Alpine dam painting to cease in 2004

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IPEA) received a complaint regarding the practice of painting the Alpine dry dam at Aldeen Park, 623 N. Alpine Rd. The IEPA has notified the Rockford Park District to cease permitting this activity. An inspection revealed there are many years of paint layers built up, and the flaking paint chips are affecting the water quality in Keith Creek.

For many years, seniors from various high schools and groups in the Rockford region have painted the dam at Aldeen Park. The Rockford Park District will no longer provide a permit or allow this activity at Aldeen Park. Schools and groups who have purchased permits in the past will be notified by letter before the end of the year about the change in policy.

“The painting of the dam at Aldeen Park was a long-standing tradition and considered a ritual for many seniors,” said Ron Butler, senior manager of maintenance services for the Rockford Park District. “We are responding to the IEPA request that possible locations or alternative sites where this activity could safely occur. Please give us your suggestions, and we will evaluate potential locations that will not have any adverse impact on our environment.

“We usually get requests from a dozen groups and charge them $40 for the permit, and require them to clean up when they’re done,” Butler added.

Suggestions may be sent Attn: Ron Butler, Rockford Park District, 1401 N. Second St., Rockford, IL 61107-3086, e-mailed to, or call 987-8864 (TTY 963-DEAF).

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