Oak Brook Park District’s Dean Nature Sanctuary is a sprawling 40-acre native conservation area that protects the diversity of a unique combination of Illinois ecosystems. The property at 115 Canterberry Lane in Oak Brook features oak savannah, wetland, pond, and prairie habitats. Recognizing the positive impact of parks and open space within the community, Ace Hardware’s Janeth Ballines reached out to the Oak Brook Park District to see if there was an opportunity for staff to give back and spend some time working in the sanctuary.
On Thurs., May 11, seven Ace Hardware employees volunteered their time and energy to clear litter and debris from the prairie portions of the sanctuary. Everything from bottles and cans to concrete and metal were collected. According to Bob Johnson, Oak Brook Park District’s director of parks and planning, keeping the site free from litter and debris provides a more pristine natural habitat for plants and wildlife and helps to maintain a safe environment for visitors.
Johnson says that projects like these help educate the greater community on the benefits of natural sites and builds support for environmental stewardship. “It was great to be able to share the story of the Dean Nature Sanctuary with the team from Ace,” said Johnson. “They were an awesome group to work with and we appreciate their volunteer effort to ‘Keep the Dean Clean.’”