Internal Initiatives we are currently doing
The District makes a conscience effort to use recycled plastic for new amenities within its parks. This includes park benches, pavilion signs, and permanent picnic tables in the parks. Also at the Heritage Bluff Golf Course the signs, hazard stakes and marking stakes are recycled plastic components. Other recycled products are washroom partitions; and kick boards along the skate floor at Skateland.
Repurpose Plastic Grocery Bags
Plastic Grocery Bags drop bins are located at the Arrowhead Community Center and Heritage Crossing Field House. The bags are reused as dog waste bags in the dog waste bag dispensers built by Parks staff and an Eagle Scout. The bags can also be put in the dispensers located along trails in Central, Community, Deer Path & Henneberry Parks, Hansel Rd Greenway, and Heritage Crossing Field House.
Playground Surfacing Material
The engineered wood fiber used for playground surfacing comes from two sources, virgin material that is considered to be waste by the lumber industry and trees processed from trimming or removal operations.
Most of the plastic, steel, and aluminum used in our playgrounds is recycled material. Playground manufacturers have all made decisions to use recycled plastic, steel, and aluminum material when possible in their playground equipment.
Some of the fertilizer used in our system contains a product called nutri-pel. Nutri-pel is an organic fertilizer where nutrients are “stored” in complex organic molecules until soil microorganisms break them down and “release” the nutrients for plant use. The Park District is also now using mycorrhizal applications, which is a fungal inoculant that naturally increases the surface absorbing area of the roots and releases enzymes that dissolve soil nutrients allowing plants to take up necessary minerals.
No Mow Areas
We have eliminated or reduced mowing on a total of approximately 30 acres of turf at Heritage Bluffs Public Golf Club and Community and Central Parks.
Wood Chips and Grass Clippings
Wood chips and grass clippings are materials that have been recycled back into the environment for centuries and we forget about these as being recycled materials. Most of the grass clippings are not picked up; they are left to be returned to the soil. The branches and limbs from our trimming operations are chipped up by staff and used in the landscape beds around the District’s facilities.
Water Quality Management at Heritage Bluffs
A strategy is in place to monitor water quality in all our water bodies on the golf course. We irrigate/recycle water from the Des Plaines River. This water is put through our soil profile and naturally filtered prior to returning to the water table. The equipment wash station at the golf course collects debris washed off the mowers and other equipment used on the course, keeping it from leaking into the soil.
The policy is designed to improve air quality, reduce engine wear and operating costs, and save fuel.
Golf Course Certification by Audubon International as a Cooperative Sanctuary
Use of Electric Carts at the Golf Course
Reduces the use of fuel and is cleaner for the environment.
Water Conservation at Heritage Bluffs Public Golf Course
A comprehensive water conservation program is in place to demonstrate our commitment to judicious water use and environmental stewardship.
Integrated Pest Management at Heritage Bluffs Public Golf Course
The IPM Program is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. This includes managing turf areas with environmental sensitivity, educating workers and players about responsible plant management and safety.
Wildlife Habitat Management at Heritage Bluffs Public Golf Course
Management of non-play areas to provide habitat for wildlife on golf course.
Energy Efficiency in Facilities
- Energy efficient lighting was installed at Arrowhead Community Center, Park Maintenance Facility, Golf Maintenance Facility, and Heritage Crossing Field House.
- Lighting timers and sensors are also used to improve efficiencies
- LED lighting in fixtures at Tomahawk Aquatic Center and exit sign lighting throughout the District
- Motion sensor or spring loaded sink faucets
- Auto -flush urinals
- Low flow shower fixtures
- Setback timers are used in facilities to reduce energy use during times when rooms and facilities are not in use.
Reduction of waste production from facilities, golf and park operations
The following products are recycled in our operations:
- Waste oil
- Grass clippings left to return to the soil
- Branch and wood material turned into as wood chips for landscape beds
Other waste reduction practices
- Use of air hand dryers in washroom facilities
- Increase recycling efforts with placement of recycling receptacles at Arrowhead Community Center and Heritage Crossing Field House
- Re-usable staff drinking cups reduce cup use
- Recycling bins are used at all special events and facilities
- Removed Styrofoam products use in our facilities and replaced with biodegradable when costs allow
- Direct Deposit Program for employee payroll and bill payment.
- Electronic information program for Kids Connection Preschool, newsletters, and start up packet are predominantly sent via e-mail.
- Online Recreation Program Registration and tee time bookings at Heritage Bluffs
- Request for proposals for products and services are sent out via e-mail
- Double sided copier printing to reduce paper use and use of recycled paper products
- Increased electronic marketing including e-mail blasts, Facebook, and Website.
Internal Initiatives we want to do
- Create public access to Arroyo Trails
- “Green” staff trainings through use of Staff Portal
- Improve air quality and reduce fuel costs by looking into alternative fuels such as natural gas
- Expand Integrated Pest Management to parks operations
- Expand no mow areas and use native plantings to reduce mowing frequencies
- Investigate Solar and Wind energy opportunities
- Improve lighting efficiencies by expanding use of new lighting fixtures
- Improve HVAC efficiencies by heating and cooling buildings as needed per the schedule and research more energy efficient units when purchasing new
- Staff will utilize environmentally friendly products/services/methods/etc. whenever possible while maintaining fiscal responsibility to the agency
- Use re-usable shopping bags for purchase of supplies
External Initiatives we are currently doing
Wetland Prairie Public Access
The mowed trail allows the public to explore the Wetland Prairie west of Community Park. Interpretive signs along the trail tell the stories about the history and geology of the area, the benefits of wetlands and information on the plants and animals that inhabit the Prairie Wetland
Here is a link on the Park District website to the Conservation Foundation’s Rain Barrel program.
Coordinate the I & M Canal Clean Up Event – April
Garden Event – April
Adopt-A-Flower Bed Program
America Recycles Day Event in October/November
Provide a Green Tip of the Month on the website
Three Rivers Area Trail
The Park District along with the Channahon Township and the Village of Channahon has developed a series of pedestrian and bike trails throughout the Village to provide a healthy alternative to automobile use for resident and local commuters.
Member of the Lower DuPage River Watershed Coalition
The Lower DuPage River Watershed Coalition was created to monitor the water quality of the Lower DuPage River from Naperville to Channahon and to coordinate projects to improve the quality of the water and develop educational and outreach activities and materials.
Member DuPage River Trail Committee
The DuPage River Trail Committee was created to plan and develop the DuPage River Trail and promote connections to other area trails to provide an alternative to driving. Park District staff are active participants in the group.
Trees improve the aesthetics of the parks, golf course and facilities. Trees also convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, provide shade for patrons and also food and shelter for wildlife. Trees also provide wind breaks at our facilities lowering utility costs.
The Park District in conjunction with the Channahon School District has developed a community and youth gardening program. This program teaches students how to grow and sustain a food source while also giving them hands on experiences. Its purpose is to educate children from preschool to 8th grades but also is free to anyone in the community that would like to use the garden.