Jack Pizzo, Keynote Speaker

Jack Pizzo, Keynote Speaker

Naturally Beautiful
Habitats & Sustainability

Are you seeking a speaker who is an expert of native plants, ecology, and habitat restoration? Jack Pizzo has over 35 years of experience restoring habitats and preserving land for continued sustainability. Available to speak at:

  • Conferences & Trade Shows
  • Clubs & Associations
  • Private Groups & Nature Walks
Jack Pizzo, Keynote Speaker

Speaking Events & Publications

Restoring Habitats Through Education & Action

Jack has shared his expertise at many green industry events and publications, some of which are highlighted below. See full list.

Audience Feedback:

Jack Pizzo, MS, PLA, ASLA, CPBM, ICN

Jack Pizzo is the Founder and Principal of The Pizzo Group. Founded in 1988, The Pizzo Group is one of the Midwest’s largest ecological restoration firms with over 170 industry awards. He is committed to sustainability and naturally beautiful habitats. Jack is an author and serves on multiple boards for conservation organizations and prescribed fire groups.

Jack is an expert in successfully restoring natural areas and growing deep-rooted, native plants. At Pizzo Group, he is charged with scientifically evaluating current ecological restoration practices for the enhancement and/or establishment of native flora and fauna. This includes identifying and implementing methods of improvement for the materials and processes used to ensure ecosystems thrive.

Jack is also a Past President of the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Jack Pizzo is a prescribed fire expert and is regularly contracted as an instructor for the S-130/S-190 Wildland Firefighter training.

Green and Natural Spaces in Your Community by Jack Pizzo

Written by Jack Pizzo

Green and Natural Spaces in Your Community

The goal of this booklet is to help you understand the natural spaces within your communities—why they are there, what they are, how they function, and how to manage them—through the demonstration of successful projects.

Pizzo & Associates

We Restore Nature

Dedicated to the preservation and restoration of our natural environment. With a focus on eco-friendly practices and innovative solutions, the team of experts is committed to delivering exceptional results while minimizing the impact on the environment.

Pizzo & Associates
Pizzo Native Plant Nursery

Pizzo Native Plant Nursery

Deeply Rooted™

Wholesale grower specializing in native plant plugs. The nursery encompasses 40 acres of restored wetland and prairie habitat in Leland, IL. Providing ready access to local eco-type seed from a diverse number of native plant species.

Certified Prescribed Burn Manager

What is a prescribed fire?

A prescribed fire, also called a controlled burn, is used to simulate the fires that historically frequented the land. Some fires were started by lightning and some by Native Americans. The Native Americans used fire as a tool of land management.

Fire accomplishes two things: controlling brush / trees and exposing the soil to sunlight. When a site has been burned, the brush that encroached it has been killed at the soil line. Repeated burns will keep the site open and sunny. The light color of the dead leaves and debris reflect heat in the winter and spring. A burned area is black and absorbs heat. The soil is exposed to the warming infrared radiation of the sun. The soil in a burned area is therefore warmed and the plants grow earlier. Prescribed fire is used as a management tool for almost all of the ecosystems in the Midwest. 

It is important that some part of the site, approximately one-third, be burned every year. Misunderstood by many, when a fire is executed properly it will demonstrate that it is a safe activity. Prescribed fire is used safely all over the United States. In Illinois, a Certified Prescribed Burn Manager must be on-site when a fire is conducted.

Interesting Note

Hardwoods such as oak, hickories, and walnuts need fire to control the fast growing seedlings from soft woods such as maples and cottonwood.

Hardwood seedlings need plentiful sunlight and fire keeps the ground layer open and provides better penetration for sunlight. Properly timed and used, large hardwood trees are unaffected by the fire.

Property Walk-through

1/2 Day of natural Restoration Consulting

You’ll learn how restoring the native perennial wildflowers and grasses will make your land an ideal habitat for songbirds and what steps can be taken to make your property naturally beautiful.

Natural wildflowers and grasses do not need fertilizers or water, their deep roots prevent or even sometimes stop erosion, provide habitat, and require dramatically less maintenance than lawn.

Get 1 on 1 consulting with nationally renowned, award-winning landscape architect and ecologist Jack Pizzo.

