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Nuts & Bolts: March 2023
Nuts & Bolts: March 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:
Our new Sustainability Coordinator, Lucy Mellen will be proud to hear that our Parks and Planning department received their first batch of electric equipment last month! The battery-powered tools include a mower, backpack blowers, pole saws and line trimmers – all from STIHL’s AP Professional System designed for commercial-grade power to keep our crews geared up and fully charged while they’re out in the field.
STIHL’s battery-powered equipment is environmentally conscious with zero emissions, and park goers will benefit from their quieter operation. The Park District is working towards a greener footprint, and every little bit helps!
Spring sports are nearly upon us! Our fields have been prepped, permits assigned, and all our young athletes are anxiously awaiting the start of the season in April. The current field permit start dates are as follows:
- Wilmette Wings – Saturday, April 1
- Wilmette Athletics programs – Saturday, April 15
- Wilmette Baseball Association – Mid-April
Parks Staff Updates:
Wild weather, emergency planter repair, general maintenance and more! It’s never a slow season for the Parks crew…
There was cleanup work to be done following a recent storm, and the parks crew had their hands full. In addition, tree work including mulching, trimming and the removal of one compromised tree was completed around the District to keep our parks fresh, clean and healthy.
A recent vehicle accident at Central Ave. and Sheridan Rd. left one of our raised planters a little worse for wear. Thankfully it was nothing our parks crew couldn’t fix! A little restacking, some fresh soil, and the planter is good as new. We hope the vehicle involved had as easy of a repair.
Another mild month gave the parks crew time to continue their work at Keay Nature Center. The improvements are nearly complete! Several nature bump-outs featuring stump and log play features and soft, eco-friendly wood chip surfaces are ready for action throughout the park. The crushed granite path is already seeing plenty of use and we can personally attest to its excellent permeable quality given the recent precipitation! Be sure to stay on the path – the parks crew has yet to complete restoration of disturbed areas, particularly those flanking the path.
The winter weather takes a toll on even the toughest of surfaces, and our parking lots are no exception. With the shifting between hot and cold temperatures, asphalt contracts and expands, forming cracks and weak spots. Add to that a little rain or snowmelt seeping in, freezing and expanding, and eventually you have a parking lot in need of some attention. Last month, the parks crew performed cold patching as needed around the District – a temporary solution until more temperate seasons allow for permanent repairs.
Ever a season ahead, the parks crew spent some time cleaning up Gillson’s planting beds in preparation for new growth to begin this spring. This is an annual practice of pruning and cutting back the dead plants and dune grass as winter transitions to spring. This dead growth is kept in place during the winter to allow local wildlife a safe place to hunker down during the cold months.
The Skate Park at the Community Recreation Center received a tune-up. The parks crew performed a thorough cleaning and minor repairs to keep everything in working order for local skaters to continue perfecting their ollies, kick-flips and all those cool kid tricks.
Building Staff Updates:
Equally active as our parks staff, the building crew had a busy February installing appliances, building custom materials and more…
The Wilmette Golf Club grounds staff will be keeping toasty beneath a nice new heater installed in the Golf Maintenance Garage, courtesy of the building crew.
Special delivery – the building crew received a new portable event stage last month. You’ll spot the new stage at the Yankee Doodle Dash 5K this summer!
After a few months settling in, The Lawn at the Wilmette Golf Club has had a chance to assess their needs and make a few changes. Last month, the building crew installed new shelves and a dishwasher in the kitchen.
If you’ve enjoyed a round of golf at the Wilmette Golf Club, you likely have noticed the engraved Park District markers staged in each tee box. Did you know that these are made in-house by staff? Our building crew custom-build each marker, and the golf club crew stain them specific colors and carefully engrave the Park District logo for some flair. Two hundred and fifty of these markers were constructed last month for installation throughout the golf course before the start of the season. It’s a big project for a small feature – but it’s the little things that make all the difference!
Another February project, custom-built by our talented building crew, was a Stand-Up-Paddleboard rack soon-to-be installed over at the Lakefront. This sturdy new structure will house SUPs for our sailing beach members.
In addition to the SUP rack, the building crew installed new carpet on the Sailing Beach boat rack boards. All those beautiful vessels will be safe from scratches and nicks while they rest ashore.