Featured Project: Graceland Cemetery

Chicago, IL — Today, an historic cemetery is breathing new life within its grounds. The trustees of Graceland Cemetery in Chicago wanted to recreate a piece of the tallgrass prairie that once covered much of the region. Native plants and landscapes were an inspiration to O.C. Simonds whose innovative designs made the cemetery into a peaceful, pastoral place.

On an approximately two acre site, Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. was contracted to create a pre-settlement prairie. After removing the turf grass, and a summer season prescribed burn, the area was ready to install our custom Low Profile Prairie seed mix. Using hand seeding, we covered the area thoroughly and raked it in for good soil contact.

The first year the annual flowers and cover crop flushed into bloom, quickly creating the feel of a prairie. We then did supplemental seed installation and selected plug planting. Now in its second year, the prairie is lush and inviting. The prairie has become a highlight for the tens of thousands of CTA riders who view from the tracks above.

“I want to say that the prairie planting Pizzo did at Graceland Cemetery in 2014 looks stunning, almost overwhelming, considering it was seeded a little more than a year ago.  Everybody who is involved with the project is blown away by how quickly it looked so good.  This includes, I’m sure, if I could only hear them, tens of thousands of riders per day on the CTA Red and Purple Lines, who look down into the cemetery on their way to and from the loop.

You have done well by us, and we love working with Pizzo.”

–Ted Wolff, Landscape Architect


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.