As their name implies, Greenwise specializes in 100% eco-friendly landscaping services. Their maintenance packages for residential or commercial lawns use sustainable, renewable alternative products to keep Mother Nature from giving them a stern lecture. Propane- or electric-driven mowers trim grass with low amounts of emissions and their grass seed is fused with beneficial fungi that nourish turf without the need for added chemicals. Additionally, their fertilizers use nutrient-rich compost comprised of molasses and yeast, and weeds and harmful insects are eliminated with nontoxic, all-natural products.
Greenwise’s devotion to lowering carbon footprints extends to their landscaping design as well. They plant organic gardens that blossom with fresh fruits and vegetables to add aesthetic beauty to yards and cut down on trips to the grocer. They are also proponents of working with native flora, which make for a more sustainable garden and attract native birds and butterflies to yards to entertain bored lawn ornaments.
The Center has welcomed kids onto its farm since 1936. It probably wasn't as much of a novelty back then, when Illinois was home to more than 220,000 farms and the U.S. government issued everyone a farmer's hat at birth. But that number has decreased steadily with each decade, dropping to just 76,000 by 2010, per the USDA. Which means that today, The Children's Farm at The Center gives kids and their families something increasingly special: the chance to experience life on an independent rural farm. Here, chickens lay eggs, goats give milk, and horses eat hay harvested right on the farm. The staff also leads tours of these grounds and explains how each animal fits into farm life. They even let kids pet some of the livestock before finishing up tours with a hayride.
For a completely immersive experience, The Children's Farm hosts summer camps for ages 3–17. During each camp session, campers live on the farm for days or weeks at a time, spending their days riding horses and caring for the animals.
Straightline Landscaping & Lawn Maintenance, Ltd. designs and maintains lawns for both homes and businesses. The company’s uniformed technicians clip lawns in weekly sessions, perform spring and fall cleanups, and stave off weeds, crabgrass, fungi, and people who gargle with soil. The company is a member of both the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association and PLANET, an international network of environmentally responsible landscapers.