Lawn to Prairie Transformation at Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, IL

Pizzo & Associates, Ltd completed a lawn-to-prairie transformation at the historic Graceland Cemetery in Chicago and the results are incredible. Starting in 2014, we worked with an landscape architecture firm and the Cemetery’s Board to create a beautiful prairie that is now home to birds, butterflies, and other native wildlife.

Project: Graceland Cemetery

Pizzo company: Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. (installation and stewardship); ecology+vision, llc (design, consulting and interpretive signage)

Project size: 2.5 acres

Details of our work: When we started the project in 2014, the entire area was mowed lawn. Working with the Cemetery’s Board of Directors and a landscape architecture firm, we collaboratively designed and installed a 2.5 acre prairie with our native seed and native plugs and created a beautiful and functional prairie. Through regular stewardship (maintenance) and prescribed burns, the grass has been transformed into a thriving natural habitat.

The native plants have attracted native birds, butterflies and other pollinators and is now a main destination for bird watchers in the Chicago area.

Graceland Cemetery - Turf prescribed burn
This 2.5 acres in Graceland Cemetery was mowed grass in 2014
Graceland Cemetery
Only three years later, Graceland Cemetery is full of color with native flowers and attracts dozens of species of birds. Photo taken in July 2017. Interpretive signage by ecology+vision, llc.
Graceland Cemetery
Graceland Cemetery, July 2017
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Graceland Cemetery, July 2017.
Graceland Cemetery
Drone view of Graceland Cemetery, August 2017

Written by Pizzo Group

The Pizzo Group is a family of four companies that restores ecosystems and provides sustainable landscape solutions that are both beautiful and functional. We do this at any job site, any size project and within any ecosystem. Our processes are collaborative and range from design through implementation.