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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                
CONTACT INFO: Sarah O’Donnell, Wheaton Park District
630.510.4986 or sodonnell@wheatonparks.org
Date: June 13, 2014

Wheaton Park District Recognizes Comcast for Park Service

At the Wheaton Park District’s board meeting on May 21, The Wheaton Park District recognized Comcast for their service on Comcast Cares Day. Comcast employees enthusiastically volunteered their expertise and assistance with fence and building painting as well as landscape beautification projects around Northside Park and Northside Family Aquatic Center on April 26.

Comcast Cares is the company’s signature day of service and the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort. Over 50 Comcast and community volunteers assisted with the cleanup. In addition to the Wheaton Park District Northside Park project, thousands of local Comcast and NBCUniversal employees, along with their families and friends, participated in more than 80 community volunteer projects throughout central and northern Illinois, including the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan. 

For individuals and groups looking to be a part of a similar project, the Wheaton Park District’s next volunteer day will take place on Saturday, June 21 at the Play for All Sensory Garden site at Danada Park South. When completed, this park will offer play opportunities for children of all ability levels, including those on the sensory disorder spectrum. Volunteers are welcome to come by anytime between 9 and noon to help with the removal of invasive plants from the surrounding area. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the park construction status. Volunteers should bring gloves and eye protection if possible.

For more information about Play for All, visit playforalldupage.org. To volunteer, please contact Rob Sperl at rsperl@wheatonparks.org or 630-510-4975.

 

 


 

 

"Out is In" Theme for Park & Recreation Month

If you’re feeling cramped and like you don’t get to spend enough time outside, you’re not the only one! Nearly 3 in 10 U.S. adults do not spend time outside on a daily basis and of those who do, almost half spend less than 30 minutes in the fresh air according to a new survey released by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs. That’s why this July, Wheaton Park District and NRPA are challenging everyone to get out and visit their community parks and recreation during national Park and Recreation Month.

The Wheaton Park District encourages individuals, families, friends and coworkers to do something outside everyday that they would normally do inside. From picnicking in the park instead of sitting inside at a table  to sending an email or even holding a meeting outside, there are small ways you can make going OUT part of your daily routine. The parks and facilities run by Wheaton Park District offer ample opportunities to go OUTside, get INspired, change your OUTlook and get INvolved.

In addition to getting involved in Park and Recreation Month locally, we encourage you to take the OUT is IN 31-day social media challenge on Twitter and Instagram by posting photos of you doing typical inside activities outside with the hashtag #JulyOUTisIN.

Please visit our event calendar for information about upcoming events that will be held outdoors. 


The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 40,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.NRPA.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.










Update for Delayed Opening of Athletic Fields and Garden Plots

04/30/14 UPDATE: Fields and Garden Plots are open weather permitting.

Athletic Field Update

The winter that never ends, seems to be how most are feeling these days.  The Chicago area has endured heavy snowfall and bitterly cold temperatures.  While it was a good season for winter sporting activities it has taken its toll on our abilities to get our athletic fields prepared and safe for the spring baseball, lacrosse and soccer season.  This has resulted in a delay to the start of the season.

With over 75 inches of snow covering the turf there is additionally an unprecedented frost layer that is 40 – 48 inches deep creating a multitude of challenges.  As you look out the window most of the snow cover has melted, but an even larger challenge will be patiently waiting for the ground to thaw.  As you can imagine with the ground frozen and 75 inches of snow melt the water has nowhere to go creating a surface area that is completely saturated.  These conditions make the fields unplayable and more importantly: unsafe.  Safety for the participants in our programs and any visiting players to the park district is our number one priority.

What will happen to the turf on our athletic fields if we allow people to play too early is the question in many coaches and players minds.  If we allow play on our fields when the soil is not completely thawed the root zone and soil structure will be negatively affected far into the season and it may take the entire year to rehabilitate a field to safe playing conditions.  It will take more than a few warm days and lots of sunshine to get the turf growing this spring.  Plant roots remain dormant until they reach a required soil temperature, which generally is 59-70 degrees in northern Illinois.

The park district and its maintenance staff are as anxious for spring to arrive as you may be.  We will make every effort to get the fields safe and playable as soon as possible for the season; however this is all dependent on the weather.  The Wheaton Park District is asking all residents and program participants to stay off the athletic fields so we can ensure an enjoyable experience all year long.  We thank you for your cooperation and patience following an unprecedented winter.

Garden Plots Update

In addition, the park district rents 48 garden plots to residents to grow vegetables and flowers.  The goal is always to get these garden plots tilled and ready for planting by mid-April.  In recent years we have been able to have them up and going in March but again as stated above the excessive snow cover and subsequent melting has not allowed the soil to be prepared for the growing season.  If we were to attempt to do this when the conditions are too wet the soil structure would be compromised making growing plants nearly impossible and this would be affected for many years.  Again, please be patient we will work as quickly as we can to get these ready for the upcoming season.









FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT INFO: Margie Wilhelmi, Wheaton Park District
630-510-4984 or mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org
Date: April 3, 2014

Wheaton Park District Awarded Certificate for Green Initiatives

Wheaton, IL -- In March 2014 the Wheaton Park District was awarded a Certificate of Sustainability from Use It Again (USAgain), an organization focused on recycling and conservation. Specifically, this award recognizes the efforts the Wheaton Park District has made to recycle clothing and textiles with USAgain.

