Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spring has Sprung and WE are going Greener

With the start of the gardening season and the Garden Walk just around the corner (June 26th) now is the time to consider going a little or a lot greener!

The Northcenter Neighborhood Association has created an Environmental Committee, and members of that committee, have come of with a few initiatives that we hope will tie in with members of the Garden Club!

The Green Lawn Initiative
Is an initiative to create a coalition of gardeners, neighbor - by neighbor, that are committed to creating beautiful green lawns for all (wildlife, pets, children etcetera). Once a coalition of committed gardeners grow in numbers we will be able to
  • obtain eco-friendly lawn services at a discount;
  • affect the products and techniques used in Northcenter;s parks and public spaces; and
  • ensure a clean soil and water supply for our health.
If you live within NNA's borders, register your yard with us and receive a corresponding sign to position on your lawn. For those of you that participate in the NNA's Garden Walk let show your commitment to a healthier, greener garden! Join by emailing us at and let us know what kind of lawn you have.

Organic gardening incorporates the entire landscape design and environment to improve and maximize the garden soil's health, structure, texture, as well as maximize the production and health of developing plants without using synthethic commercial fertilizers, pesticides, or fungicides.

Biodynamic gardening is a method of organic gardening that treats the landscape as a unified and individual organisms, emphasizing balancing the holistic development and interrelationship of the soil, plants and animals as a self nourishing system without external inputs. As in organic gardening, artificial fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides are strictly avoided. Methods using fermented herbal and mineral preparations are applied according to the astronomical sowing and planting calendar.

Transitional gardening means the gardener/s have chosen to adopt either Organic gardening methods or Biodynamic gardening methods. It takes 3 years for a garden to heal from conventional gardening practices to a healthy vibrant organic garden, hence the name, Transitional.

Parkway Corner Initiative
Is an initiative to create pollinator friendly parkway corner landscapes using native plant sources to create a colorful array of pesticide free, bee's, birds, butterfly and even bat friendly landscapes.

Native plants are deep-rooted plants and will also help to absorb rainwater deep into the soil versus short rooted plants/grass which have very short roots systems. Native plants can also withstand a large range of wet-to-dry conditions making these corners requiring very low maintenance.

If you live within NNA's borders and would like your corner to be beautified with attract native pollinators, email us at

The Bee Trail Project
The Bee Trail map was created in response to the devestating number of Honeybee losses since 2006. The goal of the Bee Trail Project is to protect the Honeybee (and all other native pollinators) by having as many households gardens, public spaces, schools... within 3 mile radius of a recognized hive and make those spaces bee friendly.

NNA members, gardner, beekeeper, Elizabeth Wenscott and Lisa Hish have created a unique opportunity for its residence. Both have agreed to allow our residence to be the first go "get of the map" before it goes national. For more information of The Bee Trail Project, please visit

ALSO DID YOU KNOW that Chicago is pushing to be the first major city in the U.S. to be certified as wildlife habitat friendly (food, water, cover, and places to raise young) through the National Wildlife Federation? To accomplish this goal Chicago need 1,000 residence, local schools, churches or businesses to get certified.  Gethsemane Gardens has teamed up with the NWF and is ready to help us if needed. For more information go to

These are exciting times in the Northcenter Neighborhood and we hope that spring will inspire to carry through with "Big Ideas or Little Acts."  

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