For details, check our Bulletin Board post, below.


For details, check our Bulletin Board post, below.


Nuts & Bolts: January

Nuts & Bolts: January 2023 

There’s a full schedule of essential work completed each day across our Wilmette Park District parks and facilities. Between maintenance, seasonal upkeep and general improvements, you may not catch all the exciting things – big and small – that our crews are responsible for. Nuts & Bolts is here to help you brush up on the behind-the-scenes activity around the District.

Parks & Planning Updates:

Community Playfields restroom and shelter

We’re pleased to report that the Community Playfields restroom and shelter structure is complete, and all that remains is site restoration – slated to resume in the spring. The restroom is located on the western half of Community Playfields, near the playground and conveniently beside the new fitness path.

We know you’re excited for this shiny new amenity, but you must be patient a while longer. The restroom will open for public use in April.

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If you haven’t strolled through Keay Nature Center lately, it’s worth a visit to see the improvements our Parks and Planning crews have already completed. A newly laid entryway greets visitors and guides them to winding paths through the trees with fresh gravel crunching underfoot.

Nature bumpouts are the current project at the site. Crews are adding wood chips and placing nature play features for families and their children to explore. This is the first Wilmette Park District site to incorporate nature-based play space. Logs, stumps and other natural features have been recycled from dead and diseased trees that had to be removed at other parks around the district. We’re happy to know these trees are still a part of our parks and will be enjoyed in an all-new way!

Site restoration at Keay will resume in the spring.

LED lights at Howard Park

Howard Park is about to experience some major energy savings! The athletic field has been completely upgraded to LED lighting and is ready for the spring season. LED bulbs can use as much as 80% percent less energy than halogen bulbs. We’re proud to say that Howard Park is even more green than before!

All-electric Van

The green theme continues! An excited Parks and Planning department accepted delivery of the Wilmette Park District’s first all-electric van this month. The EV van will be primarily used by the Building Services HVAC technician who manages all of the facility mechanics. Keep an eye out for this jazzy new vehicle at your local facility!

HVAC replacement at CRC

The Community Recreation Center took advantage of the mild weather in early December 2022 by replacing one more HVAC unit. Perched atop the auditorium, this particular unit supplies controlled air to the sport gym.
The building has a total of 11 units on the rooftop, and due to a number of factors (age of unit, poor performances, scarcity of parts) we replaced a total of 4 units in 2022. An additional 2 units are slated for replacement in 2023 as the weather improves. On your next visit to the sport gym, enjoy a deep breath of fresh air from our new HVAC unit!

Tennis court resurfacing

Our Wilmette Tennis Club family patiently awaited the resurfacing of the indoor courts at Centennial last month. Not only do we have bright and beautiful new hardcourt, but the net posts were freshly painted, and new nets were installed on all eight courts. Bust out your racquet and book a court time!

Parks Staff Updates:

Parks crews had a busy December, dashing through the snow, decorating, prepping for the brunt of Winter, and more…

  • With the holiday season came the first significant snow – parks crews were dispatched to perform snow removal and clear the paths and drives.
  • Cheerful holiday greenery was placed in the front pots outside the Community Recreation Center to add a pop of color to the entryway.
  • Bat boxes were constructed and installed with the help of an Eagle Scout at both Keay Nature Center and Maple Park. These boxes provide a safe environment for bats, who in turn protect the space from pest insects, like mosquitoes, moths, and beetles.
  • Following the advice of arborists and our tree care plan, overstory trees at Gillson Park were pruned back, keeping the trees in good health and making way for emerging vegetation to grow. The overstory consists of the uppermost layer of foliage in a forest, forming the canopy. The overstory is just as important to prune as any other tree – a properly pruned tree will not have compromising branch structures and improper weight distribution that could lead to disaster later on in the tree’s life.
  • compromised tree at Gillson Park was removed following the advice of our Arborists. It had reached a state of decline that began posing a hazard, and so it was removed.
  • Watch for thin ice! Our crews installed warning signs at the Lakefront reminding visitors to stay off the ice. As the temperature of the water rises and falls, ice formations grow and recede. What may look like a safe and sturdy ice structure could have thin patches that crumble underfoot, exposing dangerous caves and holes. Please stay safe and enjoy the unique ice formations from the shore!

Building Staff Updates:

Speaking of ice – the Wilmette Golf Club received a fancy new ice machine! Building staff delivered and installed the appliance this month.

With the Mallinckrodt Center closed over the holidays, building staff were bustling about the center, painting several rooms and resurfacing the hard wood flooring in one of the multipurpose rooms.

Check back next month to read a new installment of Nuts & Bolts, and take a peek behinds the scenes of the Wilmette Park District!

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