Sustainable Landscaping

Village incentives

  • In an effort to encourage sustainable solutions for stormwater, residents that qualify for the Village's cost-sharing stormwater improvement program may have the costs for the installation of a rain garden offset. If eligible, up to 70% or $5,000 of the cost of acquiring and installing your rain garden will be covered by the Village. If interested in having the Village partially subsidize your rain garden, please contact the Public Works Department at 847-272-4711.
  • Residents interested in planting trees on their property may be eligible for the Village to cover up to 50% of associated expenses. The Village may cover up to $175 in cost of acquiring and planting a tree. Residents wanting more information can contact the Public Works Department via the GO Northbrook Service Request Page.
  • Visit our Pollinator Habitat webpage for information on how to receive free garden signs promoting pollinator-friendly yards.
  • Email Sustainability Coordinator for updates on upcoming plant and tree giveaways.
  • Rain barrels are available at a discount rate to residents ($25 for each 55-gallon barrel, maximum two barrels per purchase).  Purchase from the Finance window at Village Hall. Visit our Water Conservation page to learn more.

Native plant suggestions

Given the hardiness and adaptability of native plants to our area, there’s always a native plant suited to your outdoor space! To encourage a sustainable Northbrook, the Village provides the following pamphlet to help you choose the right native plant based on specific site conditions.

Native List Pamphlet Trifold_2 Opens in new window

Village Hall's Rain GardenGarden with tall colorful flowers and a rain barrel

View the 2022 update 

The Village hopes to lead by example in restoring Northbrook's natural landscape qualities to conserve water and promote pollinators. The garden began in 2011 and is currently being revitalized by Northbrook's Sustainability Coordinator.   Fall 2020 updates on this project are provided here. Any time is a great time to begin planning your native garden. Residents are encouraged to use this guide to native garden planning to get started on transforming your outdoor space into a corridor for wildlife!

Why native landscaping?native garden guide

Incorporating native plants in your lawn is a great way to provide crucial habitat for pollinators, cut down on water usage and costs, and promote the health of our community.  Since they are perennial and thrive naturally once established in Northern Illinois, you’ll use less water and money on yard maintenance throughout the summer! You also do not need to use fertilizer, as leaf litter fallen from trees naturally provides nutrients to native plants. Inorganic pesticides are unnecessary: these plants benefit from insects.

Native prairie plants survive by growing deep roots that improve carbon storage and soil quality. Native wetland plants are adapted to frequent flooding: they improve water drainage and filtration of their surrounding environment. This means planting natives result in less water and less polluted water running off into streams and waterways during major rain events. Gardens that seek to maximize drainage using native plants and smart landscaping are called rain gardens. Learn more and find resources for planning rain gardens on the Chicago Botanical Garden’s website.

Village Reminders for Garden Installation:

  • Any fencing installed around a new garden must comply with fencing height restrictions set forth in the Municipal Code. For more information, visit the Village’s Fence Permit page.
  • Any new garden must not become a nuisance (i.e. cause mud, icing or water to pool and accumulate on public sidewalks) or exceed the yard height limits allowed under the municipal code.
  • Any new garden may not change the grade of a property enough to cause drainage or erosion problems. For questions regarding this, visit the Village’s Storm water and Flooding Services page.