$1,000 minimum

Property Consulting for Natural Prairies and Wildflowers
Speaking Topics

Passionate Keynote Speaker Covering Ecological Systems

Jack Pizzo has over 35 years of experience in ecosystem restoration and management, allowing him to share expert advice on various topics with passion to engage and inspire audiences. Speaking topics include:

  • Ecosystem restoration and management
  • Natural or naturalized landscapes
  • Prescribed fire / controlled burns
  • Invasive species management
  • Sustainable development
  • Native plants
  • Creating habitat
  • Ecological systems



University of Illinois
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

  • Master of Science – Major in Natural Resources with a focus on Restoration Ecology
  • Bachelor of Science – Major in Ornamental Horticulture

Training & Certifications for Jack Pizzo:

  • Certified Pesticide Operator/Applicator (Illinois)
  • S-130 Basic Firefighter Training
  • S-190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior
  • Advanced Burn Skills Training, The Nature Conservancy
  • S-234 Ignitions
  • Advanced Burn Training – National Interagency Prescribed Fire Burn Training Center
  • Completed Ignition Specialist Class 2 – National Interagency Prescribed Fire Burn Training Center
  • Army Corps of Engineers – Wetland Delineation Training
  • Illinois Certified Nursery Professional

Speaking engagements start at $1,250 plus travel, lodging, and meals. Presentations are typically 60 to 90 minutes in length with an engaging slide decks showcasing natural landscape examples and visual breakdowns making it easy to digest and understand for all audience types. Jack is based in the Chicago area and available to travel to anywhere in the United States including select International events.

Jack Pizzo has had the pleasure to be a speaker at the following locations for various green industry events:

University of Illinois – All campuses
University of Chicago
Illinois Institute of Technology
Iowa State University
Loyola University
Northern Illinois University
Grand Valley State University
Lewis University
College of DuPage
McHenry County College

National Interagency Fire Center NIFC
Illinois Prescribed Fire Council
Michigan Prescribed Fire Council
Iowa Prescribed Fire Council

The Field Museum
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Chicago Center for Green Technology
Illinois Department of Transportation
DeKalb County Council of Governments
DuPage County Stormwater Commission
Chicago Park District
Illinois Parks and Recreations Association
Park Districts – numerous
Cities, Towns and Villages – Numerous
The Forest Preserves of Cook County
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Illinois Association of Floodplain and Storm Water Managers
Great Lakes Park Training Institute
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Cook County

National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration
Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group – UIC
Monarchs and More
Illinois Lakes Management Association
New Directions in the American Landscape
Wild Things
Chicago Wilderness
PowerHouse Smart

American Society of Landscape Architects – National
American Society of Landscape Architects – Illinois Chapter
American Society of Landscape Architects – Wisconsin Chapter
American Society of Landscape Architects – Prairie Gateway Chapter
American Society of Landscape Architects – St. Louis Chapter
American Society of Landscape Architects – Texas Chapter
American Planning Association

Illinois Landscape Contractors Association
Illinois Arborist Association
Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association
Kentucky Nursery and Landscape Association
Association of Professional Landscape Designers – National
Perennial Plant Association
International Plant Propagators Society

Chicago Botanic Garden
The Morton Arboretum
Garfield Farm Museum

The Conservation Foundation
Natural Land Institute
Chikaming Openlands
Illinois Audubon Society
US Green Building Council – USGBC
Delta Institute

Ball Horticultural
US Steel
Rivian Automotive Inc.
Half Moon Seminars

Garden Clubs of America – National
Garden Clubs – Numerous
Winnetka Garden Guild
Kenilworth Garden Club
Garden Clubs of Illinois

Houses of Worship – Numerous
Graceland Cemetery

Rotary – Numerous Chapters

Landscape Architects offices – numerous
Civil Engineering Offices – numerous
Landscape Companies – numerous
Garden Centers – numerous

Northwestern Medicine
Silver Cross Hospital
Endeavor Health – Edward-Elmhurst

Actively involved in many green industry groups and associations striving to raise awareness of current habitats and provide education on ecological restorations.

Professional Memberships:

  • American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) – Illinois Chapter
  • Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA)
  • Society for Ecological Restoration
  • Illinois Native Plant Society
  • International Erosion Control Association
  • Illinois Association for Floodplain and Storm Water Management
  • Natural Areas Association
  • Society of Wetland Scientists
  • Save the Prairie Society
  • Soil & Water Conservation Society