Park District continues to make improvements to environmental practices

A recent internal review by Park District staff of environmental practices at the District shows a high level of commitment to positive environmental impact. A rating of ‘very good’ was determined with the assistance of the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) Environmental Report Card; however, the District continues to work on strategies for improvement. 

The IPRA Environmental Report Card is a self-evaluation tool which the Park District uses internally to determine areas of improvement which can be focused on to effect environmental practices.

Reviewing the past year’s environmental improvements, a permeable paver path project in Butterfield Park and the installation of a rain garden in Pioneer Park were two capital projects which contributed to improving the District’s environmental impact.

Another highlight of the year was the District’s fuel conservation efforts, which include tracking District vehicle fuel use to determine ways to reduce consumption. Staff is also making an anti-idling push with District vehicles, reminding staff to turn off vehicles when not in use. In coming years, alternative fuel vehicles are something the District is keeping in mind when it comes to future vehicle acquisitions.

Internally, emphasizing employee education was also a goal this year. Providing green tips throughout the year, such as using a reusable mug during the day or printing documents double-sided, encourages employees to be a part of improving the District’s practices. Future goals include ensuring that part-time and seasonal staff are included in these employee education efforts.

This annual self-evaluation will help Park District staff continue to look for ways to improve environmental efforts over the course of 2018 and beyond.