Green Initiatives

The Glen Ellyn Park District has made great strides in becoming an eco-friendly leader within the greater Glen Ellyn community. Our mission is to protect and enhance the environment and natural resources of our community through responsible, planning, programming and allocation of resources to motivate the public through the District’s example.

The Glen Ellyn Park District held its first Environmental Committee meeting in 2007 to begin setting long and short-term goals for environmental protection and advocacy.


  • The Glen Ellyn Park District Supports Healthy Air!

    You may start seeing these signs around the Glen Ellyn Park District. School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education, or SCARCE, was awarded a Community Needs Grant of the DuPage Foundation to improve air quality in DuPage County. With the help of the DuPage County Department of Transportation, SCARCE made 200 “No Idle Zone – Healthy Air = Healthy Kids” signs and donated the signs to facilities serving children, such as schools, libraries, and park districts. The Glen Ellyn Park District was a recipient of 12 of these important and educational signs to help support our existing efforts at improving air quality.

    Why Promote Anti Idling?
    • Asthma increases as a result of car exhaust (American Lung Association).
    • Idling cars and buses create fumes that can be asthma triggers.
    • Fumes are toxic pollutants and probably human carcinogens.
    • Idling wastes fuel and money.

    For more information, visit http://scarceecoed.org .


  • Holiday Lights Recycling

    Do you have a set of holiday lights or an extension cord that you can’t get to work? Don’t throw them in the garbage. You can recycle them free of charge. Each winter, the Glen Ellyn Park District partners with Elgin Recycling to provide holiday light recycling at our facilities. The donated lights/cords may be in any condition.

    Dropbox Locations

    Please drop off your holiday lights to be recycled free of charge from the end of November – end of January at the following locations:

    Spring Avenue Recreation Center
    (Lower Entrance)
    185 Spring Avenue, Glen Ellyn
    Monday-Friday, 8:30am-9:00pm
    Saturday, 9:00am-1:00pm
    Main Street Recreation Center
    (Lower Level)
    501 Hill Avenue, Glen Ellyn
    Monday-Friday, 8:30am-9:00pm
    Saturday, 9:00am-1:00pm
    Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center
    800 St. Charles Road, Glen Ellyn
    Monday-Friday, 8:30am-9:00pm
    Saturday, 9:00am-1:00pm

  • Milkweed Planting & Supporting Pollinators

    In 2015, the Glen Ellyn Park District partnered with community organizations on the “Year of the Monarch”. As part of the project, a pollinator garden was planted at Maryknoll Park and hundreds of milkweed plants were given to residents. Now, you too can show your support of pollinators! We’ve teamed up with the Village of Glen Ellyn to make these durable, 8’x8’ signs available for your gardens. Made of aluminum, all sign comes complete with post and hardware. You can place a sign anywhere you have a pollinator-friendly habitat.

    Just $10 per sign (cash or check only).
    Available from the Spring Avenue or Main Street Recreation Centers.


  • Ditch Disposable: Encouraging Use of Refillable Water Bottles

    On average, only 10% of disposable water bottles are recycled. The other 90% winds up in a landfill or littering the environment.

    The Glen Ellyn Park District encourages all of our athletic participants to do their part in reducing the unnecessary amount of waste in landfills by using refillable bottles. Signs are also posted around our facilities and parks encouraging other patrons as well!


  • Volcano Mulching Education

    The Glen Ellyn Park District periodically shares information on volcano mulching with our patrons in order to help educate the public on the negative effects of this common practice.

    Mulching can be very beneficial to tree health by helping to retain moisture and improve soil conditions. However, incorrect mulching can actually lead to the death of trees. One of the most common examples of incorrect mulching is “volcano mulching,” in which excessive amounts of mulch materials are applied around the base of trees and piled against the trunk, creating a volcano shape. Mulch should not touch the trunk of your tree and doing so can lead improper root growth, decay, and infestation. Just a few simple practices will help benefit the health of local trees:

    • Spread mulch away from the base of your tree so the base of the trunk/root flare is exposed
    • The generally recommended mulching depth is 2 to 4 inches.
    • Mulch out away from the tree in a 4-5 foot diameter. Ideally, trees should be mulched to the drip line.
    • Check mulch levels every year. Trees often do not need to be mulched annually.
    • Do not allow landscapers to leave mulch against the tree bark.

  • Natural Area Restoration Efforts

    The Glen Ellyn Park District has designated natural areas within our park system and works to restore these areas so they will grow and flourish for the enjoyment of future generations. Read more on our recent successes at Lake Ellyn Park.


  • Rain Gardens

    Rain gardens receive and temporarily trap water from rooftops, driveways, and other hard surfaces long enough so it can percolate, filtering out pollutants and improving water quality as it replenishes groundwater levels. The Glen Ellyn Park District installed a rain garden, in collaboration with the Village of Glen Ellyn, at Prairie Path Park in 2017. Plants within the garden include: May Apple, Button Bush, Spice Bush, Ginger, Hosta, Bee Balm, Marsh Plant, Jack in the Pulpit, Chokeberry, Aruncus, and Sedge Grass.


  • Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design

    The Lake Ellyn Boathouse achieved Gold-level LEED certification by incorporating a number of sustainable concepts into the design and restoration of the building, including a new pergola on the southeast terrace with a canopy of twenty solar panels on its roof. The panels provide up to 14% of the buildings electrical demand. Around the site, new landscaping consists of many native plants which require less maintenance and irrigation.


  • Prescribed Burns

    Over the millennia, natural fires caused by lightning strikes roared across the land. Fire also was intentionally set by indigenous people and early settlers to clear the land for better visibility, terrestrial movement, hunting, and to improve the habitat of the animals and plants that served as food resources. In current times, we use fire as a management tool to help restore our natural areas. Read more.