By Kim Johnsen, Director of Marketing & Membership, NLI

Rick Barton, member of NLI’s Community Outreach & Engagement Committee, did a Conservation@Home site visit recently to Eric Ellison’s home in Rockford and found that Eric easily met the requirements to become certified and installed NLI’s Conservation@Home sign.

Eric has been purchasing native plants from Wild Ones Rock River Valley Chapter’s native plant sales for several years, collecting a wide assortment of flora from forbs to grasses, trees and shrubs. His home landscape also shows he has been removing invasive species to make room for native plants to thrive, as well as providing friendly habitat for wildlife that includes bird feeders and brush piles, and he leaves vegetation standing over winter to provide food for the animals that come looking for fuel.

Eric also incorporates good environmental conservation by not using fertilizers or herbicides and has very little grass to mow. He directs downspouts to planted areas instead of pavement and uses native vegetation to slow run-off, which is great for water conservation.

Paths invite you to meander through his yard to enjoy the natural surroundings. Thank you Eric for all you’re doing to create a sanctuary for native plants and animals to thrive in an urban neighborhood.

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