Wild Ones bus tour extends registration

The deadline to reserve a seat for the Saturday, July 24, bus tour of Prairie Crossing has been extended to the day of the event. The visit to this critically acclaimed conservation community in Grayslake, Ill., is sponsored by the Rock River Valley Chapter of Wild Ones Natural Landscapers.

The tour will last from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and cost is $16 for Wild Ones members and $20 for nonmembers. Those wishing to attend should meet at Highcrest Shopping Center, 1614 N. Alpine Rd., Rockford. The bus leaves from Highcrest Shopping Center promptly at 8 a.m. on July 24. Contact Cathy Schafman at (815) 624-7195 for reservations and additional info.

Prairie Crossing has gained national recognition as a model of conservation development. The developers of the 677-acre site realized significant monetary savings by using natural landscaping techniques instead of following traditional methods of land development.

Restored ecosystems and residential development exist side by side at Prairie Crossing. Innovative procedures were implemented to preserve and restore the surrounding open space, consisting of agricultural and natural landscapes, while developing sites for home construction. Common areas made up of restored prairie and wetland surround green-constructed, energy-efficient homes with naturally landscaped yards. Natural landscaping provides a filter for storm water runoff, cleaning the water that flows into the community’s Lake Aldo Leopold. Other features of the community include an organic farm, 10 miles of trails and easy commuting to Chicago by rail.

Dr. Michael Sands, environmental team leader for Prairie Crossing, will lead a tour of several residential properties to see diverse uses of native plants. Visitors will view common areas and Lake Aldo Leopold.

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