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                  BEFORE                                       AFTER


A Senior Living Community, located in Lindenhurst Illinois, The Village at Victory Lakes encompasses 38 acres of lush prairie landscape. Victory Lakes offers an active enriching lifestyle that provides its residents with life-enriching activities and just the right levels of care. 

As early as 2014, it was determined that a new outdoor activity space was needed for the active residents and staff. Balanced Environments, Inc. was chosen to help guide the committee through the entire landscape process. This decision was based upon a trusting partnership with Cal Isaacson, the community’s Executive Director. “I have worked with Balanced Environments for over 10 years at two different senior living communities. We chose to work with Balanced Environments because all the design, implementation, and installation pieces were all in one place.”

Through an initial ‘discovery’ process, the community administrators, activity and marketing staff specified what they would like to achieve from this project. The overall goal was to create “an outdoor resident activity space that was functional, beautifully utilizing the existing natural setting, yet visually dramatic to the eye.” The design team went to work to create an outdoor space that would achieve these goals and more. The vision included a soothing water feature as the focal point to call upon the senses of sound and touch. A wood burning fire pit with gas starter extends the daily enjoyment into the evening and into the cool fall and winter months. Walking paths encourage residents and family members to experience the hundreds of plant varieties that were incorporated into the design. Subtle landscape lighting was designed to accent the trees and water feature while providing functional illumination of the patio and walking paths for nighttime use. The vision was clear and well received when presented to the resident Landscape Committee.

As with any project, budgets and construction details needed to be ironed out. There were a number of site challenges that required proactive planning. 





  1. Two large existing memorial trees were relocated on the campus grounds to provide the space needed for the new construction and allowing these memorials to continue to thrive in greater serenity.
  2. Existing utilities and underground drainage elements were numerous in this space and required accurate location, precise excavation and timely installation.
  3. Troublesome drainage issues needed to be resolved from original site development. The existing storm water drain elevation was nearly six feet lower than the foundation grade. To maintain proper drainage and retention, a sunken rain garden was developed surrounding the storm drain. Moisture loving plants including; iris, fern, native grasses and native wetland button bush were utilized.
  4. To add to the elevation equation, fill was needed to achieve the level base planes required for the water feature, walking paths and expansive patio. Additional site drainage included the installation of underground drain tile, strategically located catch basins, and proper grading to further improve overall drainage and utilization by the graying population.
  5. To accommodate a determinate budget, the project was broken into phases requiring precise scheduling and timing of the various tasks. Sleeves were installed beneath phase one hardscape elements to accommodate lighting and irrigation lines in phase two. Large specimen birch trees were installed early in the construction process well before drainage lines, utilities and hardscapes construction could begin.


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During this season, we take time to reflect upon the good things we have... like our partnership with you. We appreciate working with you and hope that the holidays and the coming year will bring you happiness and success.


Account Managers, ED REIER, ADAM TECZA, JASON SEEBACKER, and JUDY SHORT from Balanced Environments Inc. served up a Lunch-n-Learn for 19 property managers from Hillcrest Property Management in Lombard, IL on Monday, December 5th, 2016. A full overview of all the service lines Balanced Environments offers to our clients as well as why Dormant Pruning is so important for your landscape was presented while the property managers ate a yummy catered lunch.

Balanced Environments Inc. offered their services as crowd control volunteers to help with the VISIT LAKE GENEVA 41ST ANNUAL ELECTRIC CHRISTMAS "CELEBRATE YOUR INNER ELF" PARADE on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016. It was a chilly day but a great time was had by all. The parade consisted of Santa arriving on a dazzling pontoon boat, several marching bands, over 80 floats, an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 people in attendance, and 65 rosy-cheeked volunteers. 


If we had no winter, spring would not be so amazing!

Balanced Environments Winter Service Matching Game


As the 2016 landscape season comes to a close, we are reminded that it's not too late to order the following services to prepare your landscape for the next few months.


Can you match up the descriptions with the services we can provide to help your landscape survive our harsh winters? 

1. Most evergreen plant foilage will benefit from preventative protection from witner elements and conditions.

2. Salt and deicing compounds used for ice control will play havoc with plants that are in close proximity to roadways and walkways.


CAI hosted its 25th Annual Excellence Awards & Winter Gala, Friday, November 18 at the Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows. Nearly 400 people attended including community association managers, association board members, and industry business partners. Each year, CAI's Gala marks the beginning of the toy collection season for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots and we again collected hundreds of toys for the foundation. After awards were presented, toys were collected, and dinner was enjoyed, the evening culminated with additional networking and dancing to the DJ's latest hits. A great time was had by all!

Create a Winter Wonderland with Holiday Lighting and Seasonal Décor on your property this year.


We all have memories of moments when we were amazed by the elaborate seasonal displays at the regional shopping mall, the local retail disctrict or the neighborhood home that went above and beyond the traditional light strings. These memories make us think of fun times, family gatherings and holiday traditions. Holyiday lighting and décor has become a phenomenon with...



