McDonald Creek Commission

About McDonald Creek

McDonald Creek begins just east of Route 53 near Dundee Roadand flows generally southeast through Arlington Heights, Wheeling, ProspectHeights and Mount Prospect until it joins the Des Plaines River just south ofKensington Road. 

The 10-square-mile watershed includes North and Southbranches that meet at Lake Arlington to form the main channel, plus twotributaries. Tributary A runs a little more than a mile from Old OrchardCountry Club through the slough and Hillcrest Lake to its confluence with themain stream in Walnut Woods, at Palatine and Wheeling roads. Tributary B flowseast from Wheeling Road parallel to Euclid Avenue for one mile, through Rob RoyGolf Course and Woodland Trails Park. The main channel runs approximately 6 miles,of which 4 miles lies within the City of Prospect Heights.

How McDonald Creek Helps You

McDonald Creek is a vital component of city infrastructure.Prospect Heights does not have a storm sewer system, so the creek and itstributaries are the sole source of surface drainage for 85% of the city,including all land west of Wolf Road. 

The creek also enhances the rural character of the city,helps recharge the aquifer upon which our wells depend, provides habitat andcorridors for wildlife, and is a recreational corridor.

How You Can Help McDonald Creek

Regular maintenance is needed to keep our storm water infrastructure operating properly. Blockages, overgrown vegetation, fallen trees, trash, streambank erosion and excess siltation all contribute to impaired drainage and potential localized flooding problems. Also, broken or blocked culvert pipes under driveways and poorly maintained ditches and swales have a negative impact on our drainage system. Several city codes address the waterway maintenance responsibilities of residents and the city.


Creek property owners --

Don't leave landscape trimmings, mulch or any floating materials in the floodway.

Remove debris in the creek, regardless of where it came from.

Trim streambank trees and bushes so branches don't hang into creek.

Remove loose or dead branches before they fall into the creek.

Remove invasive buckthorn, honeysuckle, purple loosestrife and other non-native plants and replace with native deep-rooted shrubs and grasses that help stabilize banks.

Contact the Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission for suggestions on suitable plants –

Report any large blockages to the PH Public Works Dept, 847-398-6070 x 207, or to Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's Small Streams Maintenance Crew to report online

All residents --

Keep swales and driveway culverts clear of debris. Swales provide drainage for your property and for the road, and detention during heavy rainfalls.

Reduce fertilizer use on lawns. Only use phosphorus if soil tests indicate it's needed.

Use less salt on driveways and sidewalks during winter months.

Install rain gardens or rain barrels to reduce storm water runoff. MWRD offers rain barrels for $45.

Direct water from downspouts into your lawn or garden, not swales.

Pick up your pet waste from the yard.

Manage your yard as part of the green infrastructure network. Let rainwater soak in where it falls to reduce runoff to the creek and to recharge groundwater, which supplies your well.

Find comprehensive information on storm water management see Storm Water Resources below.


Prospect Heights City Hall
Council Chambers
8 N. Elmhurst Road
Prospect Heights, IL 60070

To Contact the McDonald Creek Commission by email:

Scheduled Meeting Dates

The Committee shall comply with the Open Meetings Act, the Freedom of Information Act and other applicable law. The Committee shall set its own meeting schedule and may adopt its own rules of procedure.

  • To Be Determined

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available after approval.

Most Recent Agenda | View All


  • Chairperson - Catherine Brady
  • Jon Kindseth
  • Jan Fuller
  • Harold Kargenian
  • Rick Hartke

Residents of Prospect Heights have the opportunity to serve on a number of boards or commissions that represent the city. Residents that are interested on serving on a committee should contact City Hall and complete a volunteer application.

McDonald Creek Commission Monthly Meeting