USAgain is a for-profit company that collects unwanted textiles and resells them in the United States and abroad. Instead of throwing away unwanted clothes, consumers drop them off in the bin. Textiles are then diverted from landfills to be reworn, reused, or recycled. One million pounds of clothing per week are collected, which is then purchased by wholesale buyers, thrift store chains, and textile recyclers.

By recycling 16,239 pounds of textiles in 2013, the Wheaton Park District made the following environmental impacts: saved enough water to supply 155 homes for a year, prevented carbon emissions equivalent to a car driving 138,519 miles, and avoided 93 cubic yards of landfill waste.

These efforts have been led by the Wheaton Park District’s “Green Team,” a group of dedicated and innovative employees. Terra Johnson, who co-chairs the Green Team with Megan Raitt, says, “We formed the Green Team—a wide variety of employees who represent the park district as a whole—in 2007 with the goal of educating employees on environmental practices at home and at work. It’s our hope that this way of thinking and these practices trickle out into the community.”

In addition to textile recycling, the Wheaton Park District provides paper recycling at the Community Center, which in 2013, saved 13.56 tons of paper from going to landfill.

Lastly, the Wheaton Park District partners with Shoebox Recycling to keep shoes out of landfills and repurpose shoes that others want to throw away. Sneakers that end up in landfills take 200 years to even start breaking down, and while statistics like this can seem daunting, this shoe recycling effort is an easy and tangible way for DuPage residents to go green.

All three of these recycling programs are available at the Wheaton Community Center, 1777 Blanchard Road, Wheaton. For more information on green initiatives at the Wheaton Park District, visit wheatonparkdistrict.com/pgs/parks/green.html.






 

 


Congratulations
Wheaton Park District!

Thank you for voting us Large Business of the Year.

Wheaton Park District was also recognized for two Henry C. Child’s Economic Development & Community Improvement Projects:

- The Northside Park Redevelopment
- Gateway to Downtown Wheaton
 
12 Wheaton Park District leaders were recognized as Wheaton’s Top 20 under 30 Professional Honorees!
 
Arrowhead Golf Club
– Jaci Creviston
– Andrew Cross
– Justin Kirtland

Athletics
– Jason Hospes

DuPage County Historical Museum
– Aaron Ianno
– Alexis Muschal
– Michelle Podkowa

Marketing & Development
– Bonnie McMaken
– Stephanie Taylor

Parks Services
– Brittany Baker
– Rafael Zavala

Recreation
– Cristin Handlon

 

 






Park Board Recognizes Johan van Nispen – Troop 32, Wheaton IL

July 17, 2013, Board Meeting

At the July 17 park board meeting, Johan van Nispen was recognized for a project at Cosley Zoo. The project involved creating landscaped areas surrounding the amphitheater. Johan was instrumental in developing the design, soliciting donations of plans from local nurseries and organizing volunteers to install the design.















FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Margie Wilhelmi, Wheaton Park District
PHONE: 630.510.4984, mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org
DATE: June 14, 2013

SENSORY GARDEN PLAYGROUND RECEIVES GRANT FROM THE ROTARY FOUNDATION

Wheaton, IL -- Rotary International and its districts have awarded a global grant in the amount of $5,075 to the Central DuPage Rotary AM Club to start phase one sound garden of the Sensory Garden Playground.  Central DuPage Rotary Club along with the Carol Stream Rotary Club and two International Clubs from Mexico have pledged money to match these funds bringing the total grant award to almost $11,000.  

The Rotary Club of Santa Catarina will coordinate the project internationally and Rotary Club of Central DuPage County AM will coordinate the project locally. 

"We are pleased to see such an overwhelming interest in the Sensory Garden Playground by our local and international service clubs," commented Jane Hodgkinson, newly elected Wheaton Park Board commissioner and Sensory Playground committee member.

Sensory Garden Playground, Play for All, will be the first playground of its kind in the western suburbs.  It will create a barrier-free, universally designed outdoor play-space for the children of DuPage County and beyond.  It offers a safe, fun environment for families who have children with Autism, Sensory Integration Disorder or other disabilities.

The first phase planned to be installed by the later part of 2013.  For more information about the Sensory Garden Playground, Play for All or to learn how you can contribute to this project, visit www.dupagesensoryplay.org.












FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Margie Wilhelmi, Wheaton Park District
Phone: 630.510.4984, mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org
Date: June 7, 2013

VOLUNTEER WORKDAY TO PREPARE SENSORY GARDEN PLAYGROUND FOR FIRST PHASE

Wheaton, IL – The Sensory Playground Committee organized its first volunteer workday on Wednesday, June 5 at the playground location in Danada Park South.

In attendance at the work day were 25 staff from BMO Harris, Kiwanis Club of Wheaton and several Wheaton Park District park staff members.  For BMO Harris the Sensory Garden Playground volunteer workday was one of more than 470 workday events that their staff participated in. 

“Just in one day, we had more than 5,600 employees helping out on 470 different community projects. We chose the Sensory Garden Playground because we wanted to help get the project started and see the importance for this playground,” stated Natalia LoDestro, Assistant Vice President at BMO Harris. 

During the workday, volunteers cleared away 3 truckloads of debris and removed brush; opening the entrance to the area designated for the building of the first phase of the project.

Sensory Garden Playground, Play for All, will be the first playground of its kind in the western suburbs.  It will create a barrier-free, universally designed outdoor play-space for the children of DuPage County and beyond.  It offers a safe, fun environment for families who have children with Autism, Sensory Integration Disorder or other disabilities.

