NPL Construction Co., a national leader in energy distribution construction, brought its core commitments of safety and diversity to the annual Chicago Flower & Garden Show. This year's garden, titled "Chicago Diversity Garden," captured Chicago's broad diversity through a unique expression of cityscape and neighborhoods.
"Diversity is not only central to Chicago's core, but to NPL's culture," said Dylan Hradek, NPL senior vice president. "This year's garden reflects a variety of public and private spaces where people of all stripes can come to connect."
The garden's design brings together Chicago's varied landscapes, including:
• Urban Streetscapes: At the heart of this cityscape is an urban plaza, with a fountain serving as a gathering area. Re-purposed antique clay pavers evoke the heart of Chicago's urban nature, while the sites and sound of running water activates the space and brings energy.
• Public Parklands: In the garden, on the other side of the street, an urban parkland creates plenty of built-in seating opportunities and green space for visitors to relax and enjoy a tranquil moment.
• Residential Neighborhoods: The residential fun zone is framed with a large open-air structure with adjacent pergola structures made from locally reclaimed wood. These structures serve as a whimsical area for play with swings on one side, and grassy, plush seating areas with bright cushions and adult-sized lawn games.
• Industrial Zones: A replica water tower, a Chicago hallmark, bears the Chicago flag and illustrates the storage and use of water from Lake Michigan.
The unifying element throughout the space is a procession of large cubic planters, brightly painted with murals on each of the four sides, representing a piece of Chicago's broad-ranging neighborhoods. Students from Little Village Academy, Kilmer Elementary School and Stevenson Elementary School painted the murals to illustrate what diversity means to them.
Running under all these areas, and visible through acrylic reveal boxes, is the complex underlying grid of water, gas and electrical infrastructure. As in past years, this year's garden also promotes digging safety, providing another reminder to call 811 before digging.
"People often don't realize just how close pipes are to the surface and how dangerous it is to not check before digging," continued Hradek. "By simply calling 811, you can avoid a potentially disastrous situation."
NPL is part of Centuri Construction Group, Inc. -- a comprehensive construction services enterprise dedicated to serving the growing demands of North American utilities, energy and industrial markets.
NPL is proud to announce this year it is donating planters, decorations, plants and other materials from its garden to help beautify organizations throughout Chicago. The fountain will be donated to UCAN, a social services organization for at-risk youth, the planters and plant material will be donated to Chicago Public Schools across the city and the remaining plant material will be donated to various community gardens across the west and south sides of Chicago.
Sponsors of this year's garden include:
• Badger Daylighting
• Brackenbox Roll Off Service, Inc.
• Cable Communications, Inc.
• Greater Chicago Damage Prevention Council
• Christy Webber Landscapes
• Heels & Hardhats Contracting Corp.
• M & J Asphalt Paving Company, Inc.
• Roadcafe Traffic Systems
• Stockyards Brick & Timber
• United Rentals
• Utility Transport Service
• Vermeer Midwest
• West Side Tractor Sales Co.