Green Initiatives

Greenest Region Compact 2

In 2016 the Village Board passed a resolution adopting the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus’ Greenest Region Compact 2, becoming the first village in the North Shore to do so. The Compact’s goal is to guide local sustainability efforts throughout the region.

The Compact measures communities’ progress in a number of areas, including land, municipal operations, mobility, waste and water. Northfield has made great progress in many of these areas in the past few years. For example, one of the Compact’s goals is to “support safe and effective active transportation; and manage water system assets sustainably.” The recently adopted Northfield Road Corridor Plan aligns perfectly with this goal.

In addition to the adoption of the Northfield Road Corridor Plan, the study noted a number of the Village’s environmental achievements including, but not limited to: 
 
  • Curbside composting and recycling programs
  • Electricity aggregation program with renewable energy options
  • Energy efficiency grants
  • Farmers’ Markets
  • Planting over 1,000 trees along the Willow Road corridor
  • Public electric vehicle charging stations
  • Rain barrel program
  • Tree City USA & Growth awards 
To date, 63 communities in the Chicago region have formally adopted the Compact. The Compact was built after carefully studying current sustainability initiatives underway by communities and regional sustainability plans. Click here for more information about the Greenest Region Compact 2. 

Village staff recently completed the accompanying framework document, which provides suggested objectives, strategies, and tools to help communities achieve the goals of the Greenest Region Compact 2.  This completed framework will help the Village assess our current initiatives, select suitable goals and actions, and tailor objectives and strategies to these needs.  Click here to view Northfield's completed framework.
  

 
Composting

 
Did you know that over 40% of all edible food in the U.S. is thrown away?  Composting is the natural process of recycling this organic waste and is the most ecologically friendly way to dispose of food scraps, creating a nutrient-rich soil amendment.  Northfield has partnered with Waste Management to offer curbside composting as an additional optional service that is collected with yard waste. For more information, click here.


Urban Forest

 
In 2018 Northfield completed a tree inventory, which was awarded grant funding from the US Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.  A tree inventory provides complete knowledge of Village-owned trees including GIS location, species, genera, size, and condition.  The inventory enables Village staff to effectively guide residents in identifying optimal planting spaces and improve species diversity by targeting areas in need of diverse plantings, allowing the Village to maintain and grow a healthy, stable, and productive urban forest.  In addition, an inventory helps the Village determine short and long-term tree management and canopy goals and help employees identify trees that will be impacted by private and public construction projects in order to require proper protections. 

The Chicago Region Trees Initiative, USDA Forest Service, American Forests, and University of Vermont recently mapped land cover across the Chciago region, including Northfield.  To view this report and learn more about our urban forest, click here.


Tree Planting Program

 
The Village offers a Tree Planting Program in the late summer and early fall for residents to purchase and plant appropriate trees for their parkway. Trees purchased through the program are offered at a 50% cost sharing agreement with residents, and the planting is conducted by the Village’s contractor.  More information can be found here.

Pollinator Garden


In 2018, the Village was awarded a ComEd Green Region grant for a pollinator garden on the bank of the Middle Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River at the intersection of Northfield Road and Winnetka Road. The Village has been seeking to conserve and enhance this area since the Village’s 1999 Vision Plan was adopted and was again identified as a goal in the recently adopted Northfield Road Corridor Plan. 

This project includes the removal of the invasive species and planting of native varieties that are specifically selected to attract at-risk native pollinators and survive occasional flooding when the river rises after a heavy rain.  All herbicides used are approved for use in wetland habitats and will have no ill effects on the nearby water and wildlife.  The Village looks forward to maintaining this longterm project, as a lush pollinator garden can take a few years to establish. The project will not only be beautiful, but will provide an educational opportunity for our children.

Are you interested in planting a pollinator garden? Click here for more information on what type of plants best attract pollinators.