One of the best times to correct and improve the shape of your plants is during the winter!


Many people feel that once we enter the month of December, our landscape responsibilites get put on the shelf until the following spring. Based on the fact that leaves are shed and plants go dormant, it is believed that there is not much that can be done during the winter months. Although this dormancy period eliminates the need for weekly mowing and trimming, it opens up an opportunity to dramatically imrpove our landscape plants.

Dormant Pruning involves selective removal of reduction of...




Think back to November 19th, 2015 when weather stations announced an early snowfall in Chicagoland. The initial forecast was described as a rain event that would change to snow leaving a couple of inches in its wake. The result was...



Thursday, Nov. 19th: An approaching storm that will produce accumulating snowfall Friday night into Saturday. Snow accumulation on pavements Friday night through Saturday afternoon is expected to be 2-4”. Higher amounts may be seen on grassy areas.  

Friday, Nov. 20th:Accumulating snowfall through tonight and much of the afternoon hours on Saturday. Total snowfall on pavement will be 3-6” with 2-4” near Lake Michigan. Snow will initially be wet to start then slowly transition to dry during the day on Saturday.  

Saturday, Nov 21st:Ongoing wet snow to continue today ending in the late afternoon hours. Additional slushy accumulations of 1-2” on pavements with some local higher amounts possible.   


Friday, Nov 20th (2:18pm): Snow developing this evening, could be mixed with snow and rain. Snow will stick north and west (9-11pm) and after midnight near the lake. Snow will gradually diminish Saturday. Most snow accumulation 3am-11am.  

Friday, Nov 20th (10:30pm):Radar shows heaviest snow in McHenry and Lake Counties where 3-6” has already fallen. Expect a steady but slower accumulation over the next few hours. Towards morning the snow is expected to get heavy again with another 2-4” on pavement, heaviest amounts to the north and west of Chicago.  

Saturday, Nov 21st (3:44am): The Storm has another 6-7 hours to finish crossing the area. There will be periods of light to moderate snow but accumulations will be low due to the warm ground temperatures  

Saturday, Nov 21st (8:55am):Ongoing wet snow. Heaviest this morning and ending late this afternoon. Additional slushy 1-2” accumulations for inland areas with locally higher amounts possible. Temperature will remain steady in the low 30’s and drop into the teens overnight. Freeze-back is possible tonight. 





Start Time


End Time


Actual Snow




6:56pm (Fri)

5:01pm (Sat)


3-6”/ 1-2”

Lake Forest

6:56pm (Fri)

5:01pm (Sat)


3-6”/ 1-2”

North Chicago

6:56pm (Fri)

5:01pm (Sat)


3-6”/ 1-2”


6:16pm (Fri)

5:38pm (Sat)


3-6”/ 1-2”

Carol Stream

5:44pm (Fri)

5:03pm (Sat)


3-6”/ 1-2”

O’Hare Airport

6:16pm (Fri)

5:38pm (Sat)



Midway Airport

6:26pm (Fri)

6:12pm (Sat)



Rockford Airport

3:50pm (Fri)

3:13pm (Sat)




Oak Brook, IL - Four members of the Church family have donated $25,000 apiece to fund a $100,000 scholarship in the name of Denny R. Church. Denny was the longest serving ILCA President beginning in 1971 and ending in 1975. Immediately after his term, he was named ILCA Man of the Year in 1976.

The scholarship will be conferred annually by the Illinois Landscape Contractors Education & Charitable Organization (ILCECO). ILCECO is the Private Foundation of the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA). The scholarship was organized by Bruce Church of Balanced Environments in Old Mill Creek. Balanced Environments have been members since 2005.

The Denny R. Church scholarship will be presented to deserving students in full and part-time horticulture-related degree programs. Denny passed away in 2013 after a long career in the nursery and landscape industry.

Denny R. Church was an industry treasure who always offered his expertise to those in need. He was a green industry icon who built his career on a foundation of ethics, craftmanship, and respect. Now, a new generation of green industry professionals will be beneficiaries of Denny's involvement in the industry as were so many other professionals across the years. Having these donations go towards funding a scholarship carries on Denny's tradition and his legacy.

"It seems fitting that Denny Church should be remembered for his continual efforts to make our profession better," said ILCA and ILCECO President Rusty Maulding. "Better, by attracting the best new industry professionals that will perpetuate our industry's amazing dedication, passion and talent. Thank you to the Church family for this thoughtful and inspiring gift."

"This scholarship is a fitting and lasting tribute to Denny Church," said ILCA Past President and former employee of Church Landscaping Kenny Gallt. "He gave so much of himself to other and the industry. Denny was renowned for making other people feel good and for helping others be the best they could be. His respect for educating those in the landscape industry will live on in this scholarship."

The Illinois Landscape Contractors Education & Charitable Organization is a Private Foundation and gifts are tax deductible to the extent of the law.


Scott Grams
Illinois Landscape Contractors Assoctiaion (ILCA)