Life Amplified

Environmental Resources

The Village of Tinley Park is committed to providing and maintaining a healthful environment for all citizens now and into the future. See the resources below or visit the Tinley Park Environmental Enhancement Commission page for more information.

Water Conservation
Water is a precious resource, and you can help ensure Tinley Park has plenty for years to come.

rain barrellRain Barrels
A rain barrel captures water from a roof so residents can use it later on for their lawns, gardens or indoor plants. It's a great way to conserve water - and it's all free! Rain barrels also help reduce water runoff, erosion, flooding and sewer backups, and can help save money on water bills. They also can help keep creeks and rivers healthy and raise stormwater awareness.

Rain barrels for Cook County residents are available through the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD).

Rain Barrels for non-Cook County residents are available through the Conservation Foundation. Will County residents can check each spring for rain barrel sales.

What are other ways I can conserve water at my home or business?
There are several other ways you can help conserve water, including:

  • In an effort to conserve water for fire protection, health and environmental reasons, the Village enacts water conservation measures annually from May 15 through September 15. Visit the Village's Water Conservation page for more information.
  • The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago's Green Neighbor Guide provides step-by-step instructions to improve stormwater management on your property.
  • Install a rain garden! Rain gardens divert water from downspouts, driveways or other sources to filter pollutants and reduce the amount of runoff that reaches the water system. Check out this Rain Garden Guide from the Conservation Foundation and rain garden resources from University of Illinois Extension.
  • Tinley Park residents can monitor their water usage in near-real time thanks to the Sensus Center, a web-based, interactive application.

See below for some frequently-asked questions related to recycling.

What can I recycle through the Village’s biweekly recycling pickup?
Visit the Homewood Disposal Service website for recycling resources, including an interactive recycling guide.

Where do I take difficult-to-recycle items?
Check with the Tinley Park Environmental Enhancement Commission each summer for a recycling event, generally held at the end of August in the 80th Avenue Metra Station parking lot.

Cook County has partnered with South Suburban College to create the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (Center for Hard to Recycle Materials), a permanent recycling drop-off facility available to Cook County residents.


Native Plants
The Tinley Park Environmental Enhancement Commission (EEC), in partnership with the Sag Moraine Native Plant Community, is providing the below information about the ecological benefits of native plants and how to incorporate them into your landscape. Whether you have 10 acres or a 10-foot patio with pots, you can help better the local ecosystem! Dreaming of spring planting? Think native plants!

Did you know?

  • Native plants are a vital part of our local ecosystem since they more abundantly attract pollinators like birds, bees and butterflies.
  • Native plants are versatile and require less maintenance and water than non-native plants.
  • Monarch butterfly populations have decreased by more than 95% in recent decades.
  • Since the 1970s, North America has lost nearly 30% of its wild bird population. Nearly three billion birds have vanished
The last two facts are distressing, but with native plants, you can turn this around! The main cause of decreasing pollinators (insects and birds) is habitat loss and lack of native plant species. More native plants plus more pollinators equals a better ecosystem!

How to prepare for spring planting now
Are you planning to start a native garden this year? One of the best ways to create room for your garden and double its ecosystem benefits is through a method called "sheet mulching." It’s quick and easy, and if you do it soon, your garden space will be ready by May! Follow these simple steps:

  • Mow your lawn as short as possible and throw the clippings back.
  • Water thoroughly.
  • Layer cardboard over the area. Be sure to overlap, as you want to prevent all sunlight from getting through to prevent photosynthesis. Be sure to remove all tape and staples that may be connected to the cardboard.
  • Wet the cardboard until it's soggy.
  • Layer four to six inches of dirt, compost or mulch over the cardboard.

Let it sit for six to eight weeks. By that time, the grass will have died back, and earthworms and other composting insects will have broken down much of the organic matter, leaving a nutrient-rich planting bed that will be ready for your native plants. Happy planting!

Learn more about native plants and why they’re important at the below links.

How do I incorporate native plants into my landscaping?
Learn more about this topic at the below links.

Come see the native garden right outside Village Hall, 16250 S. Oak Park Ave. The garden is set in a 12-foot circular brick retaining wall with four outer half-moon beds, with a variety of native plants that include Black-Eyed Susans, Purple Coneflower, Foxglove Beardtongue and more. The garden was created thanks to a partnership between the Tinley Park Environmental Enhancement Commission and the Sag Moraine Native Plant Community.

Native Plant Garden at VH