Endangered Species
Midwest Region



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Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Brochure

for the Chicago Metro Area


PDF Version


We share our community with an endangered species,

the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly.


This rare dragonfly is only found in a few small areas in four states, and you live in one of them!


Help keep this animal from becoming extinct by preventing water pollution.


The dragonfly depends on ground water that flows from the communities near the wetland habitat along the Des Plaines River.


Help Water Take the Right Path
to the Dragonflies


When it rains, water can either go
into the ground or into a storm drain.


Photo of a side of a house.


The dragonfly
depends on
water that flows
into the ground
from the
their habitat.



Drawing of soil, grass, flowers, and raindrops.

When water is captured in lawns and gardens it seeps into the ground.



Photo of oil slicked  water flowing into a storm drain.

When water flows from your

driveway, roof or parking lot into the street, it goes through pipes that lead straight to the river.


Photo of water flowing out of a storm pipe.

Water that empties straight into the river deprives the wetland habitat and the dragonfly of critical water.



This rainwater travels through the ground and trickles into wetlands, creating shallow streams where the dragonflies lay their eggs.

Photo of a seep.


Make sure dragonflies
get the water they
need by taking simple
actions around your
home and yard.

Dragonfly over marsh illustration


Did you know?

Baby dragonflies, called nymphs, start their lives in water where they remain for 4-5 years before they emerge as adult dragonflies. They lay their eggs in small, shallow streams in marshy prairies that are perfect for this rare dragonfly.


The Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly lives in open wetlands along the Des Plaines River. Because it can only survive in the kinds of wet prairies that exist in our region, this dragonfly is ours to protect.


You can help protect the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly by providing the wetlands with clean, plentiful water.


Here’s how:



Plant a garden

Flowers and shrubs planted in shallow depressions allow rainwater from impervious surfaces like sidewalks and driveways to soak into the ground instead of flowing into stormdrains. Use native plants in your rain garden to create a beautiful and easy to maintain space that attracts native birds and butterflies.


Photo of flowers in a garden.

Disconnect your downspout.

Prevent water from running off your property by disconnecting your downspout from the sewer system. Instead, direct the water from your roof to your yard and garden or capture it in a rain barrel. Conserve water by using this rainwater to water your lawn and garden.


Photo of a rain barrel



Reduce lawn

Fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides pollute our local wetlands. According to the U.S. EPA, U.S. homeowners used 67 million pounds of pesticides on their lawn in 2002. By minimizing use of these chemicals we will be ending cleaner water to our wetlands and the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly.


Photo of a child and dog laying in grass and leaves.

Did you know?

Drawing of a Hine's emerald dragonfly.

Dragonflies are nature’s water monitors. If they are not thriving it’s a sign that something is wrong with local water quality or quantity.



Small changes can make a big difference. Check out these resources for tips on taking action around your home:


For rain garden planting tips and design ideas, check out the Rain Gardens Network at www. raingardennetwork.com or the Native Planting Guide at www.epa.gov/greenacres/wildones/


For rain barrel guides and assembly instructions, view a This Old House instructional video at www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video.


For tips on reducing lawn chemicals, visit Audubon Society’s downloadable resources section at www.audubon.org/bird/at_home.


The following partners have joined together to protect the Hine's Emerald Dragonfly in our community:


ComEd logo
Will County Forest Preserve District logo
Hanson Material Service logo
Midwest Generation logo
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service logo
Applied Ecolgical Services logo

Biodiversity Project logo

for more information contact project@biodiverse.org



Return to Hine's Emerald Dragonfly page


Last updated: April 14, 2015