Northbrook Park District practices ecological prescribed burns as a natural maintenance system. Burning only a section of prairie or natural area each year allows refuge for wildlife habitat. Prescribed burning is a major tool for preserving biological diversity. Planned burns can decrease competition from weeds, reduce the buildup of vegetative fuel, increase plant vigor and support a balance of minerals within the soil.
This page will be updated with the days and locations of Park District burns as they are planned and occur. For more information on prescribed burns at Village locations, visit northbrook.il.us.
Why are properties with native landscaping burned?
Burning is done on properties with native landscaping to help support the healthy growth of the landscape. Many native Midwestern plants evolved on the prairie where fires would naturally occur. As a result, these native species are by nature resistant to fire and their seeds require the heat from the burns to germinate. Additionally, these burns help remove invasive plant species which did not evolve to withstand the fire while also breaking down old decaying plant matter to add nutrients to the soil. All of this in turn helps support pollinator species which depend on native plants for food and shelter.
Do I need to take any action during the prescribed burns?
No. Prescribed burns are conducted by licensed environmental restoration professionals. These fires are low-intensity and continuously monitored to ensure that the burn is progressing safely. There will be some smoke, and those who are sensitive to it may wish to close their windows during the burns, but no other action is required.