ecology + vision is launching a special program for individuals interested in renovating their outdoor spaces or integrating native plants into their landscapes. This 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. This program is only available through April 2019.
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?
The Pizzo Group of companies has received more than 140 industry awards from professional associations such as Illinois Landscape Contractors Association, The Conservation Foundation, the USEPA & Chicago Wilderness, and the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Here are the awards we received in 2018:
|2018||Graceland Cemetery Prairie||Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA)||Gold||Pizzo & Associates Ltd with Wolff Landscape Architecture and ecology+vision, llc|
|2018||HUB Group Headquarters||Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA)||Silver||Native Landscape Contractors, LLC|
|2018||UI Labs||Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA)||Silver||Native Landscape Contractors, LLC with Wolff Landscape Architecture|
|2018||Oaks of Vernon Hills||Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA)||Silver||Native Landscape Contractors, LLC|
|2018||Lakewood Falls Retention Ponds||Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA)||Merit||Pizzo & Associates, Ltd|
|2018||Private Residence Lakeside, MI||Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA)||Merit||Pizzo & Associates, Ltd|
|2018||Radio Flyer Headquarters||Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA)||Merit||Native Landscape Contractors, LLC|
|2018||Stillwater HOA – Book Road Pond||Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA)||Merit||Pizzo & Associates, Ltd|
|2018||Augusta Village HOA Stream||Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA)||Merit||Pizzo & Associates, Ltd|
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.
Creating and Restoring Habitat Where You Live, Work and Play
Bring the birds and butterflies back – get out and enjoy nature!
Join us for an educational seminar that will cover the hows and whys of habitat creation and restoration. We’ll provide audience members with compelling reasons and processes to create their own habitat where they live, work and play.
We are holding this complimentary seminar on various dates and locations throughout the Chicago area and SW Michigan. Learn more.
With autumn’s arrival, Aster and Goldenrod have taken the stage to not only dazzle with pretty flowers, but also offer rich nectar sources for pollinators. These staples of gardens and natural areas are an important late-season stop for bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, and more. You may have noticed the bright golden flowers of Goldenrods in fields and roadsides. Asters’ small daisy-like blooms come in white, blue, lavender, purple and sometimes pink. They pair beautifully together and with the rich fall color of native grasses.
Many people confuse Goldenrod with Ragweed, but Goldenrod is insect pollinated, so their pollen is heavy and falls to the earth. Ragweed is wind pollinated, so its pollen is light, fluffy, and floats in the breeze, much to allergy sufferers distress. The brilliant yellow flowers of Goldenrod offer a striking late-season show and are a larval host for several moths. There are many species native to our area and you can find them mostly in sunny prairie conditions. However, there are a few Goldenrod that light up in the shade.
Blue Stemmed Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)
A short, elegant goldenrod for part shade situations, Blue Stemmed Goldenrod forms groups of single stems topped by a cluster of bright yellow blossoms. Blooming into October, it does best in average soils and is named for the gray to bluish cast on its stems.
ZigZag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)
A Goldenrod found in part to full shade, ZigZag Goldenrod thrives in nearly any soil and reaches about three feet high. Its flowers tend to zigzag between the dark green toothed leaves. Its clusters of yellow florets bloom August through October.
Elm-leaved Goldenrod (Solidago ulmifolia)
Wide-spreading panicles of yellow florets appear beginning in July and bloom into October on this Goldenrod. Found in part to full shade, Elm-leaved Goldenrod reaches about three feet in height and does well in average soils.
Asters bloom for months and charm us with their abundant flowers. They are beautiful season extenders in a perennial garden or natural area. Tough and pretty, Asters are host species for numerous moths. There is a broad array of Aster species native to Illinois and you’ll find one suitable for every site.
Heath Aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides)
Heath Aster can be found in sun to part shade in average to dry soils. It explodes into clouds of tiny white flowers all along its stems in August and blooms well into October. Heath Aster has needle-like foliage and a bushy to sprawling habit.
New England Aster (Symphyotrichum nova-angliae)
Large purple daisy flowers with yellow centers cover New England Aster in late summer. A robust, bushy aster, it can reach around five feet high. New England Aster may also sport lavender or light pink blossoms. It’s commonly found in sun to part shade and tolerates a wide range of soils.
Short’s Aster (Symphyotrichum shortii)
An aster for part to full shade, Short’s Aster thrives in average to dry soils with good drainage. This makes it a good choice for dry shade situations under trees. It features large light blue or purple flowers that bloom August through October.
Professional Grounds Management Society – Annual Conference – Lexington, KY
On October 17, Jack Pizzo will be presenting Green and Natural Spaces: Long-term Management is the Key at the PGMS Annual Conference in Lexington, KY.
Most people think natural spaces do not require maintenance and once you plant it, you can just walk away. Nothing can be further from the truth. Much like traditional gardens or your home, natural areas also require ongoing maintenance in order for them to perform. Not only do they provide benefits to our ecosystems (pollinators), they can also solve other issues such as drastically reducing soil erosion around retention areas.
- Your role in the natural spaces and how you can help – at work or at home
- What are native, non-native, invasive and why it matters to your local ecosystem
- Understand how planning is an integral part to a good natural area
- Strategies for an effective management (stewardship) plan
- Why consistent and ongoing management is key for success
To learn more about PGMS and the annual conference, visit their website.
Creating Healthy Landscapes:
Planting for Pollinators
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018
8 a.m. – Noon
Danada Forest Preserve in Wheaton, IL
Principal Landscape Architect and Ecologist Andy Stahr from ecology + vision, llc will be presenting: “Adding Wildlife Value to the Landscape”. To learn more about the conference, visit their website.
Thursday, October 4th – 9:00am – 11:00am
Hoffman Estates, IL
Community Association Managers and HOA Board Members will want to sign up for this seminar and tour where they will learn best practices for managing HOA common space and also earn two CAMICB credits for participating. The two hour session includes classroom discussion and a tour of a detention basin. Attendees will learn:
- Terminology and common challenges for Community Association Managers, HOAs and common spaces
- The benefits of a good restoration
- How to ensure a good end product
- What good and bad restoration looks like