Update: On May 14, 2012, the Village Board affirmed its commitment to sustainability by voting unanimously to adopt the Park Forest Sustainability Plan.
As an early model of a planned community, the Village was designed to provide a high quality of life for its residents and has been awarded for its livability throughout the years. Park Forest boasts a wide variety of affordable housing types, abundant open spaces, and a redeveloped, walkable downtown district. The Village also has a progressive history of fostering racial, cultural, and economic diversity and cohesion. Its location — approximately 35 miles south of downtown Chicago and straddling the border between Cook and Will Counties — benefits from access to both Metra train service and Cook County Forest Preserves. Additionally, Park Forest has worked to pilot several "green" initiatives, including municipal building renovations, rain garden, solar hot water heater, and green roof demonstration projects, and the Central Park Wetlands Restoration project. Now, the Village is building on past efforts to create a sustainability plan with help from CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program.
Park Forest is developing a sustainability plan for residents of the Village to enjoy a high quality of life for decades to come. From energy use to development patterns to "green" jobs, the plan will cover topics related to the "three E's" — environment, economy, and equity. Planning will start with an inclusive, goal-setting process that engages residents, business owners, and other community stakeholders, and then will apply quantitative measures to key topic areas to track progress toward those community goals. With a focus on implementation strategies, the Park Forest Sustainability Plan will help the Village maintain its quality of life for future generations.