Start In Your Yard

Join others who are planting native plants and learning to share their yards with the butterflies and birds, bees and bugs.
Click here for getting-started videos.Click here to research native plants and more.Click here to see images of plants we often recommend.
Wild Ones July Yard Tours
July 27 at 9:30 in St. Charles
July 27 at 11:00 in Elgin
Click here to register on Eventbrite and get the addresses
Visit these two properties with contrasting native gardens. Visit them both in a single morning. Enjoy the company of others with similar interests, learn how these residents got started, and get ideas you may want to use.
NOTE:  When you receive an email from Eventbrite, you can scroll down toward the bottom to find the addresses to visit.
Looking for Lightning Bugs?
Catching a firefly is like catching a star. It’s a core memory for many American children: the crisp summer evening air, the far-off songs of insects and frogs, and the magical glow of a firefly delicately cupped between a child’s hands. These incredible insects can be found in every state of the continental United States, with some regions boasting more than 50 species! Like many insects though, the fireflies are experiencing a sharp decline.
Click here to read the rest of this article from National Wildlife Federation. It lists five ways you can support fireflies by turning your yard into firefly-friendly habitat.
Start In Your Yard Site Visits
If you've signed up,  
... watch for an email invitation. We're just about to start the scheduling process. 
What is it?  
Customized help to get you started adding native plants to your yard!
If we've visited your site, you know that this is an opportunity to ask questions, brainstorm possibilities, or just invite us to propose ideas for how to get started. 
Whether it's adding some native plants to existing beds, converting a decorative bed to native habitat, or beginning to downsize your lawn, your interest inspires us. We love sharing what we've learned since we started, just as you're starting.
Request a site visit.Click here to see images of plants we often recommend.
Free Trees for Elgin Residents
Rachel's Visual Notes
... from a seminar on sedges at Midwest Groundcovers
Elgin Residents -- ALERT 
The City is offering residents financial assistance to plant rain gardens and to deal with standing water.
Click here to read about the program and download the application.
If you've been thinking about putting in a rain garden or just recently heard about them, this is an opportunity to be reimbursed for part of the cost. You can do it yourself or hire it done.

To begin researching rain gardens, go to our Resources page (scroll up to see the tab) and click the button for Rain and Pollinator Gardens to go to the lists and links to get you started.

If you're looking for a landscaper who can create a native rain garden, it's in the Support section on the same page under Commercial / Landscapers.

If you have a problem with standing water, you can use this same program for reimbursement, and often many of the same plant species.
To request a call or site visit with an experienced Start In Your Yard gardener, email
The Rainwater in Your Yard with Jessica Mino
Be Part of Wild Ones
If you don't already receive the newsletter from Wild Ones, Greater Kane County Chapter, click below to
Sign up to receive notice of meetings and tours.
Join our Greater Kane County chapter of Wild Ones.
Click here to go to to join.
Our Demo Gardens
Wild Ones is committed to planting gardens in public spaces to acquaint people with some of our many native plants. We use them to pique people's interest, demonstrate how native plants can be used in landscaping, and to augment our site visits. 
Visit our demo gardens to see native plants
The Cobblestone House
corner of Chicago and Crystal Streets in Elgin
Click here to see the list of plants in these gardens.Click to see pictures of the plants in the tree bank.Click to see pictures of the plants around the house.
Gardens at Tyler Creek at Lyle Avenue 
in Elgin's Valley Creek
Click here to see the list of plants in these gardens.Click for pictures of the plants in the large gardenClick for pictures of the plants in the little gardenClick for pictures of the plants in the garden at the bridge
Parkway Garden
at the corner of S.DuBois and Erie in Elgin
Click here to see the list of plants in this garden.Click for pictures of plants in this garden.
Gail Borden Library
both side of center walkway from parking lot to entrance
If you have an idea for a place to locate a demo garden, let us know. It should be visible from the road or street, with a place to stop, get out of the car and look up close.
Click here to submit your idea.
Join Our CREW
Captivated, Ready and Eager to Weed
If you don't have a place to garden at home, or
If you like to garden with other people, or
If you want to learn about gardening with natives, or
If you haven't yet started with natives at home, or
If you want to help educate the public about natives, or
If you're willing to support SIYY in this way...
Click here to sign up.
The demo gardens listed above, as well as the swales in the SWAN neighborhood, need care and attention. Sign up and choose how you want to participate, and how often.
Our guarantee:  You'll get dirty and have fun!

Building habitat in our neighborhoods and public spaces.

Start in Your Yard is a movement of people who are realizing that we have become disconnected from our natural world and our place in it. Recognizing that we are part of nature, we are learning what we need to know to be cooperative partners and share the land we live on. 


Starting in our own yards with regional wildflowers, we build sustainable corridors for the flora and fauna that were intended to thrive here.


Together, we encourage our neighbors and our communities to join in the movement to preserve this area for generations to come.


Attend one of our many local events to visit local projects or learn from conservation experts.

Watch Presentations from 
Our 2020-2021 Community Read

Learn from and engage with experts in conservation, resource management, ecology, and sustainability. 
Start In Your Yard is an initiative launched by the Greater Kane County chapter of Wild Ones