Myth: Once a Wetland Is Gone, It’s Gone for Good

Wetlands provide valuable services for society, including cleaner water and keeping pesky mosquitoes in check. The sad fact, however, is that a significant portion of wetlands in the United States has been lost in the name of economic development. In Illinois alone, over 85 percent of the original wetlands in existence in 1780 have been … Read more

Myth: Mulching Your Garden Is Good for the Environment

Mulch Ado About Weed Control Anyone who listens to the news is going to be uncomfortable using chemical weed killer to control weeds in a home garden. Although many are touted as safe, herbicides do seem to have a way of getting linked to unexpected health hazards. The obvious, safer solution is to use mulch … Read more

Myth: The Earth Under Our Feet in Chicago Is All Landfill

Soils in urban areas are poorly understood. Indeed, until most recently, federal and state efforts devoted to the inventory and classification of soil have been focused on agricultural, rangeland, and forest regions. As the world becomes increasingly urbanized, more attention must be paid to studying urban soil, particularly with respect to urban agriculture and food … Read more

Myth: Earthworms Are Native to the U.S.

Spring is upon us. With the snow off the ground (for now at least), and little new growth to obscure our view of the soil, it is easy to see the early stirrings of earthworm activity. Earthworm castings, neat piles of worm poop deposited on the surface as the worms busy themselves with their soil-work, … Read more

Myth: What Happens (and Pollutes) in Chicago Stays in Chicago

Think that since streams in Northern Illinois flow into Lake Michigan, Chicago’s water pollution remains local? Think again. The Illinois River drains 11,000 square miles of our state, and draws water from three major river basins in the region. The river then flows west into the Mississippi River, not eastward towards Lake Michigan. Only water … Read more

Myth: Clear Water Is Clean Water

Some parts of northern Wisconsin and Michigan are rugged landscapes dominated by boulders, gravel, and sand. These popular vacation areas have rivers and streams that are swift-flowing and appear clear, cool, and inviting. But here in northern Illinois, our land surface is dominated by flat topography and fertile soils. Over the years as agriculture and … Read more

Myth: The Chicago River Is Too Dirty for Fish

Contrary to what many believe, the Chicago River is home to a diverse collection of nearly 70 species of fish, according to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. This increase from about 10 species in the 1970s can be attributed to the improving water quality in the Chicago River. Accordingly, the Chicago River has become a … Read more

WordPress Resources at SiteGround

WordPress is an award-winning web software, used by millions of webmasters worldwide for building their website or blog. SiteGround is proud to host this particular WordPress installation and provide users with multiple resources to facilitate the management of their WP websites: Expert WordPress Hosting SiteGround provides superior WordPress hosting focused on speed, security and customer … Read more