The Elgin Sustainability Commission is launching the Elgin Native Roots Program to help bring native plants to residents' home gardens. Over the next five weeks, a different type of native garden plant kit will be available at the Commission's booth at the Elgin Farmers Market in downtown Elgin. Kits are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
"We are thrilled to bring this program to Elgin," said Sustainability Commission Chair Tom Armstrong. "We hope to help educate the community on the value of native plants and return some lost habitat along the way."
The following garden plant kits will be available on the dates below:
- Friday, September 3: Butterfly Garden
- Friday, September 10: Hummingbird Garden
- Friday, September 17: Rain Garden
- Friday, September 24: Micro-Prairie Garden
- Friday, October 1: Woodland Edge Garden
The Commission's urban ecology work group developed the program idea and researched the appropriate plants to bundle for each kit. Each week, plant kit recipients will receive a brochure sharing plant benefits and care instructions.
Native plants are those species that were thriving locally when the first settlers arrived. These plants have evolved over thousands of years to survive the soils and seasonal conditions of cold, rain and drought of the northern Illinois climate. Native gardens support local, native wildlife, and offer benefits ranging from water management to supporting pollinator habitats. Adding native plants back to yards helps restore habitat and food sources that have been lost to pollinators as land was developed over the years of colonization.
"The Elgin Native Roots garden kits provide one step to restoring native habitats, and creating resilient landscapes," said Sustainability Analyst Mikala Larson. "We hope this program gives community members a jump-start on creating productive, beneficial garden spaces at home."