Praise poured on community rain garden in Niles
Updated: February 25, 2013 2:21AM
NILES — The community-wide effort to take care of the Niles Community Rain Garden has been growing and all the hard work and time has paid off.
Chicago Wilderness, a regional alliance with a mission to protect nature and enrich life, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded the Niles Community Rain Garden and Prairie Plant Project with the Conservation and Native Landscaping Award.
The Niles Community Rain Garden, located at 7114 W. Touhy Ave., sprouted in June of 2008. It started as a partnership with the village of Niles and the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Niles, but has blossomed into a much greater community-wide project.
“They realize it’s an ongoing thing and it’s going to be around and it’s worth noticing,” said Niles Assistant Village Manager Steve Vinezeano who was instrumental in creating and sustaining the rain garden.
The rain garden is supported by various businesses and organizations in the area, such as Coca-Cola, Chris’ Landscape, ComEd, Home Depot, HR Green, the Niles Lions Club, the Notre Dame Environmental Adventure Club, the Niles Garden Club, RBC Blue Water Project, Living Habitats, Pizzo Ecological Restoration, Groot Industries, and the Conservation Foundation.
According to Vinezeano the rain garden helps with stormwater control issues and attracts beneficial wild life. The Niles Public Services Department has provided the knowledge and expertise related to help with the rain garden project as well.
Vinezeano said that the award is great validation for all the volunteers who dedicate much time and effort to make the Niles Community Rain Garden the success it is today.
“For the Village of Niles to be recognized, along with the other significantly larger taxing bodies — Cook County Forest Preserve District, Lincoln Park Zoo, Peggy Notebart Museum and Schaumburg — is quite an honor for us,” shared Village Trustee Rosemary Palicki.
Palicki described the rain garden as “a restful place for a visit on a sunny day (and) a place to remind us of what can be done without requiring continuous landscape maintenance.”
“It’s a real environmentally-sound project,” added Vinezeano.