The Skokie Park District partnered with several local groups recently, which led to the August dedication of three new and important district amenities.
Skokie Sports Park Cricket Field –– Cricket has a new home at the district, with the opening of a new field at Skokie Sports Park East giving the growing cricket faithful in Skokie a place to play, and district residents one more recreational offering. The dedication was held on August 19.
“The Skokie Park District is pleased to open its first full sized cricket field at Sports Park,” said John Ohrlund, executive director of the Skokie Park District. “Skokie area cricket enthusiasts have traveled to western suburbs for many years to enjoy their sport and now they can find a field close to home at Sports Park, which is on property leased from the MWRD (Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago).”
Park district landscapers and turf specialists worked with MWRD and contractors from Carl Johanson & Son Construction and Perfect Turf to build the field. Sports Park East now has ample room for four soccer fields when cricket is not being played.
Caleb Field at Laramie Park –– At a recent 2018 meeting of the Park Board, and after a passionate request by friends of Caleb Maeir (who was 19 when he died of cancer in December), the board voted unanimously to name Laramie’s most-used ballfield, “Caleb Field.” Since its inception in 1928, the board has been very conservative with naming rights to its parks and facilities. However, Team Caleb presented an overwhelming case to name this field for this very special Skokie athlete.
“This naming certainly meets our criteria of "providing exceptional contributions and/or service to the Park District,” as Caleb not only exhibited extraordinary bravery in his four-year fight with cancer, but his friends and family, Team Caleb, have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer research, an effort which also defines two of the park district’s core values: commitment and service,” said Skokie Park District board president Susan Aberman.
The field was dedicated with nearly 200 people present on August 13.
Devonshire Rain Garden –– The Village of Skokie, the MWRD and the Skokie Park District recently collaborated to create a sustainable and environmentally progressive rain garden at Devonshire Park. The garden, which holds more than 13,000 gallons of storm water, was dedicated on August 7 and consists of specially-selected, water-absorbing shrubs and flowers planted in a small depression on a natural slope in Devonshire Park. The garden is designed to temporarily hold and slowly absorb storm water runoff that often flows from neighborhood driveways and lawns.
The inclusion of green infrastructure provides new benefits beyond mitigating local flooding. The permeable soil with base course encourages a higher potential for storm water infiltration which can result in recharging the groundwater. The plantings used throughout the basins are deep rooted and herbaceous, native plantings that will absorb storm water and pump it into the atmosphere through evapotranspiration. In addition to assisting with the flood mitigation, the soil media and plantings help allow pollutants to filter out of the storm water prior to being released downstream.