Collaboration leads to new native gardens at Wilder Park

  • native garden in Wilder Park
  • planting natives in your garden
  • planting natives in your garden

A recent collaboration with Elmhurst Cool Cities Coalition (ECCC) has transformed the exterior north end of Wilder Park Conservatory into a new destination that hopefully will spark joy and creativity for visitors.

Swing a left past Wilder Park Conservatory’s main entrance and visitors now see a series of native gardens outside, as well as signage which highlights native plants and the benefits of incorporating them into a landscape. The fence beyond the garden features a new art installation, with the word ‘Grow’ blazoned across it underscoring the intention of the garden. From flowering natives to rain garden plants, the intent is that visitors walk away inspired to try something new in their gardens at home.

Native plants are great for nature and for gardeners. They provide food for pollinators and habitat for wildlife, while also needing less water and maintenance to thrive.

Previously, this space was an underutilized area of the property, but last fall, Park District staff and ECCC volunteers came together to begin planning for the garden. Site preparations began in early spring, followed by the planting of the garden by ECCC volunteers this month. ECCC also donated $1,500 towards plants and signs.

Staff looks forward to visitors checking out the display on their next visit to the Conservatory. The addition gives families another place to explore when they’re at the park, as well as an opportunity to grow both their knowledge and their gardens.