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Friday, August 12, 2022

Earth Day project includes volunteers to plant trees at Sportsman’s Park


Above / Volunteers from Naperville Bank and Trust will plant trees throughout the natural area at Sportsman’s Park as part of Earth Week Naperville. Sportsman’s Park is located at 735 S. West Street. (NPD Photo)

A group of volunteers from Naperville Bank and Trust will help the Naperville Park District plant 27 native trees in the natural area at Sportsman’s Park at 735 S. West Street from 9AM to 11AM on Wed., April 20 and on Mon., May 2. This project is part of the 2022 Earth Week Naperville celebration, featuring other events, volunteer projects and opportunities for the community to help protect its natural resources. 

Sportsman’s Park is a 27-acre park that includes prairie and wetland restoration areas, two ponds, a one-mile trail through the natural areas, a small building and a trap-shooting range that operates Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

Site improvements in 2014 have allowed the previously closed-off natural area to be opened to public use both for recreation and education. Adding a variety of native trees is important to restoring the biodiversity of the Sportsman’s Park natural areas. Most of the trees will be planted near the trail so that visitors can enjoy their beauty, variety and shade. 

PN File Photo

Seven different species will be planted

Volunteers will help plant seven different species of trees. The larger trees include pecan and shagbark hickory, providing nuts or seeds for wildlife, attracting birds and butterflies, and providing shade. Tulip trees also will grow tall and feature tulip shaped flowers, bright fall color and attract hummingbirds. The medium sized trees include Northern Catalpa, with white, showy flowers, dangling bean pods and giant heart-shaped leaves; Common Persimmon, with large, edible fruit and attractive autumn color; and Sassafras, with fragrant flowers. These trees all attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. Finally, Bald Cypress will be planted overlooking the pond and will furnish seeds for birds and small mammals.

“We are grateful to the volunteers from Naperville Bank and Trust for giving their time and energy to help with tree planting this year,” said Executive Director Brad Wilson.

Look for the entrance to Sportsman’s Park, north of the Garden Plots, across from Knoch Park, located at 735 S. West Street.

Naperville Park District relies on many volunteers to assist with its green initiatives, which are described in its annual Sustainability Report. To view the 2021 Sustainability Report and learn more about the District’s environmental stewardship, visit www.napervilleparks.org/greeninitiatives.

Editor’s Note / Since 1970, Earth Day has been recognized on April 22, a time 52 years ago when “conservationists” were known to be advocates for the great outdoors—planting trees, preserving wildlife, protecting clean water, etc.—long before “environments” had become the term. For 2022, the official theme for Earth Day is “Invest In Our Planet.” Ever wonder how much the Earth has changed throughout its 4.54 billion years? Try to imagine even 1,000 years…

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Naperville Park District
Naperville Park Districthttp://www.napervilleparks.org/
Created in 1966, the Naperville Park District is an independent, municipal agency serving the recreation needs of its residents. An Illinois Distinguished Agency since 1994, the District is one of only 1% of park districts across the country to be nationally accredited through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). The Naperville Park District’s mission is to provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community. The District maintains and operates more than 2,400 acres with 137 parks and provides more than 1,500 recreational, arts and environmental programs and special events annually. Included within the District’s operations are two championship golf courses, a multitude of playgrounds, trails, athletic courts and sports fields, Fort Hill Activity Center, Knoch Knolls Nature Center, two inline skating and skateboarding facilities, the Millennium Carillon, a paddle boat quarry, historic Centennial Beach, and the beautiful Riverwalk.

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