TCF's Pollinator Meadow Mix
TCF's Pollinator Meadow Mix

The Conservation Foundation’s Pollinator Meadow Mix is the perfect alternative to traditional turf grass.  Bursting with colorful native plants but specifically designed to keep a low profile, this new product will bring beauty and function back to school, church and corporate campuses, roadsides and parks across northeastern Illinois while helping businesses, organizations and municipalities reduce their maintenance costs and fossil fuel consumption. 

What’s not to love??

ComEd Easement Before
Turf-to-Prairie Conversion
ComEd Easement After
Turf-to-Prairie Conversion
(photos courtesy of The Pizzo Group)

While The Conservation Foundation’s Pollinator Meadow Mix is site-specific and will vary depending upon hydrology and growing conditions, it contains a mixture of short-growing perennial flowers, grasses and sedges, and buffalo grass that are native to Illinois. It was developed in partnership with The Pizzo Group, Applied Ecological Services, and Cardno.  All three companies sell the mix and offer installation and maintenance services.  The Conservation Foundation will receive a donation of $1/pound of Pollinator Meadow Mix sold.

Click here to see The Conservation Foundation's Pollinator Meadow Mix brochure.

Benefits of The Conservation Foundation’s Pollinator Meadow Mix:

  • Reduces maintenance cost compared to turf grass
  • Reduces mowing, water and fossil fuel consumption
  • Increases water absorption
  • Increases habitat for wildlife and pollinator insects
  • Increases carbon sequestration
  • Enhances curb and aesthetic appeal for enriched employee and customer experience 

It is recommended that The Conservation Foundation’s Pollinator Meadow Mix be professionally installed and maintained for the first two years as the plants get established. The seeding area will have a small bloom after one year as native plants build root systems, and should be fully matured and in bloom by the third year.  Ongoing maintenance still is needed, but at a significant cost reduction compared to that of grass turf.

What It Does For Pollinators
The alarming decline of pollinator species, such as bees and butterflies, has been getting a lot of attention lately.  The pollinator crisis has been directly linked to habitat loss and pesticide use.  Large tracts of turf grass are basically ecological deserts, offering nothing in the way of nutrition or suitable living conditions for the birds, butterflies and insects that keep our ecosystems in balance.   The colorful native plants in The Conservation Foundation’s Pollinator Meadow Mix offer a tasty, beautiful buffet of pollen and nectar for the pollinators that delight our eyes and enable our food and plants to grow.

What It Does For Your Budget
While The Conservation Foundation’s Pollinator Meadow Mix will still require some maintenance after it is established, it will need much less than a traditional turf grass landscape. 

Businesses and municipalities that plant The Conservation Foundation’s Pollinator Meadow Mix will be eligible for Conservation@Work certification, another program of The Conservation Foundation that recognizes property owners who employ conservation practices in the care of their land.

The Conservation Foundation’s Pollinator Meadow Mix is ideal for corporate campuses, parks, churches, schools and municipal sites.

 For more information, contact Jim Kleinwachter at (630) 428-4500, ext. 115 or email jkleinwachter@theconservationfoundation.org.