Downers Grove Park District • 2455 Warrenville Road • Downers Grove, IL 60515 • (630) 963-1304 •

Green Initiatives

Shoe recycling at the Recreation Center

We've added a new shoe recycling bin in the recreation center lobby - drop your old shoes (any style), into the green bin and they'll be collected by USAgain for recycling. Old ice skates, roller blades, or anything that is considered footwear can be recycled too.

Arbor DayArbor Day Celebration at Randall Park
The Downers Grove Park District celebrated Arbor Day on April 25, 2014. A tree planting demonstration from the park district's forester was held at Randall Park for first and second grade children from Whittier school. The Pierce Downer Heritage Alliance donated one tree for the planting.

Take it in, take it out
The Downers Grove Park District proudly supports the Leave No Trace (LNT) concept in our parks, open space and natural areas. The LNT program was started in the 70s and 80s by the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service. Trash and litter are human impacts that can greatly detract from the naturalness of an area. Show good stewardship by taking out what you take in."Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints."

How long does it last?
Banana peel: three to five weeks Paper: two to four weeks
Tin can: 80 to 100 years Aluminum can: 200 to 400 years
Cigarette butt: two to five years Plastic six-pack holder: 450 years
Disposable diaper: 10 to 20 years Glass bottles: Thousands or millions of years
Hard plastic container: 20 to 30 years  

big bellyBig Belly - Check them out at some of our parks or facilities.
The "Big Belly" solar garbage normally resides in one of our parks during the spring and summer months. This garbage compacts trash as it takes in. The Big Belly intelligent waste collection system dramatically lowers the operating costs, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emmissions associated with the waste collection process by up to 80%! You can learn more about the Big Belly at!

Downers Grove Park District Environmental Guidelines
The Downers Grove Park District has been a leader in environmental initiatives for many years beginning with the dedication of Belmont Prairie as an Illinois Nature Preserve in 1979, the preservation of Lyman Woods as open space in 1986 and the construction of the William F. Sherman, Jr. Interpretive Center in 2003. The District's ongoing efforts towards being a responsible environmental steward led to the creation of a "Green Committee" and the development of environmental guidelines for daily business operations. The guidelines are used as a tool to assist staff in the promotion of sound environmental practices in the workplace. Click here to view the environmental guidelines.

Rechargeable Battery Recycling Program - The Park District is host to a rechargeable battery recycling campaign located at the Recreation Center, 4500 Belmont Road. Responsibly recycling batteries saves natural resources and protects human health through reuse of reclaimed materials and by keeping heavy metals out of landfills and water supplies. Click here for additional information.

Did You Know?

  • The Interpretive Center was designed and constructed with a green building concept which included the use of green building materials including steel frame construction, Hardie board siding, water and energy saving fixtures as well as a green roof with native prairie plants.
  • The Interpretive Center follows a “green housekeeping program” which includes such tasks as using green certified products, collecting and recycling all recyclable materials and reducing water and energy consumption with the use of pre-programmed thermostats and timers.
  • The District began environmental education programming in the early 1990’s and the District’s Wetland Education program for local 5th graders began in 1995.
  • On-going restoration and land management projects at the District’s natural areas, golf course and parks include tree plantings, woodland and habitat restoration, native landscaping, storm water management, stream bank stabilization and the consistent use of best management practices and integrated pest management programs.
  • The Recreation Center was built with water saving fixtures in the rest rooms and locker rooms.
  • Over 20lbs of water bottles are recycled per week from the Fitness Center and 75lbs of paper are recycled per month from the Recreation Center facility.
  • In 2005, the Lincoln Center light fixtures were replaced with more energy efficient fixtures.
  • District facilities recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, cartridges, toners, and obsolete equipment.
  • The Golf Course has recycling receptacles on the course for plastic, aluminum and glass containers and recently installed automatic hand dryers in the restrooms.
  • The District reduces the use of paper by double-siding documents and using electronic communications when possible.
  • The seasonal Recreation & Parks Guide and Park Avenues newsletter is printed on recycled paper with eco friendly inks.
    The District requests green alternates on bids for playground equipment, construction projects and vehicles and turf equipment.


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