Winter Wildlife: Identifying Animal Tracks

By Guest blogger Peggy Doty, Energy and Environmental Stewardship Educator, Illinois Extension Winter brings a unique opportunity to view wildlife in the Red Oak Rain Garden from a different perspective. Although animals move around the garden all the time, you might not notice them. In winter, from a human perspective, everything seems frozen and inactive,Continue reading “Winter Wildlife: Identifying Animal Tracks”

Holiday Decorations from the Eye of the Landscape Designer

By Layne Knoche, RORG Landscape Designer Early each December, my mom and I take on one of our favorite tasks of the year: putting up the Christmas tree. It sounds fairly simple, but I promise you, it’s anything but. While the tree isn’t the showiest or most extravagant, it’s steeped in traditions dating back toContinue reading “Holiday Decorations from the Eye of the Landscape Designer”

RORG’s First Student Team: A Recap of the Fall 2020 Semester

By the RORG Team Over the fall 2020 semester, Red Oak Rain Garden Team members Layne and Kate had the privilege of leading the first RORG Student Team. The students, from Instructor Eric Green‘s Environmental Studies (ENVS) 492: Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Capstone class, accomplished a wide variety of tasks over the four months theyContinue reading “RORG’s First Student Team: A Recap of the Fall 2020 Semester”

Planting in Layers: How to Design with Native Species

by Layne Knoche, RORG Landscape Designer, and Eliana Brown, RORG Director RORG’s design is based on the planting approach described in the book “Planting in a Post-Wild World” by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West. This approach includes the concept of designing with functional layers that form a complex yet organized landscape that reflects nature. RORG’sContinue reading “Planting in Layers: How to Design with Native Species”

Reimagining the Suburban Lawn: Opportunities for Growth

By Lauren Lindow, RORG Student Team Member Before the construction of the Red Oak Rain Garden, the area had been poor-quality lawn existing on compacted soil and filled with weeds. These conditions are commonly found in the average suburban lawn. Since the conversion to native plants, the area has grown into a much more interestingContinue reading “Reimagining the Suburban Lawn: Opportunities for Growth”