Controlled Burns

Weather permitting, the Parks Department conducts beneficial controlled burns in our natural areas this winter. What’s a controlled burn? 

Each year, our Parks Services Division has scheduled ecological burns for several of our natural areas throughout our parks. The burns are an effective way of burning away plant life. There are many benefits to this process, including helping to eliminate non-native, invasive plant species, adds nutrients to the soil and stimulates native species. To learn more, read on or watch a short video.

Are burns safe?
The Park District has two Prescribed Burn Managers on staff who are certified by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. A Prescribed Burn Manager is present onsite at each burn to conduct safe controlled burns. Prior to a burn, wind direction and speed, humidity, air temperature and the type of vegetation and amount of moisture in the vegetation are all considered. The fire and police departments are notified the day of a scheduled burn a minimum of one hour prior to starting and are notified at the end of the burn. While the smoke does emit carbon into the atmosphere, research suggests that by stimulating the accelerated growth of plants, burns actually benefit the ecosystem in the long run. Wildlife are safe as well, as they will instinctively evacuate the area and benefit from the renewed plant growth long term.

There are 30 natural area sites tentatively scheduled and permitted throughout the district this burn season. The permit process and scheduling begins in July and the burn season runs from Nov 1st through Apr 30th, depending on the weather.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact John Giacalone, Director of Parks and Risk Management at or 847-285-5465.

Below is a complete list of parks that are planned for burns in 2015/2016. The exact dates are unknown in advance, and will vary depending on the weather.

SOUTH PARKS (Schaumburg Township)

  1. Bridges of Poplar Creek 1400 Poplar Creek Dr.
  2. Chestnut Park (lakeshore) 935 Dovington Dr.
  3. Eisenhower Park 864 Rosedale Rd.
  4. Evergreen Park (lakeshore) 600 Washington Blvd.
  5. Fabbrini Park 1704 Glen Lake Rd.
  6. Highland Park 1755 Highland Blvd.
  7. North Twin Park (lakeshore) 950 Hassell Rd.
  8. Park Services 2352 Hassell Rd.
  9. South Twin Park (lakeshore) 985 Hassell Rd.
  10. Vogelei Park 650 W. Higgins Rd.

NORTH PARKS (Palatine Township)

  1. Charlemagne Park 3799 Bordeaux Dr.
  2. North Ridge Park (lakeshore) 1370 Sturbridge Dr.
  3. Pine (sled hill) 750 Charleston Ln.
  4. South Ridge Park (lakeshore) 1450 Freeman Rd.
  5. Westbury Park (lakeshore) 1075 Westbury Dr.
  6. Whisper Park (lakeshore) 3957 Whispering Trail

WEST PARKS (Hanover Township)

  1. Beacon Point Wetlands 5942 Chatham Dr.
  2. Shoe Factory Road Basin 1965/1975 Colchester Ave.
  3. Triangle Park 1750 Essex Dr.
  4. Walnut Pond 1680 McDonough Rd.
  5. Yorkshire Woods 5385 Swan Circle & 1670 McDonough Rd.

WEST PARKS (Barrington Township)

  1. Prairie Stone (natural berms) 5050 Sedge Blvd.

 In addition, we’ve contracted with an outside firm to burn:

Hunter’s Ridge East and Hunter’s Ridge Wetlands, Rohrssen Park and Black Bear Park