Park District receives Governor’s Sustainability Award

Staff Report

The Rockford Park District received a 2014 Governor’s Sustainability Award Oct. 23 from Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) for the Sinnissippi Riverfront Park Renovation project. The award was received at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center’s (ISTC) Sustainability Award ceremony and technical symposium in Chicago. Since 1987, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) has presented the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award (Governor’s Award) to organizations in Illinois that demonstrate a commitment to the economy, society, and environment through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices.

This is the first time the Rockford Park District has won an Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award. Recently, the Rockford Park District received recognition for the Sinnissippi Riverfront Park Renovation project. The award recognizes the transformation that took place within Sinnissippi Riverfront Park, the oldest and most heavily-used park in the Rockford Park District. On average, nearly 143,000 people each year visit the riverfront and gardens along the Rock River. The transformation includes construction of Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens topped with a green roof, Eclipse Lagoon and Tea House, new parking lot with “living wall,” new boat dock, and low-maintenance landscaping, bioswales and rain garden features. Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens recently received a Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold designation for incorporating sustainable features, including geothermal technology, green roof, permeable paving, bioswales, recycled content, photovoltaic panels, daylight dimming, innovative design and sustainable operations.

Capital Planning and Asset Management Project Manager and Sustainability Chairman Dan Erwin said: “The Rockford Park District is honored to receive this recognition from ISTC, and this is a major achievement. This project really embraced sustainability, from environmentally sensitive aspects such as a living wall, and features that improve stormwater quality. Sustainability is really a way of life in the Rockford Park District, and is top of mind in project design to day-to-day operations; sustainability means success and longevity. By collaborating on the Sinnissippi Riverfront Park Renovation project, we were able to renovate and enhance the riverfront as an outdoor garden showcase and recreational facility.”

Already this year, the Sinnissippi Riverfront Park Renovation Project was recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects Illinois Chapter, who presented a 2013 Merit Award to the Rockford Park District, John R. Cook Associates, and Sanders Design Group. The group received this award in recognition of outstanding professional achievement for historic landscapes.

In February, the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA) presented the Rockford Park District and Sanders Design Group, 333 E. State St., Rockford, the Excellence in Landscape Silver Award in the Commercial Construction category for the Eclipse Lagoon Restoration Project at Sinnissippi Riverfront.

Also, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC-IL) presented the Rockford Park District and Arc Design Resources, Inc., 5291 Zenith Pkwy., Loves Park, a 2014 Engineering Excellence Award — Special Achievement for the Sinnissippi Park Eclipse Lagoon Restoration project. The Engineering Excellence Awards Competition recognizes projects of engineering achievement by Illinois consulting engineering firms. Special Achievement Awards are given for projects worthy of special recognition of the engineer and the owner/client for achieving engineering excellence.

The Sinnissippi Riverfront Park Renovation project team includes: Arc Design Resources, Inc., Cooling Landscape Contractors, Dreamscapes by Dennis, Gary W. Anderson Architects, John R. Cook Associates, Olson Ecological Solutions, Ringland-Johnson Construction, Rockford Landscape Engineering, Sanders Design Group, Stenstrom Construction and William Charles Construction.

Posted Oct. 29, 2014

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