Thanks to thousands of hours donated by volunteers annually, production at our seed nursery has grown steadily since its establishment in 2005.
Rare and hard-to-collect seeds of different native species are carefully grown here. The nursery gives our restoration ecologists access to these rare plants that were previously cost prohibitive or unavailable. We use the plants grown here to restore native habitat through the forest preserves.
The greenhouse is used in late winter and spring to jump-start plants for the nursery grounds. Many species in the nursery are sensitive and do better when started in a controlled environment where it is possible to make the most of the small quantities of seeds.
Seeds are separated from unwanted plant materials, known as chaff, mixed and stored until time to reintroduce them into the preserves. Seeds are also collected in the preserves and brought to this facility to be processed and stored.
A 5-acre mix of woodland, wetland and prairie plants is located just outside the greenhouse. This area is surrounded by deer fence to protect the growing plants.
One of the best ways to bring nature into our lives is to welcome it into our backyards.
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Groups, adults and families with children ages 10 and up are welcome to volunteer at the nursery.
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