Algonquin's Gaslight Park Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary has won a 2012 Conservation and Native Landscaping Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Wilderness.
The award, which was announced last week, recognizes sites that excel in their use of native landscaping, ecosystem restoration and protection, and conservation design. These features help protect habitats for native plant and animal species and also give environmental benefits to people and to other parts of nature.
Gaslight Park used to have a drainage creek and a grass bottom stormwater detention area, but the creek banks were overgrown with invasive species that caused erosion and impacted the sites stormwater capacity.
In 2009, Algonquin officials began removing the invasive species and restoring the area to utilize native landscaping. Today, the site features specific native plantings that create a desired habitat for birds and butterflies, while continuing to maintain the site's stormwater capacity and filtration capabilities.
"This award is another fine example of Algonquin using conservation methods to develop sustainable solutions to drainage problems," President John Schmitt said in a statement. "Stormwater is now filtered naturally and recharges our aquifers we use for drinking water and we no longer have the maintenance costs of mowing the site."
If you've never been to the park, you should check it out. It's located in the village at 700 Terrace Drive.
A free-throw competition that's actually free: The St. Mary of Huntley Knights of Columbus Council is holding a local free throw competition at 9 a.m. Jan. 12 at the Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center, 10450 Algonquin Road, Huntley.
Boys and girls aged between 10 and 14 are invited to play for free at the local level of competition. The winners will then move on to the district and state competitions.
Later on, the Knights of Columbus International Headquarters will announce the international champions based on the kids' scores at the state level -- the kids will be competing in their respective age divisions all the way through.
To play, you need proof of age for the kids and parental consent. Everyone will be recognized for playing in the local event.
For information, call (847) 659-9006 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lenore T. Adkins covers Algonquin, Huntley, Carpentersville, the Dundees, Hampshire, Sleepy Hollow, Cary and Fox River Grove. To reach her, send an email to email@example.com or call (847) 608-2725.