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    Van Zelst Wins 2013 ILCA Awards


    Van Zelst Wins Award for Residential and Commercial Landscapes.

    Designs for a Northbrook residence and the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation headquarters highlight a wide range of skills and expertise.

    January 14, 2013, WADSWORTH, ILThe Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA) has announced their 2013 awards, with Van Zelst taking silver honors for residential and commercial properties.

    Extensive plantings, an updated entrance and outdoor seating areas for the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation’s headquarters have earned attention for enhancing the 1,200-acre retreat while remaining true to its original vision.

    The Van Zelst team created gathering areas for groups of various sizes, using only hardscape materials that would have been available when the space was created 50 years ago. A welcoming new patio draws people out of the main building to the bubbling trout stream and pathways that meander to a recreational lawn, natural playground and more. A mix of materials—from bluestone slabs and gravel to Lannon stone steps and structures—keeps even the most sophisticated areas from feeling too formal.

    “The result,” according to owner and landscape architect David Van Zelst, “is as if you’ve stepped into the North Woods. We wanted to maintain that intimate feel, even as we enhanced and added to the space.”

    For a Northbook residential client, the Van Zelst team created a one-of-a-kind landscape that balances the homeowners’ metropolitan style with the garden’s woodland feel. At the same time, the environment maximizes views from multiple perspectives and throughout the seasons, provides exceptional color in a primarily shady setting, and addresses site drainage issues that had been problematic over the years.

    Thousands of shrubs, perennials, annuals and ground cover, along with hardscape additions such as a stone fountain and limestone patio, have created the serene, colorful, personal environment the owners hoped for.

    “I’m thrilled that my team and these projects have been recognized by the ILCA,” offers David Van Zelst. “It underscrores the value of thoughtful landscape design that honors the client’s goals, the site’s needs and the environment.” These latest awards add to dozens of gold and silver ILCA awards Van Zelst has received over the past two decades.

    About Van Zelst, Inc.

    For more than 30 years, Van Zelst has created stunning landscapes for homeowners and commercial properties. From landscape design, planting and construction through worry-free maintenance programs, Wadsworth-based Van Zelst offers complete landscaping services and unsurpassed quality throughout northern Illinois, the greater Chicago area and southeast Wisconsin. Find out more at

    About the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation

    Founded in 1962, the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of the earth and its wildlife heritage. Situated on more than 1,200 acres in The Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation actively creates educational, management, research and communications programs to enhance the conservation of fish, game, wildlife and their habitats. Find out more at

    About the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA)

    Since 1959, ILCA has provided leadership, education and member services while promoting environmental awareness within the landscape industry. The association fulfills its mission through the ILCA Institute, seminars, publications, scholarship grants, awards and more. It is a forum for more than 800 landscape contractors, suppliers and the government to work together for a greener, more beautiful Illinois. Find out more at

    For more information, please call 847.623.3580 or visit


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