Glen Ellyn Park District will soon be looking for community groups and other volunteers to help clean and green parks as part of a new adopt-a-park program.
According to the district's draft plan introduced this month, groups interested in adopting a park will clean up trash and debris, assist with landscape improvements such as planting flowers and trees, work to restore native plant communities, help with inspections, and report unsafe or hazardous conditions.
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Each group will report to a park district staff liaison.
Park district Director Dave Harris said the adopt-a-park program is an outgrowth of a volunteer effort of a group of neighbors that helped rehabilitate a playground area at Manor Park, 375 Illinois St., on the village's south side.
"We hope to use this as a model to move forward into other properties," Harris said.
The program is expected to be implemented by the end of the summer. Applications will be available for interested groups, and parks will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis.
Groups like the Boy and Girl Scouts and other youth organizations may be interested in joining such a program, Harris said, as well as churches, schools and businesses.
Each park that is sponsored will have a sign with the organization's name.
The park district will recommend volunteer groups organize four clean up events a year, and also make monthly inspections and report back to the staff liaison.
Park district staff routinely inspects and maintains the district's 300 acres of park property, but the adopt-a-park program is intended to boost those efforts, officials said.
And in a time of budgetary constraints, the program can be a major assist, Harris said.
"Definitely during leaner times it helps," Harris said. "You can't fulfill every goal you want. You can't have every park looking immaculate. This would really help ... but it also provides community pride, partnership and responsibility."
Such programs are fairly common across the suburbs, and Glen Ellyn park officials based their program on ones in Elmhurst and Downers Grove.