Removal of invasive species and transformation to native and pollinator habitat to provide increased visibility for Briergate Business District and environmental benefits
January 30, 2020 -- The City of Highland Park and Briergate Business Association District (BBAD) are partnering to help improve the visibility, safety, and aesthetic conditions surrounding the Briergate Business District located immediately west of Highway 41 along Deerfield, Old Deerfield, and Old Skokie Roads. The Briergate Business District is home to a variety of commercial businesses including service providers, restaurants, and retailers.
Similar work was conducted in 2011 following meetings with BBAD at which increased visibility and greenway beautification were suggested, in addition to lighting and wayfinding signage, to increase economic vitality within the district. Following these meetings, the City, in partnership with community volunteers, removed overgrown vegetation along Highway 41 vastly improving the appearance of the area and the visibility from Highway 41 to the businesses along Old Skokie Road. The vegetative clearing was met with positive feedback from business and property owners in the area and resulted in increased awareness of BBAD businesses.
Since the 2011 work was completed, the area has become overgrown and is in need of vegetative clearing work to restore visibility to the Briergate Business District. The planned work will start the week of January 27, weather permitting, between 1200 and 1800 Old Skokie Road, along the western boundary of Highway 41 and the east side of Old Skokie Road. Highway 41 is an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) jurisdictional roadway, however, the City will be performing the vegetation work.
The vegetation improvements will result in:
- Enhanced roadway and intersection safety with clear sight lines for motorists;
- Increased visibility of the Briergate Business District;
- Improved aesthetics in the Briergate Business District;
- Vegetative revitalization with removal of unsightly and obstructive invasive trees, dead trees, and litter; and
- Ecological restoration of native wetlands with pollinator habitats and native species.
Road closures are not anticipated as part of this project and the work will not obstruct activity within the District. Visitors to the area may notice clearing of the vegetative area along Highway 41 which is the result of removal of the invasive species. The restored ecological habitat will take a few years to fully take root and culminate. Motorists are asked to drive cautiously around construction work.
For additional information about the vegetation improvements in the BBAD, please contact City Forester Keith O’Herrin at 847.926.1604 or via email at email@example.com.