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MWRD's 4th Annual Sustainability Summit honors green landscaping, biosolids users
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago's (MWRD's) 4th Annual Sustainability Summit.

Friday, October 14, 2016
Special to suffredin.org

For immediate release

October 14, 2016

MWRD's 4th Annual Sustainability Summit honors green landscaping, biosolids users

Experienced landscapers, expert environmentalists and responsive local governments developing programs that utilize local resources, save money and improve the environment were praised for their sustainable measures at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago's (MWRD's) 4th Annual Sustainability Summit.

Held at the Maggie Daley Park in Chicago on Oct. 6, the Summit is an opportunity to empower and equip these partnering municipalities and environmental advocates with the latest trends and information in resource recovery and stormwater management.

The event also spotlights some of the best work taking place across the county that promotes a sustainable environment and speaks to the MWRD's mission in renewable resources, flood control and water quality improvements.

"We congratulate our award winners for their dedication to protecting our environment and investing in these sustainable resources and projects that make their fields and facilities destinations to enjoy for many years to come," said President Mariyana Spyropoulos. "We are happy to partner with municipalities across Cook County to take advantage of our resource recovery projects, and it is fulfilling to single out the best work that has come as a result of these partnerships."

Many of the award winners were dedicated to the concept of resource recovery and the beneficial reuse of biosolids that can improve turf quality and reduce carbon footprints. Dave Ward, superintendent of Coyote Run Golf Course in Flossmoor, and the Tinley Park-Park District were honored for their work implementing MWRD biosolids onto their grounds. The MWRD has been successfully using biosolids for fertilizing golf courses and athletic fields at both schools and public parks, like Maggie Daley Park, in the Chicago area for more than 30 years.

MWRD biosolids are a high-quality product of the water treatment process that can be recovered and turned into a valuable resource for plants. Air-dried biosolids look like dark, fine-textured topsoil and are a sustainable alternative to chemical fertilizers. Composted biosolids can be used as any compost would be, as a soil amendment or conditioner for establishing turf grass, for mixing into custom topsoil blends, and in planter beds and pots for establishing flowers and trees in nurseries. Due to recent changes in Illinois law, MWRD biosolids can be made available and sold to the general public. The MWRD produces the biosolids as part of the water treatment process.

Other award winners included:

* The City of Des Plaines Public Works and Engineering Department were honored for a project that replaced deteriorating public alleys with new pervious concrete pavement. Also known as green alleys, the new pavement will increase water infiltration and alleviate basement flooding.
* The Village of Glenview was recognized for implementing projects dedicated to streambank stabilization, detention basin retrofits, tree planting, rain gardens, permeable pavement, bioswales and green roofs.
* The Villages of Skokie, La Grange and Midlothian received honorable mention awards for their landscaping projects. Skokie recently made improvements of alleys with permeable pavers, leading to reduction in stormwater runoff and improvement of water quality. La Grange completed a parking lot reconstruction project with interlocking permeable concrete pavers that has led to a reduction in suspended solids, nitrogen and phosphorus in stormwater. Midlothian was recognized for the implementation of rain gardens that have led to improved stormwater management in the village.
* The Historic Chicago Bungalow Association (HCBA) was recognized with a certificate of appreciation for the organization's work as a facilitator for rain barrels. Partnering with the MWRD, the HCBA has helped distribute more than 8,500 free MWRD rain barrels to area homeowners.

"The City of Des Plaines is proud to partner with the District in order to make sustainable projects more commonplace in today's construction world," said Jon Duddles, Des Plaines Assistant Director of Public Works and Engineering.

"To manage stormwater runoff and utilize recovered resources it takes many partners like these municipalities and organizations that we chose to recognize at the Sustainability Summit," said MWRD Chairman of Finance Frank Avila. "Their best management practices in sustainability should be commended, as they show us the long-term value of protecting our planet and embrace the goals of our agency that make our communities a better place to live."

Summit participants were also given a tour of Maggie Daley Park by Chicago Park District Project Manager Nichole Sheahan.

In the photo:
Chicago Park District Project Manager Nichole Sheahan gave a tour of Maggie Daley Park as part of the 4th Annual Sustainability Summit.



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