Contact

Mayor's Executive Assistant
Dafne Henriquez
(847) 671-8236
dhenriquez@vofp.com

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The Village of Franklin Park is proud to have earned a Tree City USA designation based on our commitment to supporting community forestry in our town.

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The Village of Franklin Park is committed to innovative sustainability practices. The Village has built a LEED Gold Certified Police Station, replaced outdated vehicles with energy efficient electric vehicles and installed charging stations at Village Hall and the Metra train station. The Village encourages residents to fully utilize the existing community-wide recycling program and has increased the amount of recycling per household from 8.2 to 10.9 pounds per week. A new anti-idling policy restricts police vehicles from idling on area streets. This eliminates the release of 27,818 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere annually. The following awards recognize the Village of Franklin Park for its achievements in sustainability:

  • Governor’s Sustainability Award (2014)
  • Green Intelligence Award (2014)
  • Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s (MWRD) Sustainable Landscaping Award (2014)
  • Midwest Pesticide Action Center Individual of the Year (2013)

 

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Spring is the Time to Switch to Natural Lawn Care

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, homeowners use up to 10 times more chemical pesticides per acre on their lawns than farmers use on crops. When it rains, the pesticides and fertilizers you put on your lawn can be carried by runoff and end up contaminating a stream or wetland dozens of miles away. Contaminants can also be carried for long distances through the air and deposited on land and in water by rain or fog.

Caring for your lawn in an environmentally sensible way can have a bigger impact than you might think. Unlike conventional lawn care, which relies on chemical fertilizers and pesticides to artificially green your lawn, Natural Lawn Care focuses on restoring balance to the soil system to make a lawn healthy. Over time, your lawn will become naturally healthy, green, and beautiful. It will also require less watering, fertilizing, and mowing, saving you time and money!

How to make the switch:

  • Choose non-chemical weed controls whenever possible.
  • Mulching, spading, hoeing, and pulling up weeds are good ways to avoid weed growth rather than applying weed killer.
  • Fertilizing more than the recommended rate does not help plants grow better and often harms them and excess fertilizer will likely wash into streams and rivers killing some species of amphibians.
  • Leave the grass clippings from mowing to decompose on your lawn (feeding your lawn this way is equal to fertilizing it once or twice a year).
  • Use compost in your garden to develop healthy soils and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers.
  • Have your soil tested to find out exactly what nutrients it needs to avoid applying unnecessary fertilizers.
  • Use organic fertilizers rather than synthetic ones. Organic fertilizers release more slowly into the environment and create healthier soils.
  • Apply fertilizer when the soil is moist and lightly water. This will help the fertilizer move into the root zone.
  • Minimize the attraction of pests such as rats, therefore reducing the need for pesticides, by moving wood piles away from the house and clearing away weeds, litter, and garbage.

Corn gluten, the by-product of corn processing, contains proteins that inhibit root growth during seed germination for several small-seeded annual and perennial weeds including crabgrass. This product offers a natural herbicidal alternative to toxic “weed and feed” lawn products and contains a significant amount of nitrogen that our full-grown turf grass loves.

Corn gluten is most effective when it attacks a weed just before germination or sprouting. Apply corn gluten in early April or when forsythias begin to bloom. Choose a product with a high protein content for the most effective results. Check the weather forecast and apply it when it will not likely rain over the next few days. Wet the corn gluten with a soft spray and you are ready to start suppressing weeds!  Note that corn gluten will also suppress the germination of turf grass seeds, so either plant these seeds in locations away from corn gluten application or wait four to six weeks after for its herbicidal effects to wear off. You can likely find corn gluten products in the “weed n’ feed” section of your local garden center or online.

To learn more, go to www.epa.gov/ pesticides.

 

 

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Consider Solar Panels

Home and business owners can do good for the planet and their pocketbook by installing solar panels. The cost of solar panels has decreased by more than 80% in the last ten-years making them more affordable. In addition, a federal tax credit and a property tax exemption for solar panel systems can help to make going solar a viable and attractive option in Illinois. To learn more about the Village’s process and checklist for installation:

Solar Panel Installation Requirement

 

 

BeesBeehive Installation Helps Out Village and Our Planet

To further support our sustainability efforts, the Village has installed five beehives on the rooftop of the Water Department Garage. Bees play a crucial role in our ecosystem pollinating many fruits, nuts, and vegetables, which are 90% dependent on bee pollination. The flowers we enjoy would not be here without active healthy bee colonies. One bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers a day. And then there is all the honey that can be collected too!

Protecting the bee population is critical. More than 100 crop species provide 90% of food worldwide and of those crops, 71 species must be pollinated by bees. Without bees, our global food supply would be extinguished. Read more:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/franklin-park/ct-fhj-beehives-tl-0617-20210615-5xew2zfirbemflshls5spxhj4i-story.html

 

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Plant Milkweed to Support Monarch Butterflies

More than beautiful, monarch butterflies contribute to the health of our planet. Our food supplies and ecosystems depend on healthy pollinator populations. Unfortunately, the monarch butterfly populations have declined by 90% in the last 20 years! Changes in climate have resulted in more out-of-season storms, severe temperature drops and excessive rain. The combination of both wet and cold is deadly and has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of millions of butterflies.

