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Native Plants that Enhance Restoration

Plant Native Species

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There are many reasons why your next landscaping projects should include native species. Generally speaking, natives species require less maintenance, as they are adept at dealing with ecological and environmental conditions in this area. Overall, the survivability of natives is higher and requires fewer chemical inputs, such as fertilizer and pesticides, for them to thrive in your garden. Unlike annuals that die each Fall, native perennials do not require replacement year after year to maintain a well-stocked landscape. In addition to hosting many of our pollinating insects, mammals, and birds, they also aid in combating urban development conditions. These include erosion (particularly in ravines and bluffs), flooding/stormwater management, and combating invasive species encroachment.

Since 2010, the City of Highland Park has made native species central to many landscaping initiatives. The McClory Bike Trail Pollinator Garden project aims to replace invasive buckthorn along the trail with native, pollinator-friendly species. Beyond its function within a natural area, natives can also be a staple within the formal landscape design. This can be seen in several recent City projects at City Hall, Port Clinton Square, and islands within the Central Business District.

 First St Island-Natives  Polliantor Garden  Underpass Wall-Natives
 First Street Island  McClory Trail Pollinator Garden  Laurel Avenue Underpass

North shore ravines and bluffs were historically covered with many plant species. To maximize your restoration's success, choose plants adapted to your local shade, moisture, and temperature conditions. Strive to purchase plants grown locally from seeds or stock harvested close to the Illinois Lake Michigan shoreline. Please note that this list is not intended to be exclusive or comprehensive. It is recommended that you first seek advice from a licensed landscape architect or arborist to determine which plants are most suitable for your property. When planting, please ensure that landscaping debris is hauled off-site and not deposited into the ravines. 

Maintaining Ravine & Bluff Restoration
Select Native Ravine Plants for Restoration

For further information on native species and steep slope restoration, please contact the City Forester at 847.926.1604.