Woodlands Maintenance on Village-Owned Properties
In the next few weeks, you may notice woodland maintenance crews working on Village-owned properties. These teams are removing buckthorn, garlic mustard, and other non-natives that are destructive to our oak-hickory ecosystem. This work is the first step in our current ten-year stewardship program for Village-owned woodlands.
A little background:
The special quality of life in the woodlands has long been a basic tenet of the Village of Riverwoods. It is one of the things that have made us unique in our suburban setting.
In the late 1990s, the Village of Riverwoods formally recognized that our oak-hickory woodlands are a key community asset. Research has shown that we can enhance our property values by caring for our woodlands. It also recognized that our woodland ecosystem is under stress from many sources, but especially from invasive non-native plants that are destroying the understory crucial to a healthy woodland. We began working to protect that community asset by encouraging residents to be good stewards of their properties by removing buckthorn, garlic mustard, and other non-natives. A year or so later, the Village itself began performing limited maintenance on the Village-owned property. The successes and failures of these early steps taught us that proper stewardship requires long-term planning. Accordingly, this summer the Board of Trustees adopted a ten-year program to gradually restore the health of the oak-hickory woodlands on Village-owned property.
If you would like to learn more about the elements of our stewardship program, please read the “Woodland Stewardship – What to Expect” article on the Village website. To learn more about how you can participate on your property through our Village Cost Share Programs, please visit the Ecological Cost Share Programs tab on our web page, or contact the Village Ecologist, Steve Zimmerman.