To help support healthy growth of the native landscape, the Northbrook Park District and Village of Northbrook are conducting prescribed burns throughout the area this spring.

Burns will take place through May 2021, weather permitting. The prescribed burns and educational programs about the burns are supported by funding from ComEd and Openlands, which includes a $10,000 grant given to 26 public agencies in Northern Illinois.

Prescribed burns assist native Midwestern plants that evolved on prairies where fires would naturally occur. As a result, these native species are by nature resistant to fire and their seeds need the heat from the burns to germinate. These burns help remove invasive plant species giving space to native plant growth while also breaking down old decaying plant matter to add nutrients to the soil. An additional benefit is helping support pollinator species which depend on native plants for food and shelter.

“Prescribed burns are important to the Illinois prairie and ecosystem,” said Mark Kosbab, Grounds Manager for the Northbrook Park District. “These burns serve as a major tool for preserving biological diversity and can decrease competition from weeds, while reducing the building of vegetative fuel, increasing plant vigor and supporting a balance of minerals within the soil.”

The Village and Park District websites will be updated with the days and locations of burns as they are planned and occur. Locations include:

  • Heritage Oaks Golf Club (formerly Sportsman’s Country Club, Park District-owned): All the native areas on the course
  • Techny Prairie Park and Fields (Park District-owned): The native areas located predominately on the north and east sides
  • Wood Oaks Green Park (Park District-owned): The sledding hill and the native areas on the western side
  • “Old Northbrook East Basin” (Village-owned): The northernmost detention basin at Northbrook East, located north of the intersection of Midway and Sunset Ridge
  • “Techny Basin/Old 319 Property” (Village-owned): The basin and native areas west of Glenbrook North High School

Prescribed burns are generally low intensity and continuously monitored by professionals to ensure the burn is progressing properly. There will be some smoke generated and those who are sensitive to it should keep their windows closed through the duration.

For more information, click here.