For more information about the Sensory Garden Playground, Play for All or to volunteer at a future work day, visit www.dupagesensoryplay.org.

 









Park Board Recognizes Michael O’Malley – Troop 34, Wheaton IL

June 19, 2013, Board Meeting

The Wheaton Park District Board of Commissioners recognizes Michael O’Malley of Boy Scouts Troop 34 for designing and constructing cabinets for the Boy Scout Cabin at Northside Park. The four cabinets, which will be used for storage by day camps, were fabricated from quality wood that will last a long time. An additional feature of the cabinets is a unique wheel design that allows for easy movement within the cabin.










 

 

Invitation to Participate in Focus Groups

February 18, 2013

Dear Friend of the Park District:

On behalf of the Board of Park Commissioners and Staff, I write to invite you to participate in a focus group which will assist us in strategic planning. You are being asked because you have been identified as being active in park district activities or the activities of an organization that is our partner in community service and leadership.

Please consider joining us on one of the following three dates, or assist us by helping us to identify someone else in your organization that can. The focus group meetings will take place at the Community Center on the following dates and times:

  • Saturday, March 9, 2013 from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm
  • Tuesday, March 12, 2013 from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
  • Wednesday, March 13, 2013 from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

I encourage you to review the input gathering plan outlined below and attached. Once we confirm your participation, we will send additional information for your advance review. We will report back to all participants once input is documented.

Your input is very important to us. Please help us chart our course for the next 3-5 years.

Please RSVP to Donna Siciliano at dsiciliano@wheatonparks.org. Be sure to let her know which date you wish to attend. Please feel free to contact me or your closest park district contact if you require further information.

Thank you,

Michael J. Benard
Executive Director

mbenard@wheatonparks.org

Please view the 2013 Input Gathering Plan (PDF) for more information.


 

DuPage Sensory Garden Playground Initiative Featured by Naperville Community Television

For more information, please visit: http://www.nctv17.com/businessconnection/

Want to learn more about the DuPage Sensory Garden Playground Initiative? Visit http://www.dupagesensoryplay.org.







STATE OF THE PARK DISTRICT

by Park District President John Kelly

For years, the Wheaton Park District has been recognized by both local and national organizations as one of the finest Park Districts in Illinois and 2012 was an outstanding year for us. Participation in Park District Programs and use of Park District Facilities continued to rise.

Take a look below to see the number of people we connected with in 2012.

From these numbers, you can see that the Wheaton Park District, its partners and volunteers have been busy improving the quality of the lives of Wheaton Residents with its various recreational offerings and facilities.

2012 was also a big year for the Park District in terms of Accomplishments. Here’s an update on a few of the more significant ones:

Partnership with Bradford Development: This partnership preserved the Hubble Gymnasiums and open Athletic Space for the numerous programs held there in addition to bringing Mariano’s Fresh Market to the City of Wheaton.

Northside Park Redevelopment: 2012 marked the substantial accomplishment of this 3 year project complete with shoreline restorations and plantings, the playground, bridges, fishing piers, energy efficient LED lighting and utility upgrades...

View the complete 'State of the District' »







FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: November 16, 2012
CONTACT: Margie Wilhelmi, Wheaton Park District
PHONE: 630.510.4984
mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org

Recognition for Eagle Scout, Troop 23, Scott Fleming

Scott was recognized at the November 14, 2012 Wheaton Park District Board Meeting for his project at the Lincoln Marsh Natural Area. The project included a vegetated "green roof" model for environmental education program participants to learn about this technology.






 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: July 10, 2012
CONTACT: Margie Wilhelmi, Wheaton Park District
PHONE: 630.510.4984
mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org


WHEATON PARK DISTRICT’S “SNAPSHOTS OF AMERICA” – TAKE #2!
INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS RESCHEDULED TO LABOR DAY WEEKEND

• Sunday, September 2: Picnicking, Family Fun and Fireworks, Beginning at 5pm in Wheaton's Graf Park
• Monday, September 3 (Labor Day) – Parade Steps Off at 9am

Due to storm damage and power outages, Wheaton’s fireworks and parade were not held on July 3rd and 4th this year. Independence Day celebrations have been rescheduled to Labor Day Weekend.

Sunday, September 2, Graf Park will open at 5:00pm for picnicking and family fun. The evening concludes with a traditional fireworks display beginning just after sunset. Graf Park is located adjacent to the DuPage County Fairgrounds at 1701 Manchester Road in Wheaton.

Monday, September 3rd, (Labor Day,) Wheaton's Independence Day Parade will step off at 9:00am from Main Street and Hawthorne. For information about participating in the parade, call Sherry Krajelis at 630.510.5051 or send an email to julyparade@wheatonparks.org.

Details for these events are still being finalized. Information will be posted as soon as it becomes available on the Wheaton Park District facebook page as well as at www.wheatonparkdistrict.com.




week of the young child logoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: March 26, 2012
CONTACT: Megan Raitt, Wheaton Park District
PHONE: 630.510.5138
mraitt@wheatonparks.org



CELEBRATE ‘WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD’ AT THE WHEATON PARK DISTRICT
Free Activities, Classes and Special Events April 23-28

The Wheaton Park District helps celebrate the Week of the Young Child™ with a variety of creative, educational and just-plain-fun events for children and their parents, April 23-28. All events are free and open to the public. No registration is required for most events.

