions are taken to keep up with our human esthetic, however it stops the natural cycles that wildlife depend on. Since our yards are more critical than ever in helping sustain wildlife, we need to rethink our human desire to tidy up in order to help those critters and plants that benefit from the fallen leaves and dead plants.
Help Bees, Butterflies and Birds
Fallen leaves provide habitat to many insects and many butterflies over the winter. They live in the nooks and crannies over winter to emerge in the spring. Our birds are dependent on healthy insect populations to live and breed successfully. Massive bird declines are attributed to falling populations of insects. You can help the birds by what you do in your own yard.
Save Resources & Nourish the Soil by Mulching with Leaves
If you have small leaves you can put them intact in your flower beds. Larger leaves can be chopped up with a mulching mower and then put in the beds. It’s the cheapest mulch you can find and the leaves return nutrients to the soil as they decay. They also and help insulate surrounding plants from the cold. Too many leaves on the grass can be mulched back into the soil by running a mulching mower over them a couple of times. Saving these precious resources helps your garden, helps the environment, and reduces carbon and the expense of having trucks pick up leaves and take them away.
Reduce Air & Noise Pollution by Ditching the Gas Powered Leaf Blowers
Raking leaves is good for you and for the environment. Gas powered blowers are extremely loud and desiccate the soil and living organisms. Humans are also negatively affected by the small particulate matters stirred up by blowers. The two- stroke engines are many times more harmful to the environment in terms of exhaust than our cars. Many landscape workers are putting their health at risk by tidying up our yards. If you have a yard service, ask them not to use blowers on your property. If you must use blowers investigate battery powered mowers which are less harmful to humans.
Supporting Nesting Sites
The last benefit to not tidying up your yard is to the pollinators who nest in the stems of dead plants. You can help the bees by only cutting your plants to 1 foot high and leaving the stems for them to nest in the next year.
Creating a New Expectation
We can change the way we expect to see yards by gardening not only for ourselves but for the wildlife in our neighborhoods. A more natural looking yard slightly messy mayCAN one day be a badge of honor.
As you plan your lawn care for the coming season, we urge you to choose a natural lawn care company!
A natural lawn care company is one that will build the health and vitality of your lawn without the use of chemical herbicides or pesticides. If they are qualified, they will tell you how. PLEASE NOTE: A Company is not natural just because its name includes the word “green.”
Herbicides are chemicals used to prevent weeds from emerging in the lawn or kill existing weeds. Once applied, they not only kill weeds but persist in the soil. They also destroy the colonies of organisms in healthy soil that form the ‘soil food web’ and are meant to help keep soil healthy.
Now is the time to be shopping for and contracting with a natural lawn care company, in preparation for the spring season…soon to come.
You can find a company that serves Park Ridge! We know some. We recommend Nature’s Lawn Care at (773)606-3729 or Fertilizer King at (773)775-7467. More resources here.
They will help educate you about a very different approach that builds your soil, creates thick healthy grass and involves no dangerous chemicals. And they will help you control the tough weeds in a different way!
Ask your friends in Go Green Park Ridge. Visit some lawns. Did you know that the Park Ridge Park District turf is taken care of with virtually no chemicals? Visit a park today and check it out!
Local election: candidate responses to questions about the environment & sustainability
Park Ridge City Council (2nd Ward) Candidate Responses - 2021
Park Ridge School District 207 Board Candidate Responses
Park Ridge Park District Board Candidate Responses
Yes, January is the time to make sure you will be saving money and building a healthy lawn, by doing one simple thing: make arrangements to save your own grass clippings!
Grass clippings provide approximately 25% of the nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus needs of your grass.
Here’s how to ensure that you keep your valuable grass clippings:
If you make these plans now, you’ll be taking the first step to a healthier lawn.
Realize savings that your grass clippings provide and tweak your mowing services while there is still time.
You have the power to limit your contract to mowing only. If you haven't already, use this time of year to switch to an organic lawn care company for fertilization, aeration and other techniques that support a healthy and sustainable lawn.
Learn a bit more about natural lawn care here.
Park Ridge GoGreen