Green Space & Trees

Trees and natural ground cover play a central role in supporting the physical and mental health within communities, improving air and water quality, helping to reduce building energy use, and supporting climate mitigation.  Trees are critical in filtering air and removing harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and ground-level ozone. 

Conversely, higher levels of impervious surfaces (pavement and buildings) within a community will increase the heat island of the community.  Heat island refers to the phenomenon of higher atmospheric and surface temperatures occurring in developed areas than those in the surrounding rural areas due to human activities and infrastructure.  Increased heat indices during summer months due to heat island effects raise human discomfort and health risk levels in developed areas, especially during heat waves.  There is a direct relationship between the amount of impervious surface coverage in a community and the corresponding degree of heat island temperature experienced—meaning a conscious effort to increase green space and tree canopy coverage in areas of higher heat island impacts can lower those impacts.

  1. Routine Parkway Tree Pruning Planned

    The Village’s tree pruning contractor, Advanced Tree Care, will be conducting routine parkway tree pruning in areas of southeast Skokie beginning the week of February 12 and lasting approximately two weeks. Read on...
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Implementation is for Everyone!

Some actions in this plan will need to be led by the 
Village Board, Village departments, and/or the business community. In addition, there are steps that households and individuals can take to make an impact.   Click below to find out out the what you as a resident can do to help the Village achieve these visionary goals.

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Green Space & Trees Strategies

Below are the specific Green Space & Trees goals outlined in the 2022 Environmental Sustainability Plan. Clicking on one of them will display the list of actions to be incorporated into the Village's workplans. They are broken down into completed, in-progress, and future and progress is updated quarterly.

In-Progress Actions

  • Continue to use a diverse selection of native tree species in new plantings, particularly those that will be most resistant to the stresses of climate change within the region. Develop a comprehensive recommended tree planting list of species that meet the following criteria: adaptability to climate change, especially heat extremes, drought, flooding, and high winds; hardiness and longevity; provision of food and hosts for wildlife, including bees, butterflies, birds, and other creatures; species native to the area (200-mile radius).
  • Continue to use a diverse selection of native tree species in new plantings, particularly those that will be most resistant to the stresses of climate change within the region. Develop a comprehensive recommended tree planting list of species that meet the following criteria: adaptability to climate change, especially heat extremes, drought, flooding, and high winds; hardiness and longevity; provision of food and hosts for wildlife, including bees, butterflies, birds, and other creatures; species native to the area (200-mile radius).
  • Establish a tree planting plan to meet the goals of the Environmental Sustainability Plan. Prioritize tree replacement programming in neighborhoods based on factors outlined in the Village's Ground Cover study including those with low-income households, vulnerable populations, street and boulevards with less than 30% sidewalk/curb length shade coverage. Include a focus on increasing shade trees areas where people congregate (picnic areas, bus shelters, etc.). See Village's 2022 Ground Cover, Tree Canopy, and Carbon Sequestration Study.
  • Prioritize planting and preservation of native species of plants and trees on public and private property through education, incentives and other promotional programs. Ensure that landscaping requirements articulated in the zoning code include the preservation of the maximum possible number of existing trees, the use of native plantings and the preservation of natural areas whenever possible.
  • Establish a policy to plant back twice the number of trees as were removed the previous year on Village-owned properties.

Questions about the Green Space and Trees sector? Please send an email to Sustainability@skokie.org.