The Elmhurst Park District created an Environmental Committee in 2008 to assess the agency’s environmental needs and incorporate strategies to meet those needs.
The Green Team developed a comprehensive Environmental Policy and Long-Term Action Plan that is reviewed and updated in order to track implementation of green objectives. An increased awareness and support of green initiatives within the agency has been very encouraging and this ongoing commitment throughout the agency is of the greatest benefit to the Elmhurst community.
In 2014, the Green Team evolved into an agency-wide work group. The work group investigates, reviews, and recommends implementation of environmental objectives. The following are examples of 2014 accomplishments. The Eldridge recreation building roof was replaced with a long-lasting metallic surface blocking ultraviolet rays and reducing the amount of heat transfer into the building increasing the efficiency of the building’s HVAC system. At Courts Plus, the Enernoc demand response program provides greater energy efficiency decreasing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. A funding grant provided 50% of the project cost to replace 142 clubhouse bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs at Sugar Creek Golf Course.
2015 accomplishments included review and update of the Energy Audit Checklist for Elmhurst Park District facilities. Green cleaning products and vendors were updated and made available to staff. Contractor bid specification guidelines were reviewed to provide for pollution prevention as well as compliance with relevant environmental regulations and will be available for placement into bid documents in 2016. A Paper Retriever program was implemented for collection of recyclable paper. The Natural Area Management Plan was restructured to include information on invasive plant species control.
2016 saw the creation of an action plan that assigned tasks to Green Team members in order to achieve a score improvement of thirteen points on the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) Environmental Report Card. Five “Environmental Tips” posters were prepared and placed in the break rooms at all District facilities. A new recreation staff representative was added to the Green Team and is able to present sustainable initiatives to programming staff. An Earth Day staff cleanup event at East End Park was co-hosted by the Employee Relations Committee and the Green Team. The Paper Retriever program was expanded to include cardboard as well as recyclable print media with recycling bins located at Courts Plus and The Abbey. The “Commitment to the Environment” statement is being inserted into bid documents. The Environmental Guidelines for Plant Healthcare & Pest Management was updated for staff. Green products & vendor lists continue to be reviewed in a timely manner. Battery, paint, aerosol, pen/marker, and tennis ball recycling was accomplished throughout the District.
An increased awareness and support of green initiatives within the agency has been very encouraging and this ongoing commitment throughout the agency is of the greatest benefit to the Elmhurst community.
Elmhurst Park District Environmental Accomplishments