Background: Chicago Wilderness and several partners are completing a cross-jurisdictional green infrastructure study for a sub-region of the Des Plaines River basin, including the communities of Des Plaines, Glenview, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, and Wheeling.
The first phase of this project mapped the region’s “core green infrastructure,” which is the interconnected network of public and private open space and natural resources that conserves ecosystem functions, sustains clean air and water, and provides trails and greenways that benefit people and wildlife. This was done in consultation with the natural resource organizations and agencies familiar with the resources in this area, including Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, The Field Museum, Audubon–Chicago Region, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) and many others.
In the next and final phase, we are working with Conservation Design Forum to identify “opportunity areas” across this sub-region that that may benefit from localized green infrastructure strategies integrated into the built environment such as street ROW, parking lots, small parks or vacant parcels, and neighborhood areas. The intent is to identify opportunity areas to implement practices such as native landscaping, bioretention basins and planters, and permeable paving that utilize natural processes to control runoff volumes and rates and filter pollutants. Use of these measures can help to address nuisance level neighborhood flooding and drainage problems as well as reduce watershed impacts to the Des Plaines River, its tributaries, and other aquatic resources.
Workshop Purpose: The purposes of this workshop are to: 1) engage community staff and elected officials in a hands-on process to review and mark-up a large-scale map to help identify potential opportunity areas for site-based green infrastructure strategies based on your local knowledge of the conditions on the ground, nuisance flooding and drainage problems, planned street and infrastructure improvements, available parcels, etc.; and 2) review and comment on the DRAFT core green infrastructure map of this area's natural resources.
Intended Audience: Staff and elected officials from the communities of Des Plaines, Glenview, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, and Wheeling.
Final Products: At the completion of this project, communities will be provided with maps identifying their region’s network of open space and natural resources and opportunity areas for localized green infrastructure practices. In addition, there will be a full report with recommended strategies and potential funding avenues.