• Green Events

    Arbor Day Celebration

    The Downers Grove Park District celebrates Arbor Day every April. Each year a tree planting demonstration from the park district's forester is held for local school children.


    Oaktoberfest

    Each year, the District participates in Oaktoberfest Oak Awareness Month. Oak saplings are distributed to visitors during the District's annual Harvest Fest celebration.
  • Greener Parks

    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."


    Big Belly Solar Trash Compactors

    bigbellyThe "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 emissions associated with the waste collection process by up to 80%! You can learn more about the Big Belly at www.bigbellysolar.com!

  • Greener Buildings

    Earth Flag

    You'll see an Earth Flag flying outside some of our facilities - the flag shows that the district passed the requirements to become a designated Earth Flag organization due to our commitment to the environment. below are a few of the green features you'll find in our facilities.


    William Sherman Interpretive Center

    The Interpretive Center at Lyman Woods is the Park District's most eco-friendly building. It was designed and constructed with 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 center is now host to many of the district's nature-themed programming and camps.

    Visit the Nature Center page for more details of the building's green features.


    Recreation Center

    The Recreation Center was built with water saving fixtures in the rest rooms and locker rooms. Over 20 lbs. of water bottles are recycled per week from the Fitness Center and 75 lbs. of paper are recycled per month from the Recreation Center facility. In addition the building has the following green features:

    • Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs or LED lights for recessed or can lighting
    • Lighting Upgrades -T8 overhead lighting
    • Motion sensors on lights in mostly empty rooms (offices)
    • Energy efficient windows
    • Low flow faucets & toilets
    • Native plant landscaping
    • Sky light in lobby "free" light for natural lighting
    • Indoor Plants (golden pothos & peace lily are best air cleaners)
    • Foam Soap (reduces soap usage by 75%)
    • Bike racks for employees and residents


    Lincoln Center

    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 Lincoln Center also has the following green features:

    • Motion sensors on lights in mostly empty rooms (some offices)
    • Energy efficient windows installed in 1990's with double pane
    • Native plant landscaping
    • Effective recycling program in place (plastic, paper, cardboard, aluminum, steel, glass)
    • Foam Soap (reduces soap usage by 75%)
    • Bike racks for employees


    Downers Grove Golf Club

    The Golf Course has recycling receptacles on the course for plastic, aluminum and glass containers and recently installed automatic hand dryers in the restrooms.

    • Motion sensors on lights in mostly empty rooms (bathrooms and offices)
    • Energy efficient windows installed
    • Windows & doors adequately sealed
    • Low flow faucets & toilets with automatic sensors
    • Native plant landscape - Yearly burns
    • Electrical driers in bathroom replace all paper toweling
    • Effective recycling program in place (plastic, paper, cardboard, aluminum, steel, glass)
    • Bins on all course tee boxes for cans and bottles to be recycled
    • Sustainable golf course management = low pesticides & fertilizers/native plants


    Downers Grove Museum

    The Museum is a green facility in many ways:

    • Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs or LED lights for lamps and can lighting
    • Lighting Upgrades - OH bulbs at carriage house
    • Native plant landscaping
    • Rain barrel/rain garden - rain barrel at carriage house
    • Bike rack for employees and visitors
    • Natural, unbleached, recycled content paper towels, tissue & napkins
    • Effective recycling program in place (plastic, paper, cardboard, aluminum, steel, glass)
    • Composting program in place - Coffee grounds


    Administration Building

    • 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.
  • 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.

  • Recycling

    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.


    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.


    Christmas Tree Recycling Program

    The Downers Grove Park District hosts two drop-off sites for residents who would like to recycle their Christmas trees between December 26 and January 13 each year. Trees are turned into wood chips which will be used as mulch within parks and landscaping projects. Locations are:

    • Whitlock Park, located at 40th Street and Fairview Avenue, in the parking lot off of Fairview.
    • McCollum Park, located at 6801 S. Main Street, in the north parking lot off of 67th Street.
  • trees

    TREE INVENTORY

    A Comprehensive Tree Inventory of Downers Grove Park District was completed in three phases during the Fall of 2014, Spring of 2015, and Fall of 2015. This inventory resulted in the collection of data for 5,699 trees in 40 park properties.

    Click here for a graphic detailing the results!