The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual event created by National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to focus public attention on the needs of children (birth through age 8) and their families. The NAEYC believes that early learning years are critical to a child’s success in school and later life. The Wheaton Park District supports their goal to provide experiences and opportunities that promote healthy development.

Free childcare for children 12 weeks to 10 years old will be provided by Kidz Kingdom for all Week of the Young Child™ events, held Monday-Friday, 8:30am-2pm, at the Community Center.

An Ice Cream Social in celebration of the Week of the Young Child™ will be held in the Memorial Room at the Community Center from 6:30-8:30 on Friday, April 27th, featuring ice cream, live music, crafts, safety presentations and a book fair. All guests will receive coupon booklets from the Wheaton Park District worth up to $23.

Additional events are scheduled at the following Wheaton Park District facilities:

  • Clocktower Commons 100 Naperville Road, Wheaton. Phone: 630.665.1299
  • Community Center, 1777 S. Blanchard Road, Wheaton. Phone: 630.690.4880
  • Cosley Zoo 1356 N. Gary Avenue, Wheaton. Phone: 630.665.5534
  • DuPage County Historical Museum. 102 Wesley Street, Wheaton. Phone: 630.665.4710
  • Lincoln Marsh Natural Area 1001 W. Lincoln, Wheaton. Phone: 630.871.2810
  • Toohey Park 1900 Orchard Road, Wheaton Phone: 630.871.2835

Look for art created by children from Kidz Kingdom/Wide Horizons Preschool in the windows of the Wheaton Public Library, April 15-28, in celebration of the Week of the Young Child™.

For detailed information on events and locations for the Wheaton Park District’s celebration of the Week of the Young Child™, click here or contact Megan Raitt at 630.510.5138 or mraitt@wheatonparks.org.


Phoenix Solar Installs Rooftop Solar Power System  
At Wheaton Park District Community Center in Wheaton, Illinois

SAN RAMON, California, March 28, 2012 – Phoenix Solar Inc. (www.phoenixsolar.com) today announced it has completed the installation of a 44 kilowatt rooftop solar power system at the Wheaton Park District Community Center in the city of Wheaton, a suburb west of Chicago, Illinois.

Phoenix Solar installed nearly 200 solar modules across 75,000 square feet of rooftop of the Community Center, which houses a gymnasium, fitness center, 20 classrooms and an adjacent outdoor pool. The solar system generates 54,400-kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar energy per year and helps offset the Center’s utility costs. The independent Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, which provides grants in all 102 counties in the state to improve energy efficiency, awarded a grant to the Wheaton Park District to help offset the costs of the solar system.

To illustrate the benefits of the rooftop solar system to members of the local community, Phoenix Solar installed a video monitor in the building lobby to display real-time performance graphs that show how much electricity is being generated from the sun. A nearby display provided by Phoenix Solar explains how solar energy works.

In commenting on the solar installation, Rob Sperl, Director of Planning for the Wheaton Park District, said, “As we were looking at the possibility of using renewable energy, we saw that the cost of solar was going down and figured the cost of conventional power will probably go up over time. But more than that, we are a public agency, and we thought we should be a leader in the field and help solar become a more viable technology that could   be broadly adopted throughout Illinois.”
 
 In commenting on why the Wheaton Park District chose Phoenix Solar, Mr. Sperl said, “We chose Phoenix Solar because they demonstrated to us the best return on investment, and clearly showed how they could design the solar system to fit within the confines of our roof.” Mr. Sperl added, “We didn’t have a specific preference for which solar module to use in our system. We just wanted Phoenix Solar to meet all our requirements, and they did.”   

Pete Beucke, Chief Operating Officer of Phoenix Solar Inc., said, “The Wheaton Park District has taken a progressive and forward-looking view regarding our country’s energy future, and we are excited to help them achieve their objectives.”   

 ###################

About Phoenix Solar
Founded in 1999, Phoenix Solar is a global leader in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of solar photovoltaic power plants, having installed or sold more than one gigawatt of capacity. The company's technology-neutral approach allows us to objectively provide the best solar solutions for our customers. Phoenix Solar Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Phoenix Solar AG, headquartered in Sulzemoos, Germany (www.phoenixsolar-group.com). For more information about Phoenix Solar Inc., please visit www.phoenixsolar.com.

About the Wheaton Park District
Incorporated in 1921, The Wheaton Park District boasts 52 parks and more than 800 acres.  Today, the park district continues to demonstrate their mission, which is "to enrich the quality of community life through a diversity of healthy leisure pursuits and heightened appreciation for the natural world.          

Phoenix Solar media contact:                 Wheaton Park District media contact:                 
Bruce Entin                                                    Margie Wilhelmi
Tel: 925-659-3715                                       630-510-4984       
Email: b.entin@phoenixsolar.com           mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org                             
                                                                                


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: March 9, 2012
Contact: Margie Wilhelmi, Wheaton Park District
630-510-4984 mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org

WHEATON PARK DISTRICT RECEIVES AWARDS FROM THE BEST OF WHEATON 2012 - WHEATON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE GAMON AWARDS

WHEATON, ILLINOIS –----- On March 7, 2012, the Wheaton Park District received two of the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce’s coveted Gamon Awards at the Chamber’s annual awards banquet. In the category of Community Development & Improvement Project of the Year, the district’s Northside Park Improvements took top honors. Cosley Zoo’s “Make Tracks to Cosley Zoo” won for Best Marketing Campaign of the Year. These annual awards are nominated by the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce and chosen by the community via an internet poll.

