2011 is proving to be a very busy and exciting year for the Naperville Park District. Several major park improvement projects are under way that will bring new amenities for the community. At the same time the District is undergoing an extensive review of its operations for national accreditation. One of the strengths of the Park District that we continue to build upon is the diversity of parks and outdoor recreation that we offer, from trails in the woods to actively programmed athletic fields.
This year we learned of a unique opportunity to celebrate our diverse outdoor recreation: to create a window box display as an entry in the horticulture competition at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. The competition’s theme, “Play Ball,” inspired Peggy Pelkonen, project manager for the Park District, to put together a display with a miniature ball field that transitions into a natural area, with a pebble stream, flowers, native grasses, and evergreens. With graphics assistance from Park Designer Jessica Wutke, Peggy designed and assembled the window box which she named, “Playing the Field.”
It was fascinating to watch the window box take shape. Starting with an empty wooden box, 2 feet wide, 2 feet tall, and 6 inches high, Peggy began gathering plants, flowers and miniature evergreen trees for the natural area. She used twigs to form the baseball backstop and included synthetic turf to represent the Park District’s first synthetic turf field that will be installed at Nike Sports Complex this spring.
Peggy Pelkonen, Project Manager
Artifcial turf represents the District's first artificial turf field coming to Nike Sports Complex
For the outfield, Peggy grew grass from seed. After only a few days, the grass was ready to be transplanted into the display.
Grass growing at the Park District Planning Building
Once on display at the Flower and Garden Show, “Playing the Field” caught attention for its unique design and materials. On Friday, March 4, we heard the exciting news that our entry won second place in the horticulture competition!
“Playing the Field” is on display as of March 14 in the lobby at the Park District Administration Building, at 320 West Jackson Ave. Everyone is welcome to stop in to see the exhibit!
Exhibit at the Flower and Garden Show. Photo by Robin Carlson, Greenmark.
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