Jean has been a life-long gardener, but her evolution into gardening with natives has come about in the last 30 years. She and husband, Dave have been returning natives to their land- formerly degraded farmland. By education an RN, she found background in medicine afforded a transition into an opportunity—with her interest in plants—to establish a plant rental and plant care service business, the industry known as Interiorscaping. Once retired it has been her pleasure to continue work on her land and become a member of WildOnes Greater Kane Chapter. She is active in their community initiative known as Start In Your Yard to bring support to those who by returning native plants, trees and shrubs wish to steward a property that is shared with many species.
After 20 years as an educator, Nancy Lamia retooled as a computer professional. Working at Prairie Stone in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, she met native prairie plants on the campus – and loved them. Thus began the conversion of her home’s landscape to native plants, with serviceberry, fragrant sumac, prairie smoke and more. Yearsater, abandoning golf for birding, she began to read about birds and discovered that their numbers are declining because of habitat loss. Surveying her yard, she discovered that the green hedge she loved for its privacy, was all buckthorn, which
poisons birds and displaces the native plants that provide them food and shelter. After removing that hedge and replacing it with natives, she found the Wild Ones organization. Its incredible members introduced her to Doug Tallamy’s ideas, and she is now active with its Start In Your Yard initiative — still using what she learned in both of her careers.