Thirteen miles west of Chicago lies Brookfield, IL, a village with a population of just under 20,000 people. City and suburban living are tightly entwined in Brookfield, with all the attractions and amenities of Chicago close by and the small town feel of the suburbs at the resident’s fingertips.
Brookfield also offers residents excellent public schools, a sizable parks and recreation system, a top notch library, as well as shopping and business opportunities. The village has been rated as one of the top areas for first time home buyers in the Chicago area.
The first settlement in Brookfield was in 1889 when Chicago lawyer Samuel Eberly Gross began selling off plots from the farms and woodlands he had acquired in the area. He called the development Grossdale and claimed to offer land and living that was more affordable for middle class families.
While the village of Brookfield only encompasses 3.1 miles, it also offers both residents and visitors one of the most famous attractions in the area—the Brookfield Zoo. The Chicago Zoological Society opened the Brookfield Zoo in 1934 and was on the forefront of animal care and conservation. Some of their milestone achievements include zoo nutrition residencies, cutting edge medical care for animals and indoor multi species exhibits. Today the zoo is still making history and recently introduced a new practice coined conservation psychology, or the study of the relationship between nature and people.
Teresa Susmaras grew up in Brookfield, IL and looks back fondly on her childhood, which included many trips to the famed Brookfield Zoo. Susmaras is currently a licensed clinical neuropsychologist working for one of the top medical facilities in Wisconsin.