But it is not too late to get involved in monarch conservation and help to protect their migration for future generations. Start by creating a habitat for monarchs by planting native milkweed to feed caterpillars. Milkweed is the single most important source of food for the threatened monarch butterfly. By planting a patch or two in your garden, you will contribute to the continued existence of the species. The butterflies use the plants for all stages of their lifecycle, beginning with hatching their eggs into tiny caterpillars, to transforming into butterflies, and for laying new eggs.

Plant as much as milkweed as possible to fuel monarch feeding and breeding. Try to include at least six plants. Provide a nearby water source for your butterflies; a birdbath or a large potting saucer filled with water. Planting other pollinator-friendly plants in a comprehensive butterfly garden is a good idea. Milkweed spreads aggressively and may not be ideal for most mixed border gardens unless you are specifically creating a butterfly garden.

Do not use pesticides in a butterfly garden! Once a garden goes chemical-free, it establishes a good balance of beneficial, predatory insects, as well as providing songbirds with a source of food. Many of the healthiest gardens are those that are entirely free of chemical use. Go to plantmilkweed.org to learn more about creating habitat for monarchs.

 

Take the Pledge to Help Save the Monarch Butterfly

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) wants you to help save the monarch butterfly from extinction. They are offering free milkweed seeds (while supplies last) to Cook County residents willing to take the pledge to save the monarchs. Milkweed plants benefit monarch butterflies and other pollinators throughout the growing season. Take the pledge at mwrd.org/form/monarch-butterfly-pledge

 

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Communitrees Partner Program

Franklin Park has joined with Spring Grove Nursery and iTrees.com to offer our residents a convenient way to beautify our landscape. Residents can select and purchase trees online at a 10% discount for planting on your private property.

After ordering at iTrees.com, your locally-grown tree will be delivered and planted by a professional. For every ten trees purchased by our residents, Spring Grove Nursery will donate a free tree to the Village.

To learn more, please call (815) 448-2138. Remember to indicate the code FRANKLIN PARK to receive your discount. Please note that if you want to purchase a tree for your parkway, please call the Village at (847) 671-8252.

 

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Composting

Homeowners can help sustain our community and save money by composting.  When you throw grass clippings or leaves into yard waste bags, it is sent to a location using diesel fueled vehicle that pollutes the air and where it takes up space and produces methane gas, which contributes to global climate change.  The Village pays approximately $150,000 a year to have the grass clippings and leaves transported to a composting site.  A much more economical and environmentally-friendly option is to start composting in your backyard.

  • Grass-cycling is a simple method for recycling your yard waste.  When you mow your lawn, use a mulching mower without a bag that leaves the grass clippings where they fall and allows them to decompose.  The grass clippings return nutrients to your yard, and you and the Village do not have to spend time and money bagging or hauling them away.
     
  • Mulching in a mulching container is another way to reuse so-called yard waste.  If you insist on using a mower with a bag, dump the contents into a mulch pile or a mulching container.  You can make this as easy or as complex as you would like.  There are many ways to compost.
     
  • Food waste dumped in standard trash cans and dumpsters in the back alley of a home, store or restaurant can generate bad odors and attract rodents or insects.  Composting involves placing food scraps in a closed, leak-proof, durable, and reusable container, and having it frequently emptied for composting can significantly reduce, and even eliminate these problems.

Up to 30% of what we throw away can be composted.  Items that can be composted include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Tea bags
  • Nut shells
  • Shredded newspaper, Cardboard & Paper
  • Yard trimmings & Grass clippings,
  • Houseplants
  • Hay and straw
  • Leaves
  • Sawdust & Wood chips
  • Cotton and Wool Rags
  • Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
  • Hair and fur
  • Fireplace ashes

To learn more how to compost, go to https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home

 

 

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Water Conservation

  • Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation.
  • Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and water is not wasted on your house, the sidewalks, or the street.
  • Repair leaking faucets and toilets; this is the number one water waster in homes.
  • Spread a layer of organic mulch around plants to retain moisture and save water, time and money.
  • Check your shower to see if it fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds. If so, replace the showerhead with a water-efficient model. If you shorten your shower by a minute or two, you will save up to 150 gallons per month.
  • Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead and save gallons every time. Please go to our website to get information on how to compost.
  • Install a rain barrel to capture and re-use storm water.

 

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Bicycle Lockers

Bicycle lockers, considered to be the safest in the industry, have been located west of the Metra train station and are available for rent. Residents who are interested in renting one on a weekly, monthly or annual basis should contact the Village at (847) 671-4800 for information.

 
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