ParkTalk Podcast

S29 Episode 03: Digging in to Beautify Parks

Two park staff members tell how volunteers provide invaluable help in taking care of natural areas, keeping Riverwalk flowers blooming, and helping the Park District maintain parks across the community.

For a list of ParkTalk episodes and series, click here.

Quotes from the episode:

“I get really excited when we have volunteers come to do natural areas work. Weigand Park is one of our organic parks. It's really important to have volunteers there, because the amount of effort it takes to control the weeds without herbicides is extensive. So when we have a lot of hands, it makes the work go a long way.  Last fall, we had a small group of about 5 volunteers for the morning, and we deadheaded teasel. We were able to remove that teasel from the seedbank, so that way, we don't have to worry about future infestations of teasel in that area. Everyone had fun and at the end we estimated that we removed 9 million seeds from the work that we did. So we prevented that much seed from going into the seedbank, which would make a big impact.” – Rachael West

“I started a group that we named the Trailmasters. It met once every other week for two and a half hours. We had up to 5 people helping. Over the 8 years that I worked with this group, we were able to remove almost all of the honeysuckle and buckthorn in Sindt Woods (at the west end of the Riverwalk). It's amazing to walk through there now and see how much better it looks. What's incredible is that the woodland flowers came back naturally, once we removed the honeysuckle and buckthorn. We didn't go in and reseed. All of those flowers were there, just waiting for sunlight. It was amazing to walk through there.” – Tiffani Picco

How to Help Beautify our Parks as a Volunteer

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Naperville Park District, click here.

Contact our volunteer manager, Becca at to discuss project ideas for an individual or group. Our park maintenance staff will find a project and time to match your interest with the needs in the parks.