Planting prairie grass is a wonderful way to naturalize your yard. The City of Rockford supports sustainable plantings and landscaping provided it is properly planted and maintained under best practices for native vegetation. The City of Rockford's weed control ordinance states that all premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 8 inches for improved properties. All unimproved properties greater than 1 acre in size shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 10 inches. All noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants, and vegetation, overgrowth, and underbrush other than trees or shrubs provided; however, this term shall not include cultivated crops, flowers and gardens.
It is important to take the following steps to avoid a violation enforcement of the ordinance.
- Submit a letter with a site plan showing location and area of intended prairie or native vegetation to the Land Use and Zoning Division of Community and Economic Development, 1st floor of City Hall, 425 E State Street.
- A maintenance schedule shall also be provided.
- A Land Use Planner will review your site plan for possible visibility issues, aesthetics, drainage or other development concerns.
- If approved, the Zoning Division will forward their confirmation to the Code Enforcement Division to be kept on file.
- Maintain documentation of proper planting and preservation of area from a reputable source.
- Utilize resources such as the Natural Land Institute or Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden for guidance.
- Post signage or placard at the site for identification