To wisely use, recycle, and conserve our resources to build a better future within our park district and community.

    The Crystal Lake Park District has adopted the following strategic areas to stay at the forefront of environmental concerns:

    • Recycling and Waste Reduction
    • Education and Public Information
    • Buildings
    • Grounds
    • Human Health

    Recycling and Waste Reduction

    For more than 90 years the Crystal Lake Park District has been providing our community with programs, parks and open space to make our lives better. Countless hours have been dedicated to providing the residents of Crystal Lake with the highest possible quality of life. We ask for your help as we continue to improve our efforts to make the world a better place for us and future generations.

    When visiting Main Beach, West Beach, Veteran Acres and Lippold Parks, you will see one bin only for aluminum, glass and plastic. All other items should be placed in a trash receptacle.



    The following items are allowed to be placed in the recycling bins located inside of park district buildings:

    • Newspaper, copy paper
    • Corrugated cardboard
    • Metal cans
    • Plastics coded 1-7
    • Glass bottles and jars
    • Tin and aluminum
    • Magazines
    • Junk Mail
    • Catalogs
    • Telephone books


