Won Emerald Award from Illinois Green Alliance

“Park District of Oak Park Earns Emerald Award from Illinois Green Alliance for Commitment to Sustainability”

The Illinois Green Alliance awarded the Park District of Oak Park with the Organizational Emerald Award for Green Building in Illinois last week. Since 2014, the Park District has prioritized sustainability throughout the District, including waste reduction, energy efficiency, clean energy, and water conservation and reuse. The Park District’s sustainability actions save over $200,000 per year.

Two notable Park District buildings, the Carroll Community Center and the Community Recreation Center (CRC), represent the District’s continued focus on sustainability. Carroll Center became the second facility in Illinois to be verified a net zero facility earlier this year. The Center was constructed using Passive House design principles to attain a quantifiable and rigorous level of energy efficiency. Coupled with a solar array, the building achieved Net Zero status and continues to operate as Zero Source energy facility.

The Park District’s Community Recreation Center (CRC) construction includes design and engineering to operate as a net zero building as well. The all-electric building features airtight construction and energy saving devices, including a VRF HVAC system, triple pane windows, and insulation to reduce the energy needed to operate while the solar array collects clean, renewable energy to support its reduced energy needs. Construction of the CRC will be complete in the spring of 2023.

The Park District received grants from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to construct these Net Zero buildings. In addition, the Village of Oak Park provided a grant to help fund the Net Zero building requirements of the CRC.

“It’s an honor to receive such an award. Not only does it recognize our efforts, but it validates our commitment sustainability,” said Chris Lindgren, superintendent of parks and planning. “We’d like to thank Tom Bassett-Dilley and Mark Nussbaum for their architectural and engineering excellence.”

Chris Wollmuth, Park District Commissioner, said “Sustainability is a core value at the Park District. We’re proud to be recognized for these efforts and hope that we can inspire others to follow in our footsteps.”

For more information on the Park District’s environmental initiatives, visit https://www.pdop.org/about/environment/.


About Park District of Oak Park: The Park District of Oak Park serves the recreation needs of Oak Park’s 53,000 residents, providing nearly 3,000 programs and special events annually throughout our versatile recreation centers, 18 parks totaling 84 acres, two outdoor pools, indoor ice rink, gymnastic center, the Oak Park Conservatory, Cheney Mansion and Pleasant Home. Since 1912, our high-quality programs and well-maintained parks and facilities have dependably met residents’ diverse leisure, wellness, childcare and other needs and helped enhance quality of life. Learn more at https://www.pdop.org/.

About Illinois Green Alliance: Illinois Green Alliance is a membership directed nonprofit organization working to transform the region’s built environment to become ecologically sustainable, profitable, and healthy. To do so, we engage community leaders and utilize member expertise in education and community outreach through targeted programs and initiatives focused around green homes, communities, schools and existing buildings. With hundreds of passionate members and volunteers who lend their time and expertise, Illinois Green provides nearly 75 educational programs, community engagement events, tours and advocacy initiatives each year.

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