Vernon Hills Park District
Vernon Hills Park District
Vernon Hills
Park District
Addressing the lifelong leisure needs of all Vernon Hills residents

Park Care and Maintenance

 

Pond Aerators Parks Trimmed by Contractors
Annual Tree Pruning Mosquito Spraying
Fertilization and Herbicide Application of Turfgrass (for bugs and weeds) Shoreline Stabilization Project
Lake Water Quality Snow Plow Priorities/Walking Paths
Landscape Maintenance and Improvements Trash Collection
Mowing and Trimming of Park Grass Turf Aeration
  Recycling
Pond Aerators

Algae, if left unchecked can kill nearly all life in a pond or lake, make it difficult to use the lake for expected recreational purposes, and can also be smelly and unsightly. For many years, the Park District battled the algae that grows year round in the Park District’s retention ponds by contracting a private company to apply chemicals to ponds and lakes affected by algae growth. The chemical application, though relatively expensive, has been somewhat effective in most cases. In 2003, the Park Board approved an eco-friendly plan to install above water (fountains) and/or below water (bubblers), depending on the square footage and depth of the lake/pond aerators, in each of the District’s retention ponds over a period of years.

The first aerator was installed in Willow Lake in Deerpath Park in late fall 2003 and activated in spring of 2004.  A second aerator in the west detention pond at Grosse Pointe Park was installed and activated in the summer of 2004.  Three aerators were added to Little Bear Lake in 2007. Over the next few years, aerators are scheduled to be added to other Park District lakes, based on need.

The Benefits

After a reasonable test period, it appears the District was successful in meeting the primary goal of eliminating algae growth. Future success in this area will be monitored on an ongoing basis. Secondary benefits derived from the aerators include improved water quality, healthier fish and, although debated by some, beautiful fountains of water. As an additional benefit, the Park District is no longer adding chemicals to its lakes and ponds, which in the long run is better for the environment.

Operating Hours

Normally, aerators will operate during daylight to early evening hours, April through November.


Annual Tree Pruning

Tree and shrub pruning is a year round activity of the Vernon Hills Park District. The heaviest of pruning is done in December, January, February and first half of March when the leaves are off the trees and shrubs.

Tree trimming general objectives are:
To keep the lowest branches on the tree above seven feet above the ground in the open areas in the parks and eleven feet above the ground over paths and driveways.
To remove crossed, damaged, dead and diseased branches.
To remove suckers and eliminate witchhazeling growth.
To shape the trees to reduce conflicts with other trees, buildings, and other objects. In most cases the tree will be allowed to develop to its natural shape and size.

Trees that present a hazard, extend over property lines, conflict with other trees, show declining health or conflict with other park usage may be subject to removal.

The District Pruning Schedule is based on a six-year rotation but may be extended, depending on other activities or on weather conditions.

Fertilization and Herbicide Application of Turfgrass (for bugs and weeds)

Our grass is no different than yours.  Its appearance (color and weed content) is impacted proportionately by the amount of money that is spent on fertilizers and herbicides to get and keep it green and weed free.  With nearly 400 acres of grass to maintain, the District tries to keep its grass green and relatively weed free within reasonable cost limits.

Starting with the fall 2004 herbicide applications, the Park District stepped up its weed control program to two applications a year. Thanks to this effort, we expect to see fewer dandelions and weeds in the future. To ensure your safety, the Park District has its own Illinois Department of Agrigculture Herbicide Operators Licenses to spray some of its parks and also contracts some of the spraying out to a state-certified private company. Watch for the little flags placed in the ground that advise you whenever a park has been sprayed. If you or a member of your family are concerned about health issues related to the District’s spraying program, would like to be notified of an upcoming spraying, or would like more information about the District’s herbicide spraying program, contact James Kim, Park Superintendent  at 847-996-6817.

Lake Water Quality

The Park District’s two biggest lakes, Big Bear and Little Bear at Century Park, are reviewed for water quality by the Lakes Management Unit of the Lake County Health Department.  The last report was dated 2008. In summary, both of these mid-70’s man-made lakes suffer from water clarity problems caused mostly by sediment and some algae blooms. Because aquatic plant life is sparse, providing little habitat for shelter, food and nursery areas, the potential for high fish counts is very limited.  The main cause of the high amounts of sediment in the water is soil erosion caused by steep slopes (see Shoreline Stabilization Project), fluctuating water levels (the Seavey Ditch is the water source for the lakes, as well as surface water runoff), regularly cut lawn, and geese that eat the shoreline grasses down to its roots.  Though the water quality reports are lengthy and relatively technical, they are available for inspection by contacting the Park District’s Executive Director 847-996-6800.

