Get Involved

Conservation @ Home

Get involved with helping nature in southwestern Illinois at your own home!

Conservation@Home—a program established by The Conservation Foundation in Naperville, IL—educates, supports, and recognizes homeowners who incorporate environmentally friendly practices into their yard. The program uses a certification process to encourage the use of native plants and eco-friendly lawn care in home landscaping. HeartLands Conservancy (HLC) is excited to bring this wonderful program to southwestern Illinois (primarily Madison, St. Clair, Monroe, Bond, Clinton, Washington, Randolph, Jackson, Union, and Alexander counties).

If you are interested in participating in the Conservation@Home program, HLC can help you get started by:

Providing site-specific advice through free home visits. During a home visit, an HLC naturalist will join you for a walk around your yard and provide information on:

  • Attracting more birds and butterflies using native plants
  • Managing stormwater (e.g., reducing flooding, runoff, or pooling through rain barrels and/or rain gardens)
  • Adding beauty and function using trees and shrubs
  • Choosing flowers and grasses for different areas of your landscape
  • Stabilizing shoreline
  • Incorporating eco-friendly lawn care, including referrals to professional lawn care companies if desired
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Offering resources to help you get started:

  • Lists of native plants, trees, shrubs, forbs (perennial flowers), grasses, and emergents (for shoreline stabilization).
  • A checklist for homeowners interested in becoming Conservation@Home  (If your property already meets the checklist criteria, we can certify it during your home visit.)

Conservation@Home Certification Process

HeartLands Conservancy (HLC) will conduct an initial interview and survey over the phone. If staff determine that the site is ready for a consultation, we will schedule a home visit.

Cost:
Residential: $50 for non-members or $25 for existing HLC members
Businesses: $100 for Members/Sponsors or $250 for non-members

Other features included are the following:

  • Site Consultation and a home visit from HLC Conservation staff.
  • Conservation @Home or @Work certification sign upon completion.
  • Access to all of HLC Resources online:
  • Early Certification: If your property meets the criteria, it can be certified during your home visit;
  • Plant lists of native plants, trees, shrubs, forbs (perennial flowers), grasses, and emergents (for shoreline stabilization); an
  • The Criteria Checklist for Conservation@Home certification.

PLUS, non-members receive a HeartLands Conservancy membership for one year!

If you are interested in turning your property into a Conservation@Home certified landscape, fill out this form:

Contact Sarah Powell at HeartLands Conservancy for more information 618-566-4451  or sarah.powell@heartlandsconservancy.org

If you are interested in a custom project, fill out this form 

Custom Projects and HLC Assistance

This enhanced level of guidance includes services listed above, plus personalized assistance for custom native landscapes.

Cost: $500 for non-members or existing HLC members

This includes the following services:

  • Includes all services listed above in Initial Consultation.
  • Project/Site Consultation and visit from HLC staff before and after project.
  • Access to our resources and conservation staff.
  • A customized planting plan for a project, such as a pollinator/perennial border, buffer, turf replacement, native hedges, etc. This will also include a custom plant list, installation guidelines, maintenance guidelines, expectations for completed project, potential vendors, and contractors.
  • Conservation @Home or @work certification and sign, if applicable.
  • PLUS, non-members receive a HeartLands Conservancy membership for one year!

Advanced Solutions Planning & Assistance

Often there are projects that require more particular guidance. This may include planning or advice from specialized consultants for larger and more complex projects on one or more residential or commercial lots. Cost estimates for these services will be provided after an initial site visit.

Cost: Developed and determined on a case-by-case basis.

Example of services and projects of this level are the following:

  • Includes all services listed above in Initial C@H and Custom Consultation.
  • Receive customized plan and includes custom plant list, installation guidelines, maintenance guidelines, expectations for completed project, potential vendors, professionals, and contractors.
  • Conservation @Home or @Work certification and sign, if applicable.
  • Project/Site Consultation, quality control, and visit from HLC staff before, during, and after the project.
  • PLUS, non members receive a HeartLands Conservancy membership for one year! 

Examples project type are:

  • Community wide HOA-friendly native plant-based landscape plans
  • Detention/retention native landscape plan
  • Large scale pollinator buffer plans
  • Woodland restoration/improvement
  • Extensive invasive plant removal strategy
  • Severe drainage, or flash flooding issues and solutions
  • Stream or shoreline erosion
  • Lake or pond health strategy or master plan
  • Wetland restoration

If you are interested in advanced solutions assistance, fill out this form