Innovation Guide - 2022 - 14

" People know the Palos Preserves
for its extensive trail system and the
natural wonder of the hills, bluffs,
woodlands and wetlands. I'm pleased
that with this Urban Night Sky designation,
the site is also recognized as
a location that preserves the night, "
says Arnold Randall, general superintendent
of the Forest Preserves. " The
many species of plants, insects, birds
and other animals that call the Palos
Preserves home benefit from the absence
of disturbing artificial lighting. "
Receiving the Urban Night Sky Place
(UNSP) designation makes the Palos
Preserves " the largest Urban Night Sky
Place in the world " by the IDA. The
UNSP designation helps promote the
resource of the nighttime environment
to those who are in most need of it.
Community Engagement
and Partnerships
As part of the UNSP application process,
the Forest Preserves received letters of
support from the mayor of the Village
of Homer Glen, the president and CEO
of the Adler Planetarium, the mayor of
the Village of Palos Park, the president
of the Chicago Audubon Society, the
chief sustainability officer of Cook
County, the president of Moraine Valley
Community College, the president of
the Chicago Astronomical Society, the
president of the Chicago Bird Collision
Monitors, and the president and CEO
of the Chicago Academy of Sciences/
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
The Forest Preserves' partnership
the Adler Planetarium was
critical to the success of the project,
and they will continue to partner to
provide educational programs and
events, such as
night hikes, owling and light pollution
awareness programs.
Project Impacts
Receiving the UNSP designation
from the IDA was a critical measure
of success. Additionally, Forest Preserves
staff state that local support
from colleges, municipalities, and
conservation and community science
organizations with similar missions
is a testament to the success of the
initial stages of the program.
Looking to the Future
The dark sky program is included in
the Forest Preserves' Sustainability
and Climate Resiliency Plan and the
Clean Energy Framework, which includes
goals and objectives through
2050. Additionally, Forest Preserves
staff plan to continue to retrofit
their facilities inline with the IDA's
UNSP standards to expand and enhance
the project.
The Forest Preserves' new comscience
which was a result of proceeding
with the UNSP application
in collaboration with the Adler Planetarium
and a diverse community of
volunteers across the Chicago region,
is expected to continue to grow and
evolve. And, the Forest Preserves'
Energy Group's lighting management
plan and retrofits described in
the Sustainability and Climate Resiliency
Plan and Clean Energy Framework
will ensure this program has
long-term viability.
Innovation in Park Design
- Fishers (Indiana) Parks
and Recreation Department,
Fishers Maker Playground
The Fishers Maker Playground - a
public maker space at the Hub and
Spoke building in West Fishers -
Parks & Recreation | 2 0 22 INNO V AT ION GUIDE | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
offers users tools, technology and arts
to encourage imagination, curiosity,
engineering, building and more. The
space includes a wood shop, metal
shop, 3-D printers, computers, tools
and more.
While the playground welcomes
users ages 16 and older, staff partner
with educators,
artists and industry
leaders to introduce hands-on
learning to younger children through
programs, camps and activities.
" Fishers Maker Playground is a
space where tools, technology and art
come together to foster innovation in
our community, " says Sarah Sandquist,
director of Fishers Parks and
Recreation. " Our collaborative partnership
with Hamilton Southeastern
Schools brings over 1,600 fifth graders
through the space for hands-on
STEAM [science, technology, engineering,
art and math]-based study
trips. At the Maker Playground, anyone
can be a maker and learn new
skills or grow existing ones. "
The goal of the Maker Playground
is to equip community members with
the tools and skills needed for a career
in the trades, to improve skills of
a lifelong hobbyist, to provide older
adults with opportunities to learn new
skills, and to show children what opportunities
are available to them that
they may otherwise not be aware of.
By partnering
Southeastern School District (HSE)
to provide experiential programming
to fifth graders, Fishers Parks and
Recreation staff are bridging the gap
between education and industry.
Community Engagement and
In designing the space, Fishers Parks
and Recreation staff engaged with the

Innovation Guide - 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Innovation Guide - 2022

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