Green Communities Demonstration Grant Award
Plan With Grant
In May 2002 the Village of Homer Glen announced that they were awarded a Green Communities Demonstration Grant in the amount of $110,000. The grant will fund innovative plans that enable the public, community organizations and governmental organizations to address environmental issues in the rapidly growing area. "Not only will we be able to prioritize key community issues and improve civic involvement within our community," notes Russ Petrizzo, Mayor, "it will also provide a vital working document to help us preserve and protect the ecological health of the community. In this way we continue to ensure success by creating the benchmarks we need to support sensible community growth."
Community benefits will be many. Sprawl is a term we all know. It conjures up images of cookie-cutter subdivisions, endless strip malls, lost open space, flooding, and traffic congestion. But the Village of Homer Glen has a different, positive, greener vision for its future. With this recent grant from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Homer Glen is embarking on a unique community "visioning" process to explore innovative land use and development options to conventional suburban development. The process will engage community members, community organizations and regional organizations to address environmental issues in the fast-growing community. The input from a series of visioning sessions will help determine a long term "green" land use and development plan for the community to ultimately make the Village a better place to live and work, and protect the scenic landscapes and Village character.
Participants will have a chance to view the best examples of innovative green development and creative open space programs from the entire region. Public input from these sessions will help determine a long-term environmental plan that focuses on the priorities and concerns of area residents.
"Community involvement is essential! Visioning sessions led by the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC) will help us hear from our residents, businesses and organization to help achieve a solid plan to structure our growth and address environmental issues which are important to the community at large," notes Margaret Sabo. "As Illinois" newest municipality, we need to identify our challenges, trends, assets, and develop the best strategies and action plan to preserve our unique community."
Additional Homer Glen long-term goals building upon information gather during the grant's completion:
- Development of the 1st Homer Glen Green Vision Environmental Plan through the year 2030.
- Development of new/updated zoning and subdivision ordinances.
- Development of ordinances for biodiversity conservation for such issues as watershed protection, storm water and flood plain management, erosion control, and wetland protection.
- Development of an open space and greenways protection plan.
- Development of creative, effective public education strategies and tools that will broaden awareness for long-term environmental protection and restoration efforts.
- Creation of a transportation corridor plan, a trail system, and beautification program.
- Identifying key resources such as, scenic landscapes, historical landscapes and other unique features which have contributed to the unique character of the village.
The grant's steering committee is finalizing the plans, locations and dates for the community input sessions. The public will have hands on opportunity to make recommendations and give input in planning the future of Homer Glen. Interested residents willing to participate are directed to call the Village of Homer Glen at 708-301-0632. When the final dates have been confirmed a community wide invitation will be issued.