Round Lake Area Public Library Wildlife Habitat


In the northeast corner of Illinois you can find the city of Round Lake and the Round Lake Area Public Library. The courtyard at the library has been landscaped and is a certified wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. I recently contacted the library to find out more about their habitat and Debbie Allen, the Head of Youth Services was kind enough to respond. She helps take care of the courtyard and was responsible for getting it certified. At the end of the interview enjoy a slideshow of images of the courtyard through the seasons, kindly provided by Debbie Allen. I hope more libraries follow this example. What an excellent opportunity for nature education!

How was it decided to create wildlife habitat in your courtyard and to get it certified?

I have a background in Earth Science and Conservation and do nature programs at the library so the…

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A Tale of Two Courtyards

These two courtyards are in my neighborhood in Seattle and present dramatically different landscapes. One is in the center of a U-shaped, tall building and faces north while the other is a short building with an L-shaped courtyard and opens NW. The first one has minimal trees, only small ones in the courtyard and entrance while the second has large trees that cast heavy shadows over much of the courtyard. The first is full of flowers, some native plants and some minimal structural plants of hedge-type plantings. It’s a really lovely space that most people may miss because it’s elevated from the street level. The second courtyard is also elevated, with a locked gate, but it’s not at all lovely. It seems very barren, with only a few varieties of plants, nothing of color and most the plants are heavily trimmed.

From a design perspective there’s no competition, the first…

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