A Bit of Native Prairie Returning to Glencoe

Real Estate Agent with Baird & Warner Real Estate

Glencoe Prairie Restoration by Margaret GossA bit of native prairie is returning to Glencoe at Shelton Park near the corner of Green Bay Road and Harbor.  I was pleasantly surprised one morning while jogging through the park to see a new sign announcing this exciting development.  In a land where tallgrass prairies once ranged as far as the eye could see and as tall as a horse, this approximately 1/2 acre plot may not seem like much, but believe me, it is!

It takes a long time and a lot of patience to establish a native prairie - prairie plants have extremely long roots that are fire and drought resistant.  It may seem like the weeds have won the battle in the first 2-3 years, but ultimately the prairie plants will dominate and their dense root system will not allow weeds to grow. 

Rick Bold, Glencoe Park District manager for this project, told me that it takes 3-5 years for the new seeds to grow and at least one winter of freezing temperatures are necessary for proper growth.  In the meantime, the old sod will insistently try to grow back.

Shelton Park was renovated in 2004 and the idea of restorating a corner of the park for a restoration arose at that time.  The park district is working with an outside consultant, Tallgrass Restoration, to properly oversee Glencoe Prairie Restoration by Margaret Gossthe landscaping and planting.  A restoration can be described as a purposeful assembly of plants to recreate an ecosystem that is similar to the original.

The sign (shown at right) at Shelton Park announcing the prairie restoratation reads:


"In the commitment to be stewards of the environment, the Glencoe Park District is restoring this Tallgrass Wildflower Prairie to benefit the environment and larger community, enriching the natural heritage of Glencoe's wildlife, plants and flowers.

Reviving native plant communities can do many things, including reduce the maintenance costs and carbon footprint associated with machinery and fuel, provide storm water runoff benefits, and bring back the vibrant colors and native wildlife that enrich our landscape.

In the next 1-3 years in this area of Shelton Park, you will begin to see some of the beautiful wildflowers and grasses shown below.  We thank you for your patience while this prairie is in its restorative process, and hope you look forward to its growth and development.  For further information on this project, please contact Rick Bold at (847) 835-4648."


Here's the list of wildflowers and grasses that  were planted in October, 2009:  Wheatgrass

Slender Wheat Grass

Little Bluestem

Smooth Blue Aster

New England Aster

Side-oats Grama

Partridge Pea

Sand/Lance-Leaved Coreopsis

Illinois Bundle Flower

Broad-leaved Purple Coneflower                                                            Purple Coneflower

Nodding/Canada Wild Rye

Virginia Wild Rye

False Sunflower

Slender/Path Rush

Spike Blazing Star

Wild Lupine

Wild Bergamot

Foxglove Beard Tongue/Smooth Penstemon

Purple Prairie Clover

Wild Bergamot


Yellow Coneflower

Black-eyed Susan

Stiff/Rigid Goldenrod

Hoary Vervain


To better understand the importance of prairie restoration consider that Illinois once had over 22 million acres of prairie, of which just 2000 acres are still intact.  Even a small restoration enriches the soil, helps with erosion and sucks up extra water during rainfall.  In addition, they attract butterflies and other pollinators.


Since the running and biking trail passes right past the prairie, look for the informational sign and stop by to check it out. Remember, be patient and you will soon see something very special growing right in the middle of Glencoe. . . something that had almost completely been lost to farming, commerce and housing is now making a small comeback in our midst.

Posted by

Margaret Goss - Winnetka and North Shore Real Estate Broker
Specializing in homes for sale in Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Northbrook, and Evanston.

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Wow, I like all your photos. They look like I can touch them physically. Thanks for sharing. By the way, I appreciate these useful <a href=http://smartiepad.com>real estate news and updates</a>. Good luck on all your ventures. 

Dec 07, 2009 11:26 PM #1
Gabriela Agostinelli
RE/MAX100 - Leonardtown, MD
your full time agent!

Beautiful project and pictures margaret!

Dec 09, 2009 02:13 AM #2
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Margaret:  Thanks for the remarkable pictures ... and the info.  Our county (Will) is making huge strides in multiple areas surrounding our home doing much the same regarding habitat and preserves.  Although in an earlier stage of completion, we can already enjoy many of the benefits ... both visually and through actively partaking of the sites.  Not only are they much welcomed for their visual appeal, conservation efforts, environmental impact, and health benefits ... but they definitely will improve and increase the value of the residences nearby.  Seems like a "win-win" situation all around!

Hope your holidays are going well!


Dec 09, 2009 02:44 AM #3
Chris Minion
O'Brien Realty - Lexington Park, MD

Hello Margaret,

What a great project!!  Thank you so much for the information and the beautiful photos!  Terrific post! 



Dec 09, 2009 05:13 AM #4
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Thank you, all!  I love the idea of prairie restoration and was so excited to see it going on right here in my backyard!

Dec 09, 2009 10:03 AM #5
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

How very, very cool! You should also join the ActiveRain Nature Station and post this there.

Happy end of year!

Dec 09, 2009 01:47 PM #6
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Margaret Goss

Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
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