GLEN ELLYN – Resident Jennifer Umlauf wants to do her part to make sure her yard is environmentally friendly.
Umlauf's yard is one of the yards that will be featured in the Sustainable Yard Tour from 9 a.m. to noon June 24. She is a member of the Glen Ellyn Environmental Commission.
"I have a gutter alternative called a rainhandler," she said. "Instead of capturing and concentrating water, the water comes off the roof and scatters it in a bigger spray pattern than just a drip line, so water stays on the property. In another area, we created a small rain garden. So two gutters go [into] a rain garden. And then I have a mix of native plants throughout the yard."
The tour will start at Maryknoll Park, 845 Pershing Ave., Glen Ellyn, and maps to the six locations will be provided. The village of Glen Ellyn, Glen Ellyn Environmental Commission, Glen Ellyn Park District and The Conservation Foundation are presenting the tour.
Registration is required for the event, which is rain or shine. To register, go to shawurl.com/33ip.
This is the first year of the tour. The maps will include parking locations.
"The [Environmental Commission] was talking about things that we could do to educate the public, which is one of our main missions," Umlauf said. "It is an opportunity for people to see examples of gardens that have implemented sustainable gardening practices, such as using native plants and trying different water conservation and stormwater management systems."
Limiting the use of pesticides and herbicides is another practice of sustainable yards, she said.
Umlauf said those who go on the free tour will see a variety of gardens.
"Some gardens are newer, some have been established a long time," she said. "It's a way to see how these gardens have been created and developed and maintained, so that hopefully visitors can take ideas to their own yards."
Umlauf said she is happy with the benefits her sustainable garden is providing, such as water conservation.
"It brings in wildlife," she said. "It's alive, rather than sterile. And it helps relieve water from my neighbor's basement that had some flooding problems. Now that we worked together to redistribute the water and handle it to keep it on the property, it has eliminated my neighbor's flooding issues."
If you go
What: Sustainable Yard Tour
When: 9 a.m. to noon June 24
Where: Starts at Maryknoll Park, 845 Pershing Ave., Glen Ellyn, and maps to the six locations will be provided
Info: Registration required at shawurl.com/33ip