Conservation In the ‘Burbs

conservation@home sign picture

native plants picture


So, one day I asked myself what more I can do for conservation, especially as a suburbanite who doesn’t have a few thousand acres to donate. Well, here are a few ideas that anyone interested in local conservation efforts can do.



Go Native

Conservation begins

right in your own yard! Put your yard to work for nature with native plants, rain barrels, and reduced chemical use, and get recognized for your efforts through The Conservation Foundation’s Conservation@Home program.



Volunteers keep the heart of our mission pumping all throughout our service territory. They help restore local natural areas and forest preserves while improving animal habitats and corridors. Here are a few suggestions through The Conservation Foundation:

conservation@home sign picture

  • McDonald Farm volunteers – Naperville
  • Green Earth Harvest volunteers – Naperville
  • Friends of O’Hara Woods – Romeoville
  • Dickson-Murst Farm Partners – Montgomery
  • Community work day volunteers
  • Roving Band of Land Stewards
  • Friends of Dayton Bluffs Preserve – Ottawa
  • Event volunteers and ambassadors


Help take care of our local rivers and streams that are a vital resource and connecting point of our communities. Wade in and show a waterway near you some love! (But you can also do a boatload of good without getting wet.)

  • DuPage River Sweep – each May (May 19th, 2022)
  • Yorkville Community Cleanups – Seasonal
  • It’s Our Fox River Day – each September
  • Start a river cleanup near you!



Eat organic. Maybe do a Meatless Monday every now and then. Nourish your family with healthy, organic vegetables grown right at our McDonald Farm headquarters through our Green Earth Harvest program! Become a shareholder, volunteer, or visit our seasonal farmstand.


rain barrel pictureRecycle

Buy recycled and recyclable products to help conserve natural resources. Reduce your plastic use to reduce the use of fossil fuels. This can be done by simply taking advantage of reusable shopping bags instead of putting your purchases in plastic bags from the store.



You can even be conservation-minded in death. There are now green burials! No caskets or concrete liners are used. The dead are not embalmed, to eliminate synthetic, potentially harmful chemicals. Each body lowered into the ground will wear only biodegradable clothing and a shroud. A conservation cemetery takes green burial grounds one step further. Its landscape protects the dead as they naturally decompose – and in return, the dead help protect the land (with the customary laws that discourage disturbing cemeteries.


But while you’re still breathing, along with the above, you could always write a blog or two.


Hopefully you have been inspired to act. These actions are what The Conservation Foundation employees, members, and volunteers do every day. We can all do more together than we can alone. Join our collective momentum – become a member today!


Feel free to comment on this blog with additional ideas about how you can help with conservation – even in the ‘burbs.


By Steve Stawarz, Oak Brook
DuPage County Advisory Council Member


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