Mundelein parks, environmental group to partner on Mundelein rain garden

  • Mundelein Park & Recreation District Executive Director Margaret Resnick, left, and Tracy Kleinschmidt, co-founder of the Diamond Lake Preservation Alliance, examine some plants that will be placed in rain gardens Saturday.

    Mundelein Park & Recreation District Executive Director Margaret Resnick, left, and Tracy Kleinschmidt, co-founder of the Diamond Lake Preservation Alliance, examine some plants that will be placed in rain gardens Saturday. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein Park & Recreation District Executive Director Margaret Resnick, left, and Tracy Kleinschmidt, co-founder of the Diamond Lake Preservation Alliance, look over the land where two rain gardens will be installed Saturday along North Hickory Avenue. The gardens should improve the water quality of Diamond Lake.

    Mundelein Park & Recreation District Executive Director Margaret Resnick, left, and Tracy Kleinschmidt, co-founder of the Diamond Lake Preservation Alliance, look over the land where two rain gardens will be installed Saturday along North Hickory Avenue. The gardens should improve the water quality of Diamond Lake. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Diamond Lake will benefit from two rain gardens being planted just south of the lake.

    Diamond Lake will benefit from two rain gardens being planted just south of the lake. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 8/25/2016 4:23 PM

The Mundelein Park & Recreation District is teaming with an environmental group and local residents to install two rain gardens near Diamond Lake, and they want your help with the planting.

The gardens are planned for about 850 square feet of land near a residential driveway on the 26000 block of North Hickory Avenue. That's in the Oak Terrace subdivision on the lake's south side.

 

The project teams the park district, which owns a large portion of the roughly 150-acre lake and helps maintain it, with a community group called the Diamond Lake Preservation Alliance and Oak Terrace homeowners.

Organizers hope to beautify the area and reduce pollution in the lake.

"The plants help filter runoff and trap sediment, which helps to cleanse the water table before it makes it into nearby water bodies," said Tori Trauscht, a Diamond Lake alliance member.

Trauscht called the glacial lake the most important historical natural resource in the area. But boaters, lawn chemicals, invasive plant and animal species and road salt have hurt water quality, she said.

The Oak Terrace homeowners are funding the project.

Crews and volunteers will install some 400 plants in the gardens Saturday morning. The greenery already has been purchased from a greenhouse in Rochelle, a city near Rockford.

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Volunteers are invited to help between 9 a.m. and noon. Participants should be at least 6 years old and should bring hand shovels and garden gloves.

"No experience necessary but an interest in rain gardens is helpful," Trauscht said.

Park district Executive Director Margaret Resnick is pleased to participate in the garden project.

"As stewards of the lake, we feel it is our responsibility to cooperate with everyone we can to ensure we keep the lake healthy for future generations," Resnick said.

The Fremont Township highway department has excavated the land to prepare it for the gardens.

Trauscht hopes the gardens will inspire homeowners in the area to undertake similar projects on their properties.

"We want to encourage more homeowners to put in rain gardens, especially along key water arteries and roads where they can trap pollutants and filter sediment going into Diamond Lake," she said.

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