Through the efforts of the RainReady Robbins Steering Committee, Robbins will be economically independent and sustainable through the use of green infrastructure in public areas.
Residents and municipal leaders in the Village of Robbins are motivated to address flooding in a way that spurs economic development and creates a more beautiful place to live and work. The regional stormwater utility, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, is currently conducting a study on Midlothian Creek that would create these opportunities in Robbins. The path forward for the community involves active partnerships to make sure that the Village is included in this process and to bring in additional funds to support sewer maintenance, and investment in green infrastructure solutions.
For a century, Robbins has attracted home buyers charmed by its close community and country streets. The Village rose to prominence during the Great Migration as a gathering place for African Americans migrating from the south. Robbins was incorporated as the first majority-African American municipality in the Chicago region in 1917, and several decades later, the first African American-owned and operated airport in the country opened. Today, the Robbins Flea Market draws hundreds of customers from the area each Tuesday morning. Local churches, block clubs, and school groups help to maintain a strong sense of community pride.
Like many of its neighbors, Robbins has been plagued by chronic floods for years. From 2007 to 2011, 316 flood-related insurance claims were filed in Robbins, with more than $941,901 paid out in damages.
Residents suffer a mix of basement backup, street and yard flooding, overbanking from Midlothian Creek, and foundation seepage.
Robbins Steering Committee
Community leaders joined together in 2016 to form the RainReady Robbins Steering Committee. The Committee seeks to raise the quality of life in the Village through investment in economic development, education, and beautification. The Committee will work to support the establishment of new businesses that attract residents to spend their money in Robbins and invite visitors to do the same. The Committee will also create new opportunities for recreation and community gardens in vacant and underused areas. A sense of place will be established through improved communication, beautification projects, and new activities for youth and seniors.
What We’ve Found
Residents report flooding across town, and say they are ready to take action to address it!
What would a RainReady Robbins look like?
NEW OPEN SPACES – ROBBINS PARK
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District is currently working on a new plan to reduce flooding and create new recreational and economic opportunity in eastern Robbins, where Midlothian Creek takes a sharp turn. Tentatively named Robbins Park, the project is envisioned as a place for families to enjoy outdoor activities while keeping water out of the neighborhood.
HISTORIC TOWN CENTER
Robbins can invest in stormwater solutions in the historic Town Center that will spur economic development, reduce flooding in the surrounding neighborhoods, and connect residents to the proposed Robbins Park. Beautiful streets could capture stormwater through bioswales, tree plantings and permeable pavement.
Robbins can establish a residential cost-sharing program to help homeowners recover from past storms and prepare for future storms. Under this program, residents would receive financial support for a complete home inspection and improvements targeted to reduce risk, like check valves, overhead sewers, and a rain garden.