Graceland Cemetery

Lawn to Native Prairie Transformation
CLIENT:
Graceland Cemetery
​​LOCATION:
Chicago, Illinois
PROJECT SIZE:
2.5 Acres
TIME PERIOD:
2014-Present
​ROLE OF THE FIRM:
  • Native Seed & Plug Installation
  • Natural Areas Stewardship
  • Prescribed Fire
PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. completed a lawn-to-prairie transformation at the historic Graceland Cemetery in Chicago and the results are incredible. Starting in 2014, we worked with a landscape architecture firm and the Cemetery’s Board to create a beautiful prairie that is now home to birds, butterflies, and other native wildlife.

When we started the project in 2014, the entire area was lawn. We collaboratively designed and installed a 2.5-acre prairie with our native seed and native plugs and created a beautiful and functional prairie. Through regular stewardship (maintenance) and prescribed burns, the lawn has been transformed into a thriving natural habitat.

The native plants have attracted native birds, butterflies and other pollinators and is now a main destination for bird watchers in the Chicago area. 

PROJECT GOALS:
The Board of Directors wanted to add a unique, non-traditional landscape feature to the cemetery for guests to enjoy. By putting informational signage throughout the prairie and walking paths throughout the area, guests are able to learn about both the history of Graceland Cemetery and Illinois prairies.
PROJECT SCOPE:
The project began with all of the turf being herbicided, and then was burned off in the summer. A hand seeding followed immediately after the burn was completed. Pizzo’s crews have maintained the prairie since then, with the occasional prescribed fire being one of the main tools used. It’s quite the sight to see a prairie on fire for riders of the CTA Red and Purple lines that pass by the prairie!
Graceland Cemetery
Graceland Cemetery

Wildflowers thrive in the summer and provide pollinator and songbird habitat to this peaceful setting

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Graceland Cemetery
Graceland Cemetery

An aerial view of the planting and paths

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Graceland Cemetery
Graceland Cemetery

The prairie at its finest!

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Graceland Cemetery
Graceland Cemetery

Wildflowers thrive in the summer and provide pollinator and songbird habitat to this peaceful setting

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