Conservation Foundation invites gardeners to spring events

The Conservation Foundation is once again selling rain barrels to home gardeners..

The Conservation Foundation is a not-for-profit land and watershed conservation organization dedicated to preserving and restoring open space, protecting rivers and watersheds and promoting stewardship of the environment in northeastern Illinois.

Its work focuses on projects in DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will counties, but does assist with other work in other surrounding Northern Illinois counties.


Rain barrels and other

conservation practices

March 27, 1 to 3 p.m.

In this workshop, Jim Kleinwachter will show you how rain barrels and rain gardens work and how to install them to capture the valuable water resource that falls on your land. He will also show ways to put the rainwater to good use, or to solve water problems, with a nature-friendly habitat in your backyard.

The presentation will be followed at 2 p.m. with a tour of the 60-acre McDonald Farm, an organic vegetable farm as well as the headquarters of The Conservation Foundation.

The farm, as a showplace of conservation in action, features on-the-ground examples of rain and butterfly gardens, rainwater harvesting, solar and wind energy, permeable paving, and native plants.

Rain barrels will be available for purchase for $65 each. These rain barrels are repurposed food grade plastic barrels that are equipped with spigots, screens to prevent mosquito breeding, and overflow valves.

Sandwich spring

gardening workshop

April 2, begins at 8 a.m.

There is no charge for this community event, which will be held at the David A. Francis Community Center, 1001 N. Latham St., Sandwich. You need to either online at or call the Park office at 815-786-8044 to sign-up. In-person attendance will be limited in order to maintain social distancing and masks will be optional to help keep us well.

The program will also be offered live on Zoom, however, so if you prefer to participate from home, provide your email address when you call to pre-register and you will receive an email with the Zoom link.

McDonald Farm

annual plant sale

April 12- 26

The greenhouses are bursting with a wide variety of organic vegetable and herb seedlings grown here at McDonald Farm by our Green Earth Harvest farmers, and native plant growers have reserved favorite native perennials and grasses for your shopping delight.

Gardeners will see many varieties of tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, summer squash, cucumbers and herbs, and decorative herb boxes and salad planters that make the perfect Mother’s Day gifts.

Pre-orders will be accepted online only again this year with easy, contactless pickups

How It Works

Ordering for native plants opens to Conservation@Home and The Conservation Foundation members and shareholders on Monday, April 11 and to the general public on Tuesday, April 12. Orders will be accepted through noon on Tuesday, April 26.

Ordering for vegetables opens to Conservation@Home and The Conservation Foundation members and shareholders on Thursday, May 5 and then to the public on Friday, May 6. All orders must be placed by noon on Sunday, May 8.

Contactless Pickup will be at McDonald Farm, 10S404 Knoch Knolls Road, Naperville.

Pickups for native plants and vegetables takes place on Friday and Saturday, May 13-14, beginning with last names A-D on Friday from 3 to 5 p.m.; then last names E-K from 5 to 7 p.m.; then last names L-Q on Saturday from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., followed by last names R – Z from 10:30 1 p.m.