Village of Riverwoods

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Village Woodlands

Riverwoods was born out of an idea by Edward Ryerson to offer residents the experience of living in an old growth forest. In the spirit of preserving the wooded environment of the community, the Village has enacted ordinances and developed cost-sharing programs aimed at preserving the native plant species while assisting residents with maintaining the natural landscape on their own property that is consistent with Ryerson’s vision.

In 2005 the Village enacted the Woodland Protection Ordinance (9-6-1) to define protected woodlands, control the removal of highly desirable trees, and encourage the eradication of harmful invasive species. The ordinance limits the amount of tree removal on existing developed properties to 30% of the protected woodlands. Pristine, undeveloped properties with protected woodlands are permitted up to 40% tree removal of protected woodlands. In all cases, residents must obtain a permit to remove trees from protected woodlands on their property. Tree removal permits should be factored into to any designs or plans for residential renovations or new construction. The penalty for removing protected trees without the proper permits can range from fines to injunctive relief.

The village has also enacted several cost sharing programs to help residents assess the health of the woodlands on their property and encourage the removal of invasive species such as buckthorn and garlic mustard. Read more about the cost-share programs.

Woodlands Restoration Demonstration Area

The property at the corner of Deerfield and Saunders Roads was an immediate example of the effects of unchecked invasive plant species on local protected woodlands with the invasive buckthorn nearly taking over the property. Restoration of the woodlands was completed in 2013 along with a shelter containing educational placards on the project, a bike rack, and a water fountain for visitors. Click here for a Map of the Property. The purpose of the restoration area is to showcase current methods that restore woodland ecosystems and to provide instruction as to ways in which residents can replicate the restoration on their own property.