Mowing and Trimming of Park Grass

The Vernon Hills Park District maintains nearly 400 acres of grass! Weekly cutting and trimming is scheduled for all of the District’s parks from April to mid-October, depending on the weather and when the grass stops growing for the season.  Some parks with athletic fields may be cut more often, especially during the spring ball playing season.

Due to the size and scope of the projects, some or all of the cutting, trimming and mowing has been contracted out. The grounds at Deerpath, Century, Garvanian, Hartmann, and Peterson Parks are mowed by the Parks Maintenance staff. Questions and/or concerns about the District’s mowing schedule should be addressed to James Kim, Parks Superintendent, at 847-996-6817.

Mosquito Spraying

The Vernon Hills Park District does not spray its parks for mosquitoes, but Deerpath is sprayed for Movies in the Park & the FAC is sprayed for the Family Camp Out. However, the Village of Vernon Hills has a mosquito control program which encompasses all of Vernon Hills. More information can be obtained by contacting the Village Public Works department.

Shoreline Stabilization Project

In 1997, the Park District began the long term project of restoring, and thereby stabilizing, the eroded shorelines of Big and Little Bear Lakes at Century Park. Due to the widespread deterioration (more than 13,000 linear feet of shoreline) and the District’s limited funds, the work is being accomplished over a period of years.  In 1998, an additional 1000 linear feet was restored before the project was temporarily tabled due to other District priorities. In fall 2004, the project was revitalized at the south end of Little Bear Lake where the erosion is the worst. An additional 1000 linear feet was restored in spring 2005, 800 lineal feet was completed in spring 2006. The Park District is now in the process of removing invasive species along the shoreline and replacing with native plantings to prevent further erosion of the shoreline in a natural setting.

Trash Collection

Keeping the District’s parks clean and free of debris is no easy task. The District’s park maintenance staff works hard to keep up with the trash pickup.  It requires everyone’s help in order to get the job done.  There are more than 200 trash containers located in the District’s parks. Daily pickups are scheduled during the heavy use season, or more often if needed.  If you should notice a trash container that needs attention, please contact James Kim, Park Superintendent at  847-996-6817.

Turf Aeration

Turf aeration helps reduce soil compaction, allows for gas exchange in the root zone, and allows fertilizer and water to penetrate deeper into the root zone, all of which encourages a healthy stand of grass. When used prior to over seeding, the seeds make better soil contact for a greater percent of germination. Ground aeration can be performed anytime of year the ground is not frozen or too dry.

The District owns and operates a tractor-mounted pull behind Ryan Renovator with a double set of three-quarter inch open tines. This unit will remove a core of soil up to four inches deep depending on soil conditions on a 3-inch by 3-inch spacing across its six-foot operating width at ten miles per hour. The cores are left on the surface to be broken down by weather, normally within a few days to a week.

The objective of the Park District is to aerate all parks at least once a year and athletic fields twice a year. Other required or emergency maintenance activities or weather conditions may affect aeration activities and times.

Spring aeration season – April and May – primary athletic fields
Fall aeration season – August, September, and October – athletic fields and parks

Recycling

As part of its environmental commitment, the Park District participates in two types of recycling efforts:

Mandatory: Park District tires, batteries, used oil, fluorescent lamps and computer monitors.

Voluntary: Aluminum cans, plastic bottles and paper at the Laschen and Sullivan Community Centers, at the Family Aquatic Center, and at selected parks. The Park District also recycles computer hardware and wood chips.

Snow Plow Priorities/Walking Paths
SNOW REMOVAL PRIORITIES WEEKDAYS - DAYLIGHT HOURS

First priority – Lakeview Fitness Center & Sullivan Community Center

  1. Driveways, parking areas, and circles
  2. North Parking Lot (SCC)
  3. Building sidewalks
  4. Employee parking area
  5. Back drive to dumpsters (SCC)

Second priority – Laschen Center

  1. Front circle drive, rear drive to dumpsters and VHPD staff parking spots
  2. Building sidewalks and back ramp
  3. Crosswalk and sidewalk on east side of Evergreen (by golf course lot)

Third priority – Hartmann/SRACLC

  1. Both parking lots (north one first)
  2. Building sidewalks

Fourth priority – Walks to schools – Paths at Peterson; Path at Deerpath – 5 acres to Arbortheather; parkway sidewalk at Augusta; Path from Augusta to Sullivan; Parkway sidewalk along Aspen Dr; Kiddie Korral bus stop, paths at Hawthorn Club; sidewalks at Ranney and Donnelley

Fifth priority – Sled hill parking lot and Century Park North Pavillion sidewalks

