DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - The city of Decatur handed out a thousand weed ordinance violations in May of 2019.
However, Don Carmichael's prairie garden could convince city leaders to make an exception. He argued his landscape is beneficial to the environment.
It may look like a jungle from a distance, but Carmichael said he knows every plant in his backyard. He just soils the seeds and mother nature does the rest.
"The blossoms they put out (are) so incredibly beautiful," Carmichael said.
A 2017 study from the University of Vermont shows the wild bee population in the U.S. dropped by 23 percent from 2008 to 2013.
"Eventually, every backyard is going to look something like [his] this," the environmentalist added.
Councilman David Horn said the city has organizations (that) want to promote pollinator plots and prairie gardens, but the city ordinance doesn't allow it.
"The city is beginning to look at alternatives for how we can save our taxpayers money and at the same time be environmentally sustainable," Horn said.
Horn said the city has a budget of $180,000 to mow vacant lots and it recently purchased 700 spaces. Local organizations such as SONA believe the empty lots could be used as a space for pollinators.
"If it's good out there, why can't it be good in Decatur," Carmichael asked.