Environmental Initiatives


Environmental Sustainability CommitteeAt the January 21, 2020 City Council Meeting, Mayor Pandaleon announced the creation of a new City Council Committee, the Environmental Sustainability Committee

"Although the City of Lake Forest was environmentally aware and pro-active long before it was a wide-spread trend, it is important to me, and based on many conversations with residents over the past year, important to many in our community, that we as a City Council step forward at this time to do even more to preserve and protect the environment for future generations of Lake Foresters.
With the formation of a Council Committee specifically charged with considering the City’s existing policies as well as new policies as they relate to the environment, conservation and sustainability, we will keep this topic at the forefront of our conversations. My intent is that the Committee will identify initiatives that we can support as a community as well as prompt conversations that help us all become more aware of how we can each play a role in making Lake Forest a little “greener”."

Alderman Melanie Rummel was appointed as Chairman, and Aldermen Jim Preschlack and Jed Morris will also serve on the Committee.

Meeting Schedule, Agendas, and Minutes
To view agendas, minutes and videos of Environmental Sustainability Committee meetings, please click here

Guiding Documents
On October 12, 2016, the Plan Commission unanimously approved a recommendation that the City Council adopt a Sustainability Plan as an amendment to the City's Comprehensive Plan.

LFCEL_logo1Lake Forest Collaborative for Environmental Leadership

  • To promote awareness of environmental concerns associated with the decline of ecosystems and the loss of biological diversity and recognize the value of protecting our natural heritage and open spaces. These environmental concerns include water quality, ravine and bluff degradation, eradication of invasive species, air quality issues, tree disease and pest threats, and reduction of waste.
  • To promote awareness of community-wide projects and programs aimed at improving the natural environment in Lake Forest and improving the quality of life of residents.
  • To engage a network of resident volunteers to work and take action within our community to address environmental issues and manage the natural resources of the City.
  • To facilitate community governance and subsequent action through collaboration with Collaborative members' groups and City residents.
  • Provide collaboration in the development of responsible environmental standards, City ordinances and policies, and promotion of educational awareness for environmental practices in our community.
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Sustainability Resources & Projects
Pool De-Watering

Chlorinated water discharged to surface waters, roadways or storm sewers has an adverse impace on local stormwater quality.  High concentrations of chlorine are toxic to wildlife, fish and aquatic plants.  Waters possessing an extreme pH level can also be detrimental to aquatic organisms as the pH of the water4 should be between 6.5 and 8.5.  Algaecides such as copper or silver can interrupt the normal algal and plant growth in receiving waters and should not be present when draining.  Prepare appropriately before draining a pool.  It is recommended that one of the following measures be used:

  • De-chlorinate the water in the pool prior to draining through mechanical or chemical means; these types of products are available at local stores.
  • De-chlorinate the water in the pool through natural means.  Pool water must sit at least 2 days with a reasonable amount of sun after the addition of chlorine or bromine.  It is recommended that the chlorine level be tested after 2 days to ensure that concentrations are at a safe level (below 0.1-mg/1).

Ravines, Our Legacy
The Lake Forest Collaborative for Environmental Leadership has recently received over $76,000 in grant money to fund the Lake Forest Ravines Education and Outreach Project. The LFCEL will be restoring the Seminary Ravine, just south of Forest Park.  This project will serve as a cornerstone demonstration site to teach residents and students about ravine health and what ravines should look like.

If you are a homeowner adjacent to a ravine, please take a look at the LFCEL's new brochure containing important information for your landscaping, stormwater runoff, pesticides and more.  Click on the "Steep Slopes, Long Legacy for Homeowners Near Ravines" brochure at the right under "Documents."

All Lake Forest residents can also benefit from learning about the importantce of ravines to the ecosystem.  Click on the "Steep Slopes, Long Legacy" brochure at the right under "Documents."

Don't Stuff the Bluff!  Keep Lake Forest's Ravines Clean
The Lake Forest Collaborative for Environmental Leadership ("LFCEL"), which members include The City of Lake Forest, Lake Forest Elementary School District #67Lake Forest High School District #115Lake Forest Open Lands Association and Lake Forest College, was formed to bring together the community to educate and engage in environmental action and to promote sustainable practices within Lake Forest.

The role (expanded in the "Goals" listed below) of the Collaborative is to bring together the collective resources of its members to identify and consider existing issues while identifying new programs and approaches that encourage environmental thinking and action to:

  • Protect Lake Forest's unique natural heritage
  • Enhance residents' quality of life
  • Improve the value of the community
  • Make a meaningful contribution to creating a healthier community and local ecosystems
  • Expand the conservation ethic and resident pride

Reduce, Reuse, RecycleReduction is the first step to living a greener lifestyle. If the waste isn't produced in the first place, we don't have to figure out ways to mitigate it later. Purchase re-usable grocery bags, water bottles, and think twice before you grab a handful of napkins or paper towels. Try to find ways to reuse objects in creative ways or donate to an organization that specializes in reusing materials for art supplies or donation to people in need. If an object cannot be reused, rinse and recycle. In addition to curb side pick up, the City offers residents a comprehensive Compost and Recycling Center located off of Route 60. Take advantage of this community asset and do your part to reduce the amount of trash placed in landfills.

Rain Barrel Purchases
The Lake County Stormwater Management Commission offers Lake County residents an opportunity to purchase rain barrels for stormwater conservation and reuse.  For information, please click here.  Information can also be found on the SWALCO (Solid Waste Agency of Lake County) website by clicking here.

Reduce Water Usage
Above: Community Forum titled "Water: Where Does It Come From, Where Does It Go?" held in the fall of 2013.

One simple tip to reduce your water usage is to turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth or wash your face. This simple tip can save up to 1400 gallons of water per year. Another tip is to keep a pitcher of water in the fridge to have cold water at hand instead of waiting for the faucet water to cool. The average faucet uses 2-5 gallons of water per minute. Imagine what you could save with a couple simple changes to your daily routine. Think "water-wise" for our future.

Stay Informed!