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Mather Woods will be CLOSED June 22 and 23 for PEMA training.

Mather Woods

Park Care

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

The Plainfield Park District owns and manages over 1,500 acres of public property. Within these properties many ash trees exist which are susceptible to the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a type of beetle. EAB has had a devastating impact on the Park District’s existing trees. In response, the District is following a tree removal plan that first focuses on those trees considered hazardous; trees close to walking paths, park amenities or that pose a hazard to adjacent property owners are given the highest priority. Beyond hazard trees the District focuses its removal efforts in quadrants, mostly during winter months. Focusing removal efforts in a general location allows the District to increase efficiencies, reduce the number of missed trees and better track removals as stump grinding is a service the District needs to outsource the following Summer/Winter.

Any questions regarding tree maintenance or the Emerald Ash Borer should be directed to (815) 436-8812.

For more information on the Emerald Ash Borer, visit the Illinois Department of Agriculture website.

Natural Growth

Many of the properties owned by the District contain sections that are naturalized areas. These areas are comprised of one or more types of natural area; wetland, woodland, or naturalized prairie. A natural area is defined by the National Park Service as: “an area that visually exhibits primarily nonhuman created qualities, such as an urban forest or wetland.” A Natural area is not limited to pristine areas nor does it restrict human interaction.

Prescribed Burns

The Plainfield Park District owns and maintains approximately 250 Acres of naturalized Prairie. Illinois prairies were once a mix of numerous species of forbs and grasses. Today, undesirables such as Crown Vetch, Bull Thistle, Canadian Thistle, Teasel and Canary Reed Grass dominate our landscape.

  • Burn every 2-4 years. Where warm season or native grasses dominate, a fall burn is preferred.
  • Introduce desirable species of grass immediately after the burn.
  • Unwanted woody plants that survive the burn should be removed mechanically.
  • Treat remaining stumps/stems with a non-selective herbicide in order to kill roots and prevent re-growth.
  • Use appropriate herbicides to kill herbaceous plants that do not respond to fire.
  • Monitor the area, evaluate, and document results.
  • Annual inspections for trash removal in spring. Visual trash is removed through the year.

Weed Control

Integrated Pest Management shall be used to prevent and control pest problems in or on property maintained by the Plainfield Park District. Non-chemical controls shall be given preference over chemical controls. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a system of controlling nuisance wildlife that uses a combination of methods to maximize the effectiveness of control, while minimizing pesticide application and the potential hazards associated with their use. IPM focuses on maintaining healthy plants and soil, thus enabling the Park District to more effectively control pest problems.

Structural Controls

The use of a whole systems approach to controlling pest populations, which may include addressing structural issues in both building and landscapes. Examples of structural controls include adopting long-term maintenance practices, such as caulking and sealing, repairing the building or landscape to remove places where pests may breed, such as removing indentations in the earth that cause puddles where mosquitoes may breed.

Biological Controls

The use of a pest’s natural predators or parasites to eliminate or reduce the pest problem.

Mechanical Controls

The use of mechanical procedures to eliminate or reduce pest populations, such as mowing, hand pulling, topdressing and aeration of lawns.

Physical Controls

The use of controls that physically inhibit pests’ ability to inhabit an area by modifying their environment. Examples of physical controls include using traps and barriers, influencing temperatures, controlled burning or hand-pulling of weeds.

Usage of Pesticides

When other methods of pest control are not effective, pesticides may be used. Pesticide use by the District shall be in compliance with all federal, state and local laws. No pesticide shall be used unless it is registered for its intended use. All pesticides shall be used according to specific label directions. All pesticides shall be applied by a licensed operator and supervised by a licensed applicator as governed by the State of Illinois Pesticides Act.

Federally registered pesticides shall only be applied by contractors or staff trained and licensed for pesticide application. Staff shall participate in training sessions designed to improve the supervision, safe handling and application of pesticides.
All pesticides shall be stored and disposed of properly.


The public shall be notified of any interior or exterior application of pesticides, as well as any applications on large exposed areas in or on any property maintained by the District as follows:

  • Exterior Post-application flags shall be placed onsite and will include: date of the application and the pesticide applied. Flags to be removed after 48 hours.
  • Where pesticides have been applied to interior spaces, signs shall be posted at the entrances and will include date of the application and the pesticide applied.
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