July 29, 2019 at 8:29pm

Based on the feedback we’ve received over the past few days, we understand there are still questions about the move of the Northbrook Days festival and we want to respond with additional background information.

We share our neighbors’ disappointment that Northbrook Days will move to a new location. We want to be clear that limiting access to portions of the park was not an easy call, but we were hopeful that we could agree on a new layout suitable for the festival and for the trees. We value our partnership with the Civic Foundation, have been transparent about this potential problem over the last several months, and will continue to support Northbrook Days any way we can.

But we are, first and foremost, stewards of Village Green Park. Right now, our trees are threatened by a cycle of saturating rain and dry, cracked earth that are signs that soil is dangerously compacting on tree roots. We know that 47 trees have already been lost at Village Green Park since 2010, at least 11 due to soil compaction. Dozens more trees are under stress and weakened as excessive rain, disease and other factors continue to threaten them. We, therefore, rely on the expertise of our parks director with a degree in forestry, staff and other experts who provide advice, and concluded we needed to rope off a small area of the park to protect the roots of the trees.

Our role is to protect parks for the people who live here. In that spirit, we want to support as many activities as possible. We host many events in Village Green Park and throughout the District. We will continue to do so, but we won’t shirk our responsibility to manage each event in the context of its impact on our natural resources. Northbrook Days, without a doubt, poses the biggest potential to be destructive to our trees and that’s why access to certain areas had to be restricted. But we continue to stand as good-faith partners to the Civic Foundation, and look forward to further conversation about how we can provide ongoing support to the Festival.

In the meantime, we thank residents who took the time to reach out to us, and invite you to let us know when you have further questions.