Community Environmental Visioning Process

Key Steps of the Community Environmental Visioning Process
  • Establishing a long term environmental vision for the community;
  • Identifying the community's environmental assets and challenges;
  • Identify forces and trends that could impact the community's environment;
  • Develop strategies for accomplishing the environmental vision; and
  • Identify benchmarks or indicators of success to gauge how well the community is working toward its desired environmental future.
Note: These key steps were developed January 15, 2003.

Application Process
In an effort to participate in Illinois' Green Communities Demonstration Program, a grant application was prepared and submitted by the Village of Homer Glen to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in early 2002. Although submitted by the Village of Homer Glen, success in preparing the grant submittal could not have been achieved without the assistance and support of numerous local organizations.

Award
The Village of Homer Glen is pleased to announce that in May of 2002 the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's Director signed its Green Communities Demonstration grant agreement and allocated $110,000 funding for the cost of the environmental visioning process. The Village has 2 years from the date of the signing to fulfill the requirements of the grant agreement.

Requirements & Actions
Some of the requirements of the Green Communities Grant and associated actions which have been taken or will be taken by the Village to satisfy those requirements are:

Requirement
The Village must demonstrate that the visioning process has support from a broad mix of local officials, civic organizations, community groups and other parties with appropriate letters of commitment and support.

Action
The Village is fortunate to have knowledgeable and experienced partnering organizations in this grant including The Conservation Foundation, Homer Township, the Long-Run Creek Watershed Planning Committee, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service. Additionally, the Village has letters of support and/or implementation assistance from:
  • The Forest Preserve District of Will County
  • The Homer Glen Community and Civic Involvement Committee
  • The Homer Glen Land Use Representative
  • The Homer Glen Mayor
  • The Homer Glen Parks and Environment Committee
  • The Homer Glen Planning Commission
  • The Homer Glen Zoning Commission
  • Homer School District 33-C
  • The Homer Township Chamber of Commerce
  • The Homer Township Highway Department
  • The Homer Township Public Library
  • The Openlands Project
  • Representative Brent Hassert
  • Representative Renee Kosel
  • Senator William Mahar
  • Senator Christine Radogno
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Will County School District 92
  • Will County School District 92 Foundation for Educational Excellence
  • The Will County Land Use Department
  • The Will/South Cook Soil and Water Conservation District
Requirement
Form a steering committee to serve as a core planning group.

Action
The steering committee has been formed. It includes 10 regular members and 3 Ex Officio (non-voting) members. They are:
  • Homer Glen Village Trustee, Parks and Environment, Margaret Sabo
  • Homer Glen Village Trustee, Community and Civic Involvement, Laurel Ward
  • Homer Township Trustee, Pam Meyers
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (U.S.D.A.) Bob Jankowski
  • Long Run Creek Watershed, Marcia De Vivo
  • The Conservation Foundation, Dan Lobbes
  • Homer Glen Green Vision Grant Coordinator, Dave Pronesky
  • Homer Township Chamber of Commerce, Sheree Kozel-La Ha
  • Homer Glen Asst. Volunteer coordinator, Nancy Herberg
  • Homer Glen Parks and Environment Committee, Sue Steilen
  • Homer Glen Village Manager, Glenn Spachman (Ex Officio)
  • Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, Project Manager, John Paige, AICP (Ex Officio), and
  • Dennis Dreher, Principal Water Resources Engineer, NIPC (Ex Officio)
This committee will provide all necessary records keeping and fulfill all necessary reporting required by the IEPA.

Requirement
Select and hire a neutral outside facilitator who possesses skills and experience in designing an effective community visioning process, keeping individuals in the community involved in the process, and facilitating large meetings of diverse stakeholders.

Action
The steering committee is in the process of finalizing its selection of the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission as the professional facilitator. Upon approval by IEPA of NIPC's qualifications, a contract will be executed for NIPC's professional services.

Requirement
Develop an environmental vision plan that reflects the desired state of the environment that the community hopes to attain 20-30 years in the future.

Action
At the heart of the process will be several public meetings and visioning sessions. Participation of area residents and businesses at these meetings will be strongly encouraged.