With a goal of empowering community leaders with an awareness of local, state and federal resources and partnerships, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) hosted its first Sustainability Summit in Midlothian on Sept. 26.
More than 80 officials from the 125 communities that comprise Cook County participated in the four hour summit held at the Raday Lodge. Speakers included representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Governor, Illinois State Treasurer’s office, Cook County, Metropolitan Planning Council, Openlands, and the MWRD.
One of the program’s highlight was the presentation of awards. MWRD Commissioner D. Patrick Thompson awarded the “Biosolids User” awards to the villages of Midlothian and Hinsdale. Both communities successfully used the low-cost, sustainable alternative to chemical fertilizers developed through the wastewater treatment process to revitalize worn-down sports fields.
“We are very honored to receive this award,” said Midlothian Park District Executive Director Evelyn Gleason. “Before we starting using biosolids, our park was a hodge podge of dead or scraggly grass,” said Gleason. “Once we decided to move forward with revitalizing the fields, we used the biosolids which absolutely made a 100% improvement, and now we have fantastic fields.”