Local Sustainability Initiatives

The Village has a long history of promoting green and sustainable initiatives in the community. Below is a listing of local initiatives managed either entirely by the Village in partnership with other agencies.

Northbrook Earth and Arbor Day

Each year, the Village and Park District partner to create the Earth and Arbor Day event, which includes a comprehensive recycling center for residents as well as a sustainable vendor exhibition. For more information on this event, visit its page at this link.

Rain Barrels

As part of its larger efforts related to managing stormwater in the Village and to encourage sustainable actions, the Village offers a rain barrel program for residents. Under this program, residents can purchase up to two 55-gallon barrels at a price of $25 each (a greatly reduced priced from the typical retail cost of $100). Learn more about this program on this page.

Northbrook Strategic Sustainability Plan

In 2011, the Village and Park District joined forces to create the Northbrook Strategic Sustainability Plan to ensure that each organization upholds the sustainable values demonstrated by the community. The plan is intended to be a framework for each organization to use when addressing issues of sustainability. 

On November 12, 2013, the Village Board of Trustees formally accepted the plan as presented and staff was directed to use the plan as a guide for developing future policies and recommendations. A copy of the accepted plan is linked at the bottom of the page.

Green Building Initiative

The built environment has a large impact on energy and resource consumption, the health of the Village’s residents and the surrounding community. In recognition of this, the Village Board enacted Ordinance 08-24 (LINK) in 2008. This Ordinance created the Green Building Initiative, which creates incentives, including fee rebates and expedited permitting, for property owners and builders who build Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system compliant buildings. For more information, contact the Village's Development and Planning Department.

Below is a summary of projects which have participated in this initiative.

Project Location Completion Date Project Description Links
SmartHaus Single Family Home 1833 Maple  December 2013/January 2014 

A custom, high-performance home is being designed and built to LEED for Homes Platinum rating (currently has been given a 
preliminary Platinum rating by USGBC)
2. Project Snapshot

Monarch Way Station

The Village's Environmental Quality Commission (EQC), among many other organizations in Northbrook, has been active in helping preserve the vanishing monarch population. As part of that, the Commission has been encouraging residents to plant milkweed, a native plant that monarch larvae eat, and working toward making Northbrook a major monarch way station on their migratory path from Canada to Mexico.
As part of this, the EQC offers a program in which residents can help save the vanishing monarch butterfly by planting a garden that will sustain them during their annual migration through Northbrook.

After demonstrating that you meet certain criteria, go to the Public Works Department and pick up your very own "Let's Make Northbrook a Monarch Way Station" durable sign suitable for staking in your garden. It will demonstrate that you are doing your part to help save the monarch. Please check with the Public Works Department on sign availability before coming to the Department for a sign.

Milkweed Planting

To qualify for the free sign, your garden must:

  • contain native plants,
  • not be exposed to pesticides or herbicides
  • contain at least one native milkweed plant (the more, the better).
If you already have a butterfly garden--which includes milkweed--take a photograph. That is your "proof" to receive your free sign. To get a sign, simply bring it by the Public Works office (LINK).

For more information on monarch butterflies, visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website. For any questions on the program, please contact the Public Works Department. To learn more about Northbrook's Monarch Way Point Initiative, see the Village's proclamation honoring the establishment of the way point below.