WEST CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT AWARDED LEVEL II ARBOTEMUM BY ARBNET ACCREDITATION PROGRAM
West Chicago, IL (September 2019) –
The West Chicago Park District has been awarded a Level II Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum, for achieving standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. The District is also now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.
The West Chicago Park District was established in 1972 and since has been committed to creating an enhanced quality of life through effective programs, progressive facilities and preservation of parks and natural resources. The District has over 400 acres of parks, woodlands, trails and gardens. In 2018 the Park District took a new stance on tree management by completing a tree inventory and report; this launched the initiative to become an accredited Level II Arboretum. Research efforts revealed a 2,394 tree population of 106 different species in managed areas alone. Notably, Reed-Keppler Park is home to a community center, water park, artistic gardens, dog parks and band shell among many other amenities. The 100-acre park has the largest tree population in the District with 1045 trees of 85 distinct species and a recognizable 625 tree remnant oak stand.
The Park District uses an interactive web-based application through ArcGIS where visitors can explore the parks and find out information about the trees around them including species, height, diameter, caliper, crown spread and condition among other details. Data accessed through this application will also aid in the efficient management of the trees in order to create efficient work plans. The District works constantly with other organizations to spread the vision of the arboretum’s efforts in preservation of natural resources. In 2018, the West Chicago Garden Club donated 3 pecan hickory trees in celebration of arbor day. Upcoming goals include creating educational programs such as tree identification to offer to the community. Michael Gasparini, Superintendent of Parks said, “The West Chicago Park District has always been known for its amazing forests and wooded parks. The Level II Arboretum accreditation awarded by ArbNet has given new life to an ever aging and every growing forest.”
ArbNet is an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta. ArbNet facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience, and other resources to help arboreta meet their institutional goals and works to raise professional standards through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. The accreditation program, sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois in cooperation with American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta based on a set of professional standards. The program offers four levels of accreditation, recognizing arboreta of various degrees of development, capacity and professionalism. Standards include planning, governance, public access, programming and tree science, planting and conservation. More information is available at www.arbnet.org.
Reed Keppler Park
129 W. National Street, West Chicago, IL 60185
Reed Keppler Park is a beautiful 89 acre sports and recreation complex featuring the ARC Center, 6 baseball/softball fields, basketball court, a skate park, 2 playgrounds, 1 musical playground, concession stand, Turtle Splash Water Park, Wiggly Field & SouthPaw Dog Parks and the beautiful 25 acre Dyer Nature Sanctuary and trail. Reed will also be home to The Shell, an outdoor performance venue. Three pavilions are located in the park that are available for rental May through September.
Cornerstone Lakes Park
2199 Smith Road, West Chicago, IL 60185
Cornerstone Lakes Park features 41 arces. This beautiful park hosts fall and spring soccer leagues on 7 soccer fields, T-ball field, sand volleyball court, a playground, 1.5 mile walk/jog trail circling the catch and release pond. Parking is available. One pavilion available for rent for a maximum capacity of 50 people.
Don Earley Park
840 E. Washington Street, West Chicago, Il 60185
Located on the south side of Washington Street in the City of West Chicago. In addition, ash trees have been replaced in the park though a $10,000 Urban Restoration grant. Easton Park contains a playground, a catch and release pond, trails and picnic areas and new pavilion.
Hampton & Prince Crossing Parks
719 Hampton Course Dr. West Chicago, Il 60185
Located adjacent to each other Hampton Hills and Prince Crossing Trails subdivisions, these two parks make up one great neighborhood park. The Hampton Hills side which is accessible at 719 Hampton Course Drive features a playground, catch and release pond, gazebo and path system. The Prince Crossing side which is accessible at 900 McCormick Lane features a playground and path system.
Kress Creek Farms
30W150 Wilson Rd. West Chicago, Il 60185
On a sunny weekend you’ll find plenty of activity at Kress Creek Farms since it houses our 18 cage Disc Golf Course, Chicago Bears playground and trail system. Located along Joliet Street on the south side of the city, Kress Creek Farms has rolling hills, native landscaping, and a small pond for catch and release fishing.
Certain rules are established by the Board of Commissioners so all may enjoy the parks safely. You are requested to comply with the following:
Pets must be on a leash and not brought into posted areas. Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pet.
No alcoholic beverages are allowed in the park.
No driving or parking is allowed in any grassy park area.
All parks open at sunrise and close at sunset.
No weapons of any type may be carried by anyone in the parks except where posted or by the police. This includes sling shots, BB guns, pellet guns or guns in a case.
A permit is required for regular use of softball, football and soccer fields. To obtain a permit, please visit the administration office.
There is no swimming or ice skating allowed in/on any of our ponds.
The West Chicago Park District requests that any broken play equipment or benches be reported to the administration at 630-231-9474.
Fishing In Our Parks
Catch and release Illinois fishing regulations are observed in all parks. A fishing license is required. Click here to learn more.
Important Message Regarding Ice Skating in the Parks:
Ice skating on a frozen pond might seem to be a way to enjoy cold weather, but the only safe place to ice skate is on a skating rink.
With temperatures forecasted to be well below freezing, some of our ponds will become completely ice covered.
Skating on those ponds can be hazardous.
Eight inches of ice is a recommended thickness to support a person walking or skating.
However, ice that is eight inches thick in one spot may be less than eight inches thick just a few feet away. There are many factors that prevent the uniformity of ice thickness and strength. Among the factors that can weaken ice are: exposure of some areas to sunlight, ice formed over moving current or naturally occurring springs, salt run off from nearby street and snow covered ice. Snow can act as insulation, inhibiting ice formation.
The only guaranteed safe ice is in the controlled environment of a skating rink, we have listed some near by skate rinks below.
Fox Valley Ice Arena, Carol Stream Ice Rink, Center Ice of Dupage, Downers Grove Ice Arena & Seven Bridges Ice Arena
Kwasman Memorial Park
1099 Cherrywood Ln. West Chicago, Il 60185
This neighborhood park is located within the Forest Trails subdivision and has been renamed in honor of former Mayor Mike Kwasman. The park contains a playground and is adjacent to the Illinois Prairie Path and Great Western Trail intersects for easy access.
Meadow Woods Park
2679 Meadowlark Dr. West Chicago, Il 60185
Ideally situated in Meadow Woods subdivision along Klein Road, this seven-acre park features a playground and picnic shelter.
479 W. Forest Ave. West Chicago, Il 60185
This community park is located on the south side of the city. Pioneer Park features a pond, 2 pavilions, a playground, one WCCHS soccer field,
5 baseball/softball fields and a splash pad. The park was redeveloped with the help of an Open Space Land Acquisition Development (OSLAD) grant and completed in 2011.
399 Hemlock. West Chicago, Il 60185
Significant features of this park located in the Prestonfield subdivision are a buffer woodland area, playground, and picnic shelter. The property is monitored by the Mighty Acorn, a school-aged children’s group who assists the Park District with conservation efforts while learning about nature.