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Romeoville green award

7/24/2019, 6:57 p.m.
Romeoville - ComEd and Openlands awarded the Village of Romeoville’s Parks & Recreation Department, one of 26 public agencies from ...

Romeoville - ComEd and Openlands awarded the Village of Romeoville’s Parks & Recreation Department, one of 26 public agencies from northern Illinois to receive an environmental grant from the organizations through the annual ComEd Green Region Program. The village’s Parks & Recreation Department has received $9,000 to convert degraded wetlands and stormwater management basins into diverse, native plant communities. These areas will expand critical habitat and food sources for pollinators, while increasing regional native wetland presence.

“We are very thankful to ComEd and Openlands for this grant,” stated Romeoville Mayor John Noak. “We take great pride in our parks and this will go a long way to restoring the wetland vegetation to Volunteer Park.”

Since the inception of the Green Region Program in 2013, ComEd has awarded more than $1.3 million to municipalities across northern Illinois to help fund their open-space projects. ComEd provides the funding, and Openlands, one of the oldest metropolitan conservation organizations in the nation, administers the grants to local communities.

“Together with our partners at Openlands, we are proud to support organizations that are making meaningful differences to restore and enhance natural habitats and biodiversity,” said Melissa Washington, Vice President of Governmental and External Affairs at ComEd. “It’s the perfect balance of meeting our future energy needs and powering a brighter and more sustainable future for our customers and the communities we serve.”

Due to a recent decline in pollinators throughout northern Illinois, and strong interest in pollinator conservation, the 2019 Green Region projects again focus on advancing and protecting the region’s essential pollinator species. Earlier this year, public agencies from across communities that ComEd serves submitted grant applications, which were then reviewed by an advisory committee composed of county government officials and members of the region's conservation community.

“The ComEd Green Region Program is an important commitment to sustainability across northern Illinois and a commitment to providing residents with access to natural open spaces,” said Jerry Adelmann, President and CEO of Openlands.

Romeoville enhances parks and open space

The Romeoville Village Board also approved a plan to purchase two parcels of land along Route 53 adjacent to Abbeywood Drive and Pine Trail Drive. The 3.8 acres currently contain a vacant home, which will be demolished within the next month. This land will be used for a future park/open space.

“This is a great opportunity to expand our open space for this part of the community,” explained Mayor John Noak. “This is one of many system wide improvements we have made over the last several years.”

The Village Board also authorized the purchase of playground equipment for Discovery Park. The 51 acre Discovery Park, located at 300 S. HighPoint Dr., is the newest park site and offers soccer fields, basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, and even bean bag areas. A playground will now be added to enhance the site even further. Discovery Park is currently open to the public and will hold its ceremonial ribbon cutting on Saturday, August 10th at 8:30 a.m., which is opening day for flag football. The community is invited to attend.

Additional park improvements underway this season include work at Budler Park (1912 Trafalger Dr.) and planned renovations for Conservation Park (524 W. Belmont Dr.) to take place this fall.