Elmhurst Park District, staff members recognized for projects and contributions

Sugar Creek Golf Course in Elmhurst accepted two awards recognizing the project to restore Sugar Creek, which was completed last spring.

In January, Sugar Creek received a Public Works Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association (APWA) Chicago Metro Chapter (Suburban Branch) in the Environmental category less than $5 million. This month, they were honored with the same award from the APWA’s entire Chicago Metro Chapter.

Sugar Creek, which runs through the golf course, had experienced shoreline erosion, sediment deposit accumulations and degraded water quality in recent years. The project sought to remedy these issues and preserve the resource.

More than 50% of the nearly $1.2 million dollar project was funded through grants from the DuPage County Water Quality Improvement Program and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The remaining funding came equally from Sugar Creek Golf Course, along with the village of Villa Park and the Elmhurst Park District, which jointly own and operate the golf course. Living Waters, Inc provided consulting and design on the restoration and Semper Fi Land Inc. was the project’s general contractor.

Three parks department staff members were recognized recently for their work in the field. Last month, Assistant Director/Director of Parks Dan Payne was honored with a distinguished member award from the Illinois Park and Recreation Association’s Parks and Natural Resource Management Section in recognition of his commitment and contributions.

In early 2023, Payne was appointed as secretary of the section board, filling a gap left by two departing board members. Despite the short notice, he quickly settled into his new role and assisted with the section’s goals, including coordinating joint meetings and programs with other park district organizations.

Lindsay Metzler, park district operations assistant, and Michelle Karabetsos, park district horticulture supervisor, were recipients of the Outstanding Park Employee Award from the Midwest Institute of Park Executives.

Both were recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to the park district in 2023. Metzler’s dedication to ensuring staff are supported and prepared for work was highlighted in her nomination. Karabetsos’ nomination emphasized her positive impact on the community, including coordinating volunteer projects in the gardens and parks.

Shaw Local News Network

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