NRPA Pillar of Conservation

Conservation Pillar – Protecting open space, connecting people to nature, and engaging communities in conservation practices.

Local park and recreation agencies play a vital role in the protection of our environment through green infrastructure, conservation of public lands, providing wildlife habitat and more. In addition to helping connect people to nature, local parks are essential in creating environmental stewards who will advocate for and protect our most precious public resources – our land, water, trees, open spaces and wildlife.

Vernon Hills Park District conservation initiatives:

Implemented conservation practices:

  • Computer controlled zoned HVAC systems
  • LED lighting in facilities and parks.
  • Utilizing green waste for mulching and composting for community gardens.
  • Solar roof panels were installed in our Park Maintenance Facility to save energy and its related costs while reducing our carbon footprint.
  • Free conservation programs are offered including gardening, an Earth Day event, and our annual Recycle-O-Rama.
  • Guided walks through our Certified Arboretum and Oak Savanna.

Steps being taken to conserve native species: 

  • Removing invasive Buckthorn, Garlic Mustard, plus more species in our parks.
  • Utilizing Best Turf Management Practices for both open space and athletic fields.
  • Redeveloping a 7-acre Oak Savanna in Sullivan Woods by removing invasive invasive trees while saving hundred year old Oak Trees. Wildlife and ground cover has returned due to the natural sunlight filtering through the tree canopy.
  • Century Park is an accredited Arboretum boasting 120 tree and plant species.

Addressing the importance of storm-water management: 

  • Constructed a rain garden near the Century Park Pavilion.
  • Built fish structures out of man-made materials to encourage fish breeding and growth in our lakes.
  • Stabilized lake/pond shorelines with native prairie and pollinator  plants to control shore erosion.
  • Invasive species were removed from District waterways protecting the damn and shoreline.
  • Coordinating with local and state storm water commissions to conduct testing for nutrient loading.