Sixth priority – Remaining park paths – Century, Deerpath, Stone Fence Farm, Sullivan Woods, Hartmann, Grosse Pointe, Garvanian, Central, Carriage Green, Hawthorn Mellody, Lake Charles, Aspen Backyard

Seventh priority – Remaining parking lots -Century (Boat Dock), Century (1 &2), Deerpath, Grosse Pointe, Sullivan (South), Hawthorn Mellody, Lake Charles

Eighth priority – Park sidewalks – Peterson, Century, Deerpath (5 acres), Hawthorn Club, Kiddie Korral, Grosse Pointe, Maintenance Facility, Torrey Pines, Hawthorn Mellody, Garvanian, entries to Deerpath, Royal Oaks, Carriage Green

SNOW REMOVAL PRIORITIES WEEKDAYS - AFTERHOURS

First priority – Lakeview Fitness Center & Sullivan Community Center

  1. Driveways, parking areas, and circles
  2. North Parking Lot (SCC)
  3. Building sidewalks
  4. Employee parking area
  5. Back drive to dumpsters (SCC)

Second priority – Hartmann, Laschen Center (depending on scheduled use)

  1. Driveways
  2. Parking lots
  3. Building sidewalks
SNOW REMOVAL PRIORITIES WEEKENDS - DAYLIGHT HOURS

First priority – Lakeview Fitness Center & Sullivan Community Center

  1. Driveways, parking areas, and circles
  2. North Parking Lot (SCC)
  3. Building sidewalks
  4. Employee parking area
  5. Back drive to dumpsters (SCC)

Second priority – Sled hill parking lot and Century Park North Pavillion sidewalks

Third priority – Hartmann, Laschen Center (depending on schedule)

  1. Parking lots / Drives
  2. Building sidewalks

AFTER TWO INCHES OF SNOW

Fourth priority – Park paths- Century, Peterson, Deerpath, Garvanian, Stone Fence Farm, Sullivan Woods, Hawthorn Club, Hartmann, Grosse Pointe, Augusta, Aspen Backyard, Carriage Green, Hawthorn Mellody, Lake Charles

Fifth priority – Parking lots – Century ( 1 & 2), Century (Boat Dock), Deerpath, Grosse Pointe (lower), Sullivan south, Hawthorn Mellody, Lake Charles

Sixth priority – Park sidewalks – Peterson, Century, Deerpath (5 acres), Hawthorn Club, Kiddie Korral, Grosse Pointe, Maintenance Facility, Ranney, Donnelley, Central, Torrey Pines, Hartmann, Hawthon Mellody, Royal Oaks, Carriage Green, entries to Deerpath

SNOW REMOVAL PRIORITIES WEEKENDS - AFTERHOURS

First priority – Lakeview Fitness Center & Sullivan Community Center

  1. Driveways, parking areas, and circles
  2. North Parking Lot (SCC)
  3. Building sidewalks
  4. Employee parking area
  5. Back drive to dumpsters (SCC)

Second priority – Hartmann, Laschen Center (depending on scheduled use)

  1. Driveways
  2. Parking lots
  3. Building sidewalks
SNOW REMOVAL PRIORITIES NON-WORK DAYS

First priority – Lakeview Fitness Center, Sullivan Community Center, Laschen Center, Hartmann, Century Park North

  1. Driveways, parking areas, and circles
  2. North Parking Lot (SCC)
  3. Building sidewalks
  4. Employee parking area
  5. Back drive to dumpsters (SCC)

DAYLIGHT HOURS AFTER TWO INCHES OF SNOW

First priority – Lakeview Fitness Center & Sullivan Community Center

  1. Driveways, parking areas, and circles
  2. North Parking Lot (SCC)
  3. Building sidewalks
  4. Employee parking area
  5. Back drive to dumpsters (SCC)

Second priority – Sled hill parking lot and Century Park North Pavillion sidewalks

Third priority – Park paths- Century, Peterson, Deerpath, Garvanian, Stone Fence Farm, Sullivan Woods, Hawthorn Club, Hartmann, Grosse Pointe, Augusta, Aspen, Carriage Green, Hawthorn Mellody, Lake Charles

Fourth priority – Parking lots, (10 spaces), Century (1 & 2), Century (boat dock), Deerpath, Hartmann, Grosse Pointe (lower), Lake Charles, Hawthorn Mellody

AFTER SUNSET

First priority – Lakeview Fitness Center, Sullivan Community Center, Laschen Center, Hartmann, Century Park North

  1. Driveways, parking areas, and circles
  2. North Parking Lot (SCC)
  3. Building sidewalks
  4. Employee parking area
  5. Back drive to dumpsters (SCC)