Designer for a Day: The first step in creating a beautiful native landscape

Are you interested in renovating your outdoor spaces or integrating native plants into your landscape? ecology + vision’s Designer for a Day program is ideal for people who are not sure where to begin. Let us provide trusted native landscape advice and insight by creating a customized conceptual design that you can implement over time on your own or working with a contractor.

Graceland Cemetery

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 a landscape architecture firm and the Cemetery’s Board to create a beautiful prairie that is now home to birds, butterflies, and other native wildlife.

Pine Dunes

Native Landscape Contractors, LLC is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of this 310-acre project for the Illinois Tollway and Lake County Forest Preserves while ecology + vision, llc is conducting 5-year monitoring and reporting. The project began in 2013 as we worked with a general contractor to begin to restore this natural area.

Patterson Technology Center

Patterson Technologies is a national company providing software solutions, equipment, and supplies to serve the dental health care profession. The design of their new corporate office building gives workers a flexible and sustainable work environment aligned with the company’s brand of being a trusted partner to healthcare providers.

Nantucket Cove HOA

Since 2006, Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. has been restoring and stewarding the stormwater basin at the Nantucket Cove community. The Village of Schaumburg mandated native plantings for the severely eroded shoreline. Originally the HOA Board of Directors had priced out a riprock stone solution, but our proposal for a native shoreline buffer came in significantly under that budget.

Winter Clearing for Beautiful Results

Is winter clearing of invasive woody species part of your stewardship plan?

Clearing invasive brush allows:

  • More sunlight and water to reach the desirable native plants already present
  • Dormant seed to awaken
  • Diverse species of birds, mammals and insects to thrive
  • High quality wildflowers to fill in and carpet the landscape

In winter, desirable native plants have gone dormant, allowing our crews to access and remove invasive woody shrubs and trees. When we perform brush clearing we target invasive trees and shrubs such as Box Elder, Silver Maple, Japanese Barberry, Common Buckthorn and Amur Honeysuckle. These trees and shrubs leaf out early and hold their leaves longer, preventing sun and water from reaching the native wildflowers and grasses. Once the stems have been cut back, it is necessary to treat the fresh stumps to prevent re-sprouting. Sometimes removal on nonnative trees such Ornamental Pear, Willow, and Black Locust is necessary. Follow up with a prescribed fire after clearing and see even better results.

With regular stewardship, your natural area or sustainable landscape can become a thriving, vibrant experience filled with plants, pollinators, and animals.

On Demand Webinar: Native Landscaping and Ecological Restoration 101 for Property Managers

On Demand Webinar: Native Landscaping & Ecological Restoration 101 for Property Managers.

An on-demand webinar presented by Jack Pizzo, senior ecologist and founder of The Pizzo Group, author of “Green and Natural Spaces in Your Community”. This webinar focuses on “Native Landscaping and Ecological Restoration 101”, an intro for Homeowners Associations and Property Managers.

Village of Montgomery Basins

Since 2007, Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. has been the Village’s Native Landscape and Water Quality Maintenance Contractor and is charged with maintaining the Village‐controlled basins and naturalized areas. The stewardship program focuses on sustainability and the overall aesthetic of each site within the village.

Ecological Assessments

Successful ecological restoration begins with properly assessing a site. What kind of plants and animals are there? What is the topography? Is there water and how does it move? Walking a site allows landscape architects and planners to get to know its special characteristics and how to maximize resources to restore its natural beauty. Sometimes, we find threatened and endangered species or particularly valuable remnant ecosystems.

Some natural areas are more challenging to navigate through restoration than others. For example, wetland regulations can be particularly tough to tackle without expert help. First, you need to determine if your site qualifies as a wetland. We can offer assistance. Our certified wetland specialists will walk you through the process.

We believe in using science to drive our ecological restoration activities. When we assess your site, we use the most recent technology to accurately measure and monitor the flora and fauna. This creates a bedrock of solid data to build and evaluate the restored ecosystems and make realistic performance criteria to determine the long-term success of the project.

Once an assessment is in place, it’s time to dive into restoration. Are you ready to discover unexpected treasures on your site?