Environmental Sustainability By Example – Journal & Topics Newspapers Online

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Green Grove, Elk Grove Village logo for environmental sustainability. (Image submitted)

Elk Grove Village officials unveiled a new village logo, focused on sustainability, with the slogan, “Green Grove, Elk Grove Village”.

Mayor Craig Johnson said the village has been quietly becoming more “green,” or environmentally sustainable, for several years.

The village conducted a recent self-study of environmentally sustainable practices and tools the village is using.

Johnson said the list was quite long and the village would be marketing the Green Grove logo and discussing how the village has implemented low-cost sustainable practices to show how businesses can use sustainable practices, which often can improve their bottom line.  

Among practices and physical tools the village uses in its quest to become more environmentally sustainable include, the Charles J. Zettek Municipal Complex built as the first LEED-certified village hall in the state of Illinois, in 2009, by the U.S. Green Building Council. 

A large group of assembled dignitaries including (from left front row row, (from left), Friends of the Cook County Forest Preserve Director Benjamin Cox, Cook County Forest Preserve Supt. Arnold Randall, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago Board President Mariyana Spyropoulos, Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, MWRD Board Vice President Barbara McGowen cut the ribbon in 2015 on the Busse Woods South Dam Modification Project intended to control flooding along Salt Creek in Elk Grove Village and DuPage County

Another massive project several years ago installed movable flood gates in dams in Lake Busse to regulate levels during storm events. Salt Creek, which connects with both Lake Busse and the Des Plaines River, was granted special protections in village ordinances, creating a buffer zone for Salt Creek where prohibited activities are defined to protect and improve streambank stabilization.

Native plantings, which create rain gardens, which among other things, prevent flooding are encouraged in the village code. The new James Petri Public Works campus on Devon Avenue includes a large field of native plantings. 

The village has also planted 12 “pollinator gardens” around the village with plants such as milkweed, which attract Monarch butterflies and other pollinators such as bees.   

A Monarch Butterfly garden, planted by public works with milkweed which attracts butterflies outside Elk Grove Village Hall last year. (Elk Grove Village photo provided)

Ordinances as part of the village’s capital plan mandate the use of motion sensors to regulate lighting in rooms in village facilities. Village code aimed at preventing soil erosion closely monitors land development activities, which disturb or break topsoil or cause movement of the earth. The village also recently passed ordinances banning the burning of leaves, paper, and other rubbish. 

Elk Grove Village launched a pilot program to bring hybrid vehicles into the village fleet, purchasing one hybrid fire department vehicle in late 2020, and two hybrid police vehicles in early 2021. Evaluations of those vehicles’ performances could lead to more hybrid village vehicles. 

Since 2014 the village has given local businesses their sustainability award at the Made In Elk Grove Manufacturing Expo, to encourage green practices.

The report also pointed to efforts by the village’s forestry department. Elk Grove Village is a Tree City USA. The sustainability report said, “In 2021, 594 parkway trees were planted and 1,186 parkway trees were trimmed (by the village),” earning the village the Tree City USA Growth Award in 2021.

(From left) Elk Grove Village Manager Ray Rummel, village trustees Pat Feichter and Chris Prochno, Mayor Craig Johnson, State Rep. Marty Moylan (D-55th) Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison (D-15th) and Assistant Village Manager Maggie Jablonski were ready to cut the ribbon on a new trail connection to Busse Woods from Northwest Point Boulevard, across Arlington Heights Road to Busse Woods, in June 2020. The $453,000 project was four-years in the making. (Tom Robb/Journal photo)

Village officials have taken steps, both in marketing and physical infrastructure to encourage biking, and wrote ordinances discouraging vehicles from idling. 

Village officials have also strongly encouraged recycling.

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