We’re Embracing the “Park” in Park District. Here’s our green mission:
To adopt environmentally friendly business practices that benefit the environment, educate the community and improve district wide efficiencies.
Green Tip: Make Cleaning Earth-Friendly
Avoid cleaners containing phosphates. They biodegrade totally and quickly. But when they get into rivers and lakes, they cause algae blooms, robbing the water of oxygen, blocking sunlight, and ultimately killing marine life.
Do-It-Yourself Green Cleaners Some of the greenest cleaners are the ones you make yourself. Here are some sample recipes for simple, effective cleaners:
- Drain Cleaner: Pour a half-cup of baking soda down the sink and add at least a cup of vinegar. Cover the drain and wait a few minutes, then rinse with a mixture of boiling water and salt
- Window Cleaner: Mix two ounces of vinegar with a quart of water in a spray bottle.
- Silver Polish: Put a sheet of aluminum foil into a plastic or glass bowl. Sprinkle the foil with salt and baking soda and fill the bowl with warm water. Soak your silver in the bowl and tarnish migrates to the foil. Dry and buff.
- Brass Cleaner: Cut a lemon in half, sprinkle it with salt and rub the lemon on the metal. Buff with a cloth.
- Rust Remover: Use vinegar to remove rust on nuts and bolts and other mineral deposits such as calcium deposits.
Here are some of the ways that the HEPD is green:
Reusable Bags for Supply Purchase
Salting Parking Lots and Sidewalks
Disposable Water Bottle Usage
Recycling Ink Jet and Laser Toner Cartridges
Natural Area Management Plan
At the Hoffman Estates Park District, we do whatever we can to embrace the “parks” at our park district by consistently seeking out new ways to be “green”. We’ve changed the shorelines of our lakes by adding natural plant vegetation, called a natural shoreline. Natural shorelines, as opposed to rock borders or retaining wall shorelines, offer many benefits to the community. Natural shorelines add beauty to the landscape. We’ve added many native flowering plants such as Black-eyed Susans, Day Lilies, Verbena and Daisies. Besides adding beauty, these plants help reduce excessive growth of algae by protecting the water quality because they prevent the soil from eroding into the lake. Without the vegetation, soil flows into the lakes during rain and this sediment clouds the water and covers plant leaves, reducing sunlight penetration and inhibiting plant food production. Eroded soil particles also carry pollutants like oil, fertilizers, pesticides and bacteria. In addition to reducing algae, improved water quality increases the fish population.
Natural shorelines also keep litter from blowing into the lakes. It’s easier for our park crews to remove litter from the vegetation than from the water. Wildlife is affected by the natural shorelines as well. The plants attract a great variety of wildlife such as birds, butterflies, frogs, turtles, and ducks which use the area for nesting, spawning and protection from predators. In addition, the vegetation deters nuisance species like Canadian geese which litter the lake and surrounding area with droppings. Further, by improving water quality and appearance, increasing wildlife habitat, a natural shoreline may even improve property values. For more information on the park district’s green initiatives and natural area management, visit HEParks.org and SeeSproutGrow.org.
Early in 2010, the HEPD Board of Commissioners formally adopted the district's first Natural Area Management Plan. Click here to learn more about the Natural Area Management Plan
Aquatic Plant Growth and Turf Care - How you can help!
Aquatic plant growth is of top concern for our residents and we would like to share with you our philosophy on turf care and how it applies to the health of our aquatic areas. According to the World Resources Institute, an influx of nitrogen and phosphorus levels are distorting the natural nutrient cycle of our planet and becoming quite evident in our aquatic ecosystems, causing diminished water fertility and algae blooms.
At the Hoffman Estates Park District, it is our goal to be as minimally invasive as possible in our turf care, restricting weed control to one application per year at the lowest possible rate to still be effective. We rotate our applications to avoid back-to-back yearly applications on any water way, thus minimizing the run-off of nitrogen and phosphorus. Excessive algae and aquatic growth in our lakes and retention ponds are a direct result of over-fertilization in surrounding residential lawns and homeowners can help tremendously to reduce this problem.
Click here to download Fertilizer Calculation Steps + Recommendations
Hoffman Estates Garden Club