Brochure Spring 2019 - Page 8

GOING GREEN AT THE GPD PEOPLE & of the Glenview Park District A feature that shines the spotlight on people who help create enriching and enjoyable recreational experiences at the Glenview Park District. As Superintendent of Park and Facility Services, Jim Warnstedt is in the driver’s seat on many of the Glenview Park District’s green initiatives. Over the years, the District has shown continued commitment to sustainable practices and there is now a bit of sustainability in place at every single park. It’s part of the Park District’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021. Among Warnstedt’s favorites are initiatives that have already come to fruition…a fleet of propane vehicles and lawn mowers, the switch to outdoor LED lighting, a rainwater harvesting system, and the use of native plantings. Q. Talk about the use of propane by the District’s Park & Facility Services division. Jim: The Park District is committed to being good stewards of the environment and as part of that, we now utilize propane to power a portion of our fleet. Propane is non-toxic, burns cleaner and costs about 30 percent less than conventional fuel. We have nine lawn mowers that use propane and three Ford F150 pickup trucks that are dual powered. That means they can use both gasoline and propane. When started, the truck runs on gasoline and switches to propane once it reaches operating temperatures. In 2013, Park & Facility Services- West added a propane fueling station to its maintenance yard to fuel propane mowers on site. The fueling station was later modified in order to fuel the propane trucks. Q. What has the Park District done with LED lights? Jim: As we continue to Go Green, we converted many of our parking lots to LED lights to reduce energy consumption. We also installed LED lighting on the athletic fields at Flick Park. It’s pretty cutting edge. In fact, we’re one of the first in the area to do so. Twenty- two aging light poles at Flick Park between the sand volleyball courts, baseball and football fields and sled hill were removed and replaced by eight poles that carry the same capacity for light. Energy reduction is good for the environment. Less electricity used by power plants means less pollution, and when we use fewer energy resources, we’re saving them for future generations. For our efforts, ComEd gave us a $105,279 energy incentive award. Park Services team members pose with the propane fleet. Q. How is the District re-using rainwater? Jim: We have integrated many sustainable and green solutions at our facilities and this one is especially interesting. We have a system in place that captures rainwater into irrigation ponds at both Community Park West and Flick Park. We draw the water out of those ponds to irrigate the athletic fields. At CPW, the rainwater harvesting system was constructed in 2009 and went operational in 2010. It worked so well that we decided to do it again and in 2015, we set it up at Flick Park. Q. Why are natural plantings a good way for the Park District to Be Green? Jim: We chose native plantings for portions of Gallery Park, Community Park West and Tyner Center. Native plants save the District time, money and resources. They are hardy plants – adaptable to local growing conditions. They survive with less watering and allow for a healthy ecosystem. Mowing is not necessary, as with natural grass, which needs to be mowed every week during the growing season. We do a prescribed burn generally every other year and what is left decomposes and goes back into the ground, acting as a natural fertilizer. Learn more about the Strategic Plan 2018-2021 and park district’s objectives of reducing its carbon footprint, preserving and protecting natural resources and employing sustainable building practices at 4 ▪ PEOPLE