The Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary at Gaslight Park in Algonquin has been selected for a 2012 Conservation and Native Landscaping Award.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Wilderness selected the village for this award for its work to protect the habitat of native plants and animal species at its bird and butterfly sanctuary at Gaslight Park, 700 Terrace Drive in Algonquin, according to a village of Algonquin press release.
“This award is another fine example of Algonquin using conservation methods to develop sustainable solutions to drainage problems,” said Village President John Schmitt. “Stormwater is now filtered naturally and recharges our aquifers we use for drinking water and we no longer have the maintenance costs of mowing the site.”
The village decided to take measures to restore an area of Gaslight Park in 2009. The banks of a drainage creek had become overgrown with invasive species, such as box elder and honeysuckle, causing erosion and impacting the stormwater capacity of this site, according to the news release.
In 2009, the village began removing the invasive species and restoring the area by using native landscaping.
The site today features native plantings that create a desired habitat for birds and butterflies while still maintaining the site's storm water capacity and filtration capabilities, according to the press release.
The conservation and native landscaping awards recognize sites that are exemplary in the use of native landscaping, ecosystem restoration and protection, and/or conservation design.
These practices create and protect habitat for a variety of native plant and animal species and result in important environmental benefits for both people and nature.