Sustainability in Vernon Hills
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends either directly or indirectly on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.
Why is Sustainability Important?
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 committed the United States to sustainability, declaring it a national policy "to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations."
Village Sustainability Initiatives
The Village of Vernon Hills Vision Statement includes acknowledgement of the importance of ecological stewardship and through actions to include numerous projects intended to preserve and protect green spaces, from initiatives such as joining the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Greenest Region Compact and the numerous objectives achieved each year through partnerships with important stakeholders (including SWALCO - the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County) the Village is committed to ensure Vernon Hills remains a sustainable community.
Village Sustainability Planning Guide
The Village is creating a Sustainability Planning Guide to identify important objectives and to effectively focus resources. Topics include participating with stakeholders to impact important legislation; converting many Village processes from paper to electronic format; simplifying permitting processes for solar and other renewable energies; transitioning toward electronic submission of permits; and evaluating the vehicle fleet with regard to emissions, energy use and available alternatives. View the Guide: Village of Vernon Hills Sustainability Planning 2023-2024.
Tradition of Sustainability
The Village of Vernon Hills is committed to sustainability. Staff will continue to seek opportunities and initiatives that positively impact our local community and the wider region. This effort carries on a long-standing track record of sustainability within the Village. Examples includes turning a brown space (the former Nike missile base) into a green space (the Vernon Hills Athletic Complex); expanding Century Park by reclaiming a former commercial area and turning it into a community green space; converting the Laschen Center municipal building into green space; and receiving ownership of a vacant parcel at Vernon Hills Town Center and converting it to green space. Vernon Hills was an early leader in banning coal tar parking surfaces and phosphate fertilizer in order to protect our watersheds.
Member of the Greenest Region Compact
In an effort to continue to be efficient and effective in conserving resources and creating/maintaining sustainability, the Village became a partner in the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Greenest Region Compact, which provides a guide and framework for identifying objectives to continue to move our community's sustainability forward.
The Greenest Region Compact (GRC) framework builds on 30 sustainability plans and guiding documents, which forward-thinking Illinois municipalities and organizations are using to understand options, best practices, data analysis and other aspects of driving true sustainability. Using best practices from regional, national and global initiatives, the GRC framework allows our community to identify broadly applicable goals and objectives as well as actionable objectives to implement in our community. Visit our Village Greenest Region Compact webpage for more information.
Residents are encouraged to find ways that we can all do our part in creating sustainable communities and lifestyles. For resources, please visit our Go Green webpage.