In December 1997, the publication “Native Plant Guide for Streams and
Stormwater Facilities in Northeastern Illinois” (commonly known as the Native
Plant Guide) was developed and released in a hard copy format. It was prepared
by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services’ Chicago Metro Urban and
Community Assistance Office, in cooperation with U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, Region 5, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chicago Field Office, and the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District. The many individuals and their
contributions to this cooperative effort are listed in the Acknowledgements
section of the original guide.
Since its original release, the Native Plant Guide has been widely utilized as a
reference in northeastern Illinois, elsewhere in Illinois and other states. It
is commonly referenced in stormwater management, soil erosion and sediment
control, and detention ordinances—particularly in northeastern Illinois.
In late 2003 an effort was initiated to convert the Native Plant Guide to a
digital format and make it available on the Internet on the Illinois NRCS
website. Two new appendices were added, and the others were updated as needed.
This effort will be the first step toward a potential expansion of the Native
Plant Guide and release in a browsable CD format.
Several individuals contributed to the 2004 Revision, digital conversion, and
accessibility on the Illinois NRCS website. NRCS Earth Team Volunteer Kara Bowen
scanned original plant species images; Visual Information Specialist Cara Clark
made file updates and converted original files for digital, web and display use;
State Public Affairs Specialist Paige Mitchell-Buck coordinated production and
proof-reading, Public Affairs Specialist Jill Rees did graphic design of the CD
cover; and Community Assistance Specialist Kent Sims gathered information and
updated Appendix A and continually provided impetus and quality oversight for
the expansion and success of this project. Jeff Mengler of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service’s Chicago, Illinois Field Office, who was a significant
contributor to the original Native Plant Guide, provided information for the
new/revised Appendices B-E.
The digital version of the Native Plant Guide was created using Adobe Acrobat
6.0. Adobe 6.0 Reader can be downloaded free of charge from