Established in 1972, The Conservation Foundation is a private, not-for-profit land and watershed protection organization headquartered at the 60-acre McDonald Farm in Naperville.
McDonald Farm is home to the organization’s main offices as well their Green Earth Harvest program’s organic vegetable farming operation. The Conservation Foundation also has a Program Office at the historic Dickson-Murst Farm in Montgomery.
The mission of The Conservation Foundation is to improve the health of our communities by preserving and restoring natural areas and open space, protecting rivers and watersheds, and promoting stewardship of the environment. Work is focused primarily in DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will Counties in northeastern Illinois, and is made possible by the support of more than 5,000 members and 500 volunteers.
Jim Kleinwachter is the Home Program Manager for The Conservation Foundation and together with his staff offers local homeowners help and advice about sustainable landscape and water issues. He will go to resident’s homes to provide recommendations on how they can create a sustainable garden using native plants which is the core of an environmentally friendly landscape.
Native plants are those species that were present locally when the first settlers arrived. These plants have evolved over thousands of years to be able to live on rainwater alone, without adding fertilizer, and their deep roots help infiltrate rain where it falls and carry the moisture deep into the ground to replenish our aquifers, cleaning it as it goes.
As you start this year’s yard work and lawn care and are dreading the thought of mowing grass and applying fertilizer and weed killer, take a step back and think of the native possibilities. There are countless ways to incorporate native vegetation into your home landscape. Start one plant at a time–or create a whole new flower bed.
Contact Jim with questions or a request for a home visit at: jkleinwachter@theconservationfoundation. His office number is (630) 428-4500 x115
Jim Kleinwachter, Conservation@Home Program Manager
More from Spotlight
Watch more interviews with local nonprofit organizations serving the Naperville area.