October is Oak Awareness Month in Illinois—also known as OAKtober—and a great time to enjoy the hundreds of majestic oaks located throughout the Northbrook Park District.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all through October and watch for weekly OAKtober facts and OAKtrivia for a chance to win prizes.

Northbrook Park District takes pride in caring for oaks, which help build healthier communities, improve our soil and provide homes and food for many animals. The District manages oak groves at several properties, Meadow Road Tot Lot, Sportsman’s Country Club, the Teams Challenge Course at Meadowhill Park, Village Green Park and Wood Oaks Green Park.

Nearly 800 oak trees populate the District’s 500-plus acres, the most common being the white oak. Many of these trees are hundreds of years old.

“The oak trees in our parks and at the golf course are some of the largest and oldest trees in the park district,” said Ed Dalton, Director of Parks and Properties. “Thousands of people enjoy the shade and beauty these magnificent trees provide.”

Caring for the oak population in our parks and recreation areas is important to the Northbrook Park District and fulfills the District’s mission to enhance the community by providing outstanding services, parks and facilities through environmental, social and financial stewardship. Practices to maintain the trees include balanced fertilization programs, tree mulch rings, insect monitoring and treatment, shallow soil aeration for foot traffic and plans for a tree replacement program.

Below are ways you can help oaks in OAKtober and beyond, according to the Chicago Region Trees Initiative:

• Clear out weedy trees so oaks receive more sunlight.

• Remove non-native invasive plant species.

• Preserve and care for your oak trees and oak woodlands.

• Create a welcome landscape for trees, plants, birds and other wildlife.

• Plant oak trees where appropriate. Members of the public are encouraged to participate in the District’s Tree and Bench Donation Program and have a tree planted in someone’s name or to commemorate special occasions.