Park District re-opens Alpine dry dam for traditional painting

As a new school year is ready to start, the class of 2005 can show their school spirit and continue the time-honored tradition of painting the dry dam at Aldeen Park with new environmentally friendly guidelines developed by the Rockford Park District.

The Alpine Dry Dam painting was suspended when the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) notified the Rockford Park District of a complaint about the practice and many years of paint layers built up that could potentially affect the water quality of Kent Creek. The area has been cleaned up to the IEPA’s satisfaction, and as long as only latex-based paints are used, the practice may continue.

According to Ron Butler, senior manager of Maintenance Operations, “We’ve made a few changes to the permitting process and fees, but basically the kids are welcome to paint the dam again, as long as they follow the rules.”

A Special Use Permit must be obtained by contacting the Rockford Park District Community Relations Department at 987-8847. The responsible person obtaining the Special Use Permit must be age 18 or older.

Only biodegradable products such as water-based (regular latex paint) paints, sidewalk paint made by Crayola, chalks, or homemade sidewalk paint is permitted. Absolutely NO enamels or oil-based paints will be permitted to paint the Dry Dam wall.

The resident fee is $140 ($40 plus $100 deposit); the nonresident fee is $200 ($60 plus $140 deposit). At the end of the event, if it is found that the site is in suitable condition, that biodegradable paint/materials were used, proper disposal of painting materials, and all other rules have been followed, the deposit would be returned to the responsible person as indicated on the Special Use Permit.

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