Northside Park’s renovation began in 2009 with the stabilization of the shoreline using native plants. Access to the water was enhanced with additional paths, bridges, docks, and a boat launch. In 2010, the playground was replaced. Exciting new features were added, including a zip line and embankment slide. The project will be completed this fall when the parking lots and roadway are replaced in conjunction with utility improvements.

Planning for these improvements began over 15 years ago. A partnership between the park district and the City of Wheaton paved the way for permitting from DuPage County which moved the project forward. Numerous neighbors and local residents also had a big hand in the project through the Friends of Northside Park committee and its predecessor the Northside Park Advisory Committee. The park district was fortunate to receive funding assistance from the City of Wheaton, DuPage County, the Illinois Department of Resources, and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

"Our thanks to the Wheaton Chamber for the recognition! Because of the dedication of the Wheaton Park District board and staff members, supported by some really good contractors and with input from interested members of the community, the job was well done and in less time and for less money than originally estimated," said Harry McCulloch, a Northside Park Friend.

Cosley Zoo entered into a partnership with Yorktown Mall last Spring which involved the Yorktown Kids’ Train Express. The campaign, entitled “Make Tracks to Cosley Zoo,” included a large Cosley Zoo display at the Kids’ Train Express, discount adult admission passes with the purchase of six-ride train tickets, 30-day free admission passes with $75 in mall purchases, inclusion on 40,000 Yorktown direct mail pieces, inclusion on mall signage, the Yorktown Mall website and Facebook page, as well as four “Zoo Days” of on-site interaction with mall visitors.

The Kids’ Train Express display included static banners, rabbit and pig animal cutouts, a three-dimensional replica of the Cosley Zoo red barn, paw print floor stickers leading mall visitors to the display, and paws print fence decals boasting zoo amenities and services. The Kids’ Train Express displayed window clings. Nearby, an animal-themed photo cutout allowed visitors to take fun photos.

“We’re very proud to receive this award from the Wheaton Chamber. We enjoyed working with Yorktown and hope to repeat the campaign in the future, perhaps promoting the new Bobcat exhibit which will open Fall of 2012,” said Margie Wilhelmi, Director of Marketing and Fund Development.

The Gamon Awards are named for William A. Gamon who served twice as mayor of Wheaton. Gamon was a grocery store owner, banker and businessman and founded the precursor to today’s Wheaton Chamber of Commerce. Annual awards are given in the following categories: Community Development and Improvement, Large Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Small Service Business of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Best Marketing Campaign of the Year, Top Young Professional, Small Not-for-Profit of the Year, Large Not-for-Profit of the Year and Wheaton Chamber Citizen of the Year.

For more information regarding the Wheaton Park District, please call 630-690-4880.







award for Al ZemskyPhoto: on left, Ray Morrill, Park Board President
with Al Zamsky.
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Wendy Russell, Wheaton Park District
Phone: 630-510-5126
wrussell@wheatonparks.org

Wheaton Park District Recognized Al Zamsky, Long-Time Volunteer.
Al Zamsky was recognized at the November 30, 2011 board meeting for his many years of volunteer service and commitment to the Wheaton Park District. Here is a snapshot of Al’s life and what an important role he has played at the Wheaton Park District and to the thousands of residents he has served.

  • Consultant and first manager of the Rice Pool and Water Park in 1989.   
  • Volunteers to teach the  Jr. Lifeguard class at Rice Pool and assists with all training of lifeguards.
  • Hired as first Swim Coach and Aquatics Director at College of DuPage (1968)
  • College of DuPage Outstanding Faculty Award (1998)
  • Former board member of the American Red Cross
  • Member of the Illinois Swimming Coaches Hall of Fame
  • Currently teaching swim lessons to adults in therapy programs at a local hospital

View a clip from the November 30, 2011 Board of Commissioners Meeting
featuring the recognition of Mr. Al Zamsky >




briar patch park playground donation

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Margie Wilhelmi
Phone: 630-510-4984
mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org

WHEATON PARK DISTRICT DONATES PLAYGROUND
Partnering with Kids Around the World to Bring Recreation to Others

WHEATON, ILLINOIS -------The Wheaton Park District has partnered once again with Kids Around the World to send playground equipment, originally located at Briar Patch Park to children around the world. The playground, which was originally installed at Briar Patch Park in 1994, was recently replaced with a new playground. In June, the removed playground was donated. The equipment included structures for school age and pre-school age children, as well as swings, spring rides and sand toys.

The Wheaton Park District also donated the playground equipment that was originally installed at Northside Park to Kids Around the World. The equipment was divided into 4 different units and installed at 4 different churches in Port Au Prince, Haiti.

“Despite the tough economic times, we are glad to be able to replace the playground equipment at Briar Patch Park. The former playground was installed in 1994. After several years, components of playgrounds begin to wear out from use and environmental conditions. The older a set of equipment becomes, the more difficult and costly it is to replace parts that are worn or damaged. We also like to ensure that there are a variety of types of playgrounds throughout the district,” stated Rob Sperl, Director of Planning for the Wheaton Park District.

Kids Around the World was founded in 1994 with the goal to provide safe play equipment for children that found themselves in situations where it was difficult to just be a "kid".  So often children find themselves as victims of situations out of their control, they become victims of economic stress, victims of political injustice, victims of natural disasters, and worst of all, victims of war. It was for these children that Kids Around the World began. Kids Around the World partners with many organizations and foundations to install the playgrounds in these devastated countries around the world.

For more information, please contact Margie Wilhelmi at 630-510-4984 or mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org.

Photos of the playground installation in Haiti (click on any of the photos to view a larger image):




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sue Wahlgren
Phone: 630-510-5035
swahlgren@wheatonparks.org


NEW BABY CALF BORN AT COSLEY ZOO
Mom and Baby Are Doing Fine!

 
WHEATON, ILLINOIS ------- On Monday, June 13, 2011, an Angus bull calf was born at Cosley Zoo, located at 1356 N. Gary Avenue in Wheaton.  He weighed in at 74.2 lbs.  Mom, Ember, is a first time mom but doing great.  Like his mom, the calf is all black.  Angus cattle are always black, except for a lesser known red strain, and polled, which means hornless.  
 
The baby calf is the 8th baby born this spring. Other new babies include 3 sheep and 4 goats.  During births at the zoo, the staff watches to be sure that the baby presents in the correct position, the birth does not take overly long, the baby is not in distress and the mother begins to take care of the baby immediately after birth.  A careful eye is kept on the baby to be sure that it begins to nurse within one hour of birth.  If for some reason they have difficulty, zoo staff will then step in to gently encourage nursing by the baby.  All in all, a good strong baby does great on its own without much interference.
 
Cosley Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  The accreditation process consists of a detailed review and inspection covering all aspects of an institution’s operation including the animal collection; veterinary care; physical facilities; safety; security; finance; staff; governing authority; support organization; involvement in education, conservation, and research; and adherence to AZA policies. Accreditation occurs every five years and is a requirement for zoos and aquariums to be members of AZA. Of approximately 2,800 USDA licensed wildlife exhibitors, only 213 have achieved AZA accreditation.  

Cosley Zoo offers educational programs for groups or individuals and offers a wide variety of summer camps for kids.

For more information regarding Cosley Zoo or to become a member of the zoo, visit their web site at http://www.cosleyzoo.org or contact the zoo at 630-665-5534.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE           

Media Contact:
Amy Kapp
703.858.2151
akapp@nrpa.org

Finalists Announced for the 2011 National Gold Medal Awards

AAPRA and NRPA select agencies to compete for prestigious honor in the park and recreation industry

ASHBURN, Va., May 5, 2011 – The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2011 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.  This year’s proud sponsor of the Gold Medal Awards program is Musco Lighting LLC. 

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the U.S. that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition.  Applications are separated into five classes based on population with a state park system class every other year, and agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials.  Four finalists in each class are chosen to compete for grand honors each year.

 

 

2011 Gold Medal video submission

View our 2011 National Gold Medal video submission>


The 2011 Gold Medal finalists are: 

Class I (population 250,000 and over)

  1. Kansas City Parks and Recreation, Mo.
  2. Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Department, N.C.
  3. Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department, Fla.
  4. Portland Parks and Recreation, Ore.

Class II (population 100,001 – 250,000)

  1. Boise Parks and Recreation Department, Idaho
  2. City of Lakewood Department of Community Resources, Colo.
  3. Rockford Park District, Ill.
  4. Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic and Cultural Affairs Department, Ga.

Class III (population 50,001 – 100,000)

  1. City of Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts, Ohio
  2. Plymouth Parks and Recreation Department, Minn.
  3. Waukesha Parks, Recreation and Forestry, Wis.
  4. Wheaton Park District, Ill.

Class IV (population 25,001 – 50,000)

  1. Elmhurst Park District, Ill.
  2. Town of Parker Parks and Recreation, Colo.
  3. Salisbury Parks and Recreation, N.C.
  4. West Bend Parks, Recreation and Forestry, Wis.

Class V (population less than 25,000)           

  1. City of Cullman Park and Recreation Department, Ala.
  2. City of Fairfax Parks and Recreation Department, Va.
  3. City of Green River Parks and Recreation Department, Wyo.
  4. City of Lafayette, Colo.

State Awards (for state agencies, given every other year)

  1. Florida Park Service, Division of Recreation and Parks, Florida DEP
  2. Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  3. Missouri Division of State Parks
  4. North Carolina State Parks and Recreation

A panel of five park and recreation professionals reviews and judges all application materials.  Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both the local and national levels.

This year’s finalists competed for Grand Plaque Award honors and the six Grand Plaque recipients were announced live during NRPA’s Annual Congress & Exposition in Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 1-3, 2011.

Following are the lists of winners for 2011:

Class I (population 250,000 and over)

  • Portland Parks and Recreation, Portland, OR

Class II (population 100,001 – 250,000)

  • City of Lakewood Department of Community Resources, Lakewood, CO

Class III (population 50,001 – 100,000)

  • City of Waukesha Parks, Recreation and Forestry, Waukesha, WS

Class IV (population 20,001 – 50,000)

  • Town of Parker Parks and Recreation, Parker, CO

Class V (population less than 20,000)           

  • City of Fairfax Parks and Recreation Department, Fairfax, VA

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, go to www.nrpa.org/awards or www.aapra.org.

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration is a non-profit organization founded to advance knowledge related to the administration of recreation and parks; to encourage scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators that would enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; to promote broader public understanding of the importance of parks and recreation to the public good; and, to conduct research, publish scholarly papers and sponsor seminars related to the advancement of park and recreation administration.  For more information, visit www.aapra.org

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people.  Through its network of 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.  For more information, visit www.NRPA.org.  For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrec-magazine.org.

Musco Lighting, LLC is a company that has specialized in lighting systems for sports and large areas for more than 30 years.  Musco has pioneered dramatic improvements in energy efficiency and affordable ways to control wasted spill light and glare.   Permanent and temporary lighting services range from neighborhood fields to NASCAR super speedways.  For more information, visit www.musco.com.

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4/26/11

Wheaton Park District Gets 590 Kites in the Air Simultaneously at Go Fly a Kite Event

On Sunday, April 17, 2011, the Wheaton Park District and area residents attempted to break last year’s record of 843 kites in the air simultaneously at the 3rd Annual Go Fly a Kite event! With plenty of wind and sun, we were able to get 590 kites in the air at once!

The event took take place at Graf Park in Wheaton. The free event included kite making, an amazing Grand Launch, concessions and vendors, games for the kids, and demonstrations by the Chicago Fire Kite Team and professional kite flyers.

The Wheaton Park District is planning next year’s kite event for the month of April, National Kite Flying Month.

Thank you to our event sponsors, Jerry Haggerty and T-Mobile, Danada location.

Click here to view photos from the event.

 



Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting

Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting awarded to Wheaton Park District by Government Finance Officers Association (PDF) >>



 

January 6, 2011
Special Message from the Director

Warm new year’s greetings to you all!  As we begin our 2011 journey together, I am compelled to extend our most sincere gratitude to you, our Residents and Customers,  for choosing to spend your leisure time with us during 2010.  The Board of Commissioners, Staff and Volunteers of the Wheaton Park District are proud to serve you and strive to provide the very best value and life enriching experiences for your family.

Your Park District is among the Best of the Best! I  am very proud to report that during 2010, your Park District was recognized with several local, state and national distinctions and awards.  Special thanks to the staff and citizen volunteer team members that made these accomplishments possible!

  • The Wheaton Park District received the Illinois Association of Park District’s “Best Green Practices” Award
  • The Wheaton Park District received the Illinois Park and Recreation Association’s “No Employee Left Behind” Award for its outstanding internal service programs
  • The Illinois Park and Recreation Association’s “Citizen Volunteer of the Year” Award was presented to two DuPage County Historical Museum volunteers Jean and Jerry Gieraltowski.
  • The Illinois Association of Museums “Citizen Volunteer of the Year” Award was presented to DuPage County Historical Museum Guild Chairperson Mary Udelhofen.
  • Cosley Zoo Staff achieved American Zoological Association Accreditation
  • Recreation Department Summer Camps Staff achieved American Camping Association Accreditation
  • Northside Family Aquatic Center and Rice Pool & Water Park Staff earned the “Gold Award” from Ellis and Associates (an international aquatic facility safety association) for their excellent safety record and training program
  • Arrowhead was named “Best Restaurant” by the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce Membership
  • The Finance Team earned the Government Finance Officers Association’s “Excellence in Financial Reporting” Award

2010-2015 Agency Strategic Plan – You are invited to review the District’s 5 year continuous improvement program which is available here.

In future newsletters, I will continue to share aspects and updates from this internally developed plan.  
 

Our Team Vision
We, the Wheaton Park District Team, have committed to service excellence, financial sustainability, and an enriched quality of life for our stakeholders.  We accomplish this through continuous improvement of people and systems while living our values which include: Integrity, Fun, Adaptability, Growth, Commitment, Kindness and Service.

Michael Benard, Executive Director
mbenard@wheatonparks.org


January 6, 2011

Wheaton Park District Sends Playground to Haiti

Partnering with Kids Around the World to Serve the Children in Haiti

The Wheaton Park District has partnered with Kids Around the World to send the playground equipment, originally located at Northside Park, to Haiti. The playground was divided into 4 different units that will be installed at 4 different churches in Port Au Prince Haiti. Starting in January, Kids Around the World will be sending teams of volunteers to Haiti to install the playgrounds.

Kids Around the World was founded in 1994 with the goal to provide safe play equipment for children that found themselves in situations where it was difficult to just be a "kid".  So often children find themselves as victims of situations out of their control, they become victims of economic stress, victims of political injustice, victims of natural disasters, and worst of all, victims of war. It was for these children that Kids Around the World began. Kids Around the World partners with many organizations and foundations to install the playgrounds in these devastated countries around the world. “Things are very rough in Haiti and we are still waiting on an exact time we can get in. As of right now, we cannot fly into Port Au Prince because of all the unrest,” stated Tim Clauson, Playground Director for Kids Around the World.

The mission statement of the Wheaton Park District is to enrich the quality of community life through a diversity of healthy leisure pursuits and heightened appreciation for our natural world. Mike Benard, Executive Director of the Wheaton Park District acknowledged, “The Wheaton Park District is proud to donate this playground equipment to the children of Haiti. If we can make the lives of these children, who have been so devastated by these earthquakes a little brighter, then we have enriched the quality of life in a remote part of our world.”


For more information, please contact Margie Wilhelmi at 630-510-4984 or at mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org.   

 

 



chris ludwig recognized at Sept. 22 Board Meeting

Sept. 22, 2010

Chris Ludwig Recognized

Chris Ludwig was recognized at the September 22, 2010 Wheaton Park District Board Meeting for receiving the 2010 Boccia National Team Championship Silver Medal.

He is an accomplished young man…

  • He has played Bocce with WDSRA for more than 10 years
  • He has won numerous national tournaments
  • He was a member of Team USA and played in international competition
  • He recently graduated with a Masters Degree in English from Eastern Illinois University
  • He plans to someday write a novel







Sept. 9, 2010

Illinois Association of Park Districts' 2010 Best of Best Awards

Best Green Practices - Wheaton Park District
Wheaton Park District won the award for Best Green Practices for taking the initiative to incorporate and encourage environmentally friendly business practices and policies.

See the submission for this award »

Runner Up for Best Friend of Illinois Parks (Large Business Category) - Central DuPage Hospital
"Best Friend of Illinois Parks" is awarded to a business or corporation demonstrating exemplary support of a local park district, forest preserve, conservation, recreation or special recreation agency.

See the submission (by Wheaton Park District) for this award »

2010 Awards Gala
The 2010 Awards Gala will take place October 1, 2010 at Wheeling Park District's Chevy Chase Country Club, 1000 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Wheeling, IL 60090. For more information about this event, please contact: Sue Triphahn at striphahn@ILparks.org. Online registration will be accepted through September 24, 2010 here.

For more information about the Illinois Association of Park Districts, or a complete list of winners, please visit: http://www.ilparks.org/




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Arrowhead Golf Club Named Best of Weddings in
THE KNOT BEST OF WEDDINGS 2010

Wheaton, IL (January 26, 2010) -- Arrowhead Golf Club is pleased to announce it has been selected as a 2010 ­­ winner in The Knot Best of Weddings, a special section in The KnotChicago magazine and on theknot.com Weddings from The Knot (NASDAQ: KNOT; www.theknot.com), the number-one wedding resource that’s most trusted by brides.

The Knot Best of Weddings 2010 provides a “by brides, for brides” guide to the top wedding professionals across the country, and is a must-have when it comes to selecting the best-of-the-best wedding resources. From New York florists and Seattle bridal salons to DC makeup artists, engaged couples will find detailed feedback on local wedding businesses reviewed by thousands of newlyweds who had great things to say.

Perfect memories are made here.
Arrowhead provides extraordinary facilities, delectable cuisine, supreme service, and spectacular views. Every aspect of your special event can be customized to your satisfaction. Our facility accommodates 20 to 300 guests. Arrowhead is the perfect site for wedding receptions and private parties.

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About The Knot Inc.
The Knot Inc. (NASDAQ: KNOT; www.theknot.com) is a leading lifestage media company. The Company's flagship brand, The Knot, is the nation's leading wedding resource, reaching well over a million engaged couples each year through the #1 wedding website, TheKnot.com. Other products from The Knot include The Knot national and local magazines, The Knot books (published by Random House and Chronicle) and television programming bearing The Knot name (aired on the Style and Comcast Networks). The Company also owns WeddingChannel.com, the most visited wedding gift registry website.





Northside Park Phase 1 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Thursday, October 14 at 4:30 p.m.
Northside Park Playground Pavilion ~ 1300 N. West Street in Wheaton

Stop by and see the projects that have been completed and what is planned for the near future. Light refreshments will be served.

Questions?
For more information about this event, please email or call the Wheaton Park District Planning Department at (630) 510-4975.

For additional project updates, click here.





Turfgrass Leaf Rust

Rust is a disease of bluegrass.  It often appears on residential lawns and high use athletic fields.  Rust is largely cosmetic, but the orange spores that dislodge easily from leaf surfaces can be a greater nuisance, covering shoes, pets and lawnmowers with a rusty residue.  These spores, carried by the wind or equipment, spread the disease to other areas during the growing season. 

Rust outbreaks are most common in late summer and early fall, although the sometimes the disease is active in the early spring.  Summer heat and drought stress along with over use and compaction contribute highly to the presence of rust on turf. 

This turfgrass disease is not harmful to humans, pets or even the turf.  In a heavy year it can make the grass appear thinner than normal but that can be said for just about all grass blades at this time of year.  Regular mowing reduces the abundance of orange spores and adding fertilizer can also help.  Both of these practices are done by the park district.





Help Donate to the Museum!

Wooden Train Sets
The Museum is currently seeking wooden train sets to be placed in the children’s activity room. We ask that the trains be in good condition and, if possible, complete sets. The goal of the museum is to create an atmosphere where visitors are able to experience hands on fun and education about the Museum collections and how they relate to DuPage County.

Donations can be made now through the end of the year.  To make a donation, please contact Sara Arnas at 630-665-4710.

All donations are tax deductible. Values will be determined by the donor.






Wheaton Park District Goes Green!

The Board of Park Commissioners voted to adopt an environmental policy recommended by staff at the January 21, 2009 board meeting. The Wheaton Park District’s commitment to environmental stewardship and appreciation of increasing public awareness and concern about environmental issues led to the creation of an Environmental Policy Committee and development of a park district policy.  The policy will assist the Wheaton Park District to achieve environmental excellence in all park district programming and operations and will further promote the district’s role model status of sound environmental practices.  By educating the staff and community it will lead to changes in practices, which will result in positive environmental changes overall.  As a park district we are committed to setting an example and adopting a leadership position in establishing and maintaining sound environmental policies, practices and educational opportunities for the employees and patrons of the Wheaton Park District.

View more information about the Environmental Policy »



>>> Looking for the Wheaton Bikeway and Pedestrian Improvement Plan? Click here



For more information about what's new at the Wheaton Park District, go to:
• Special Events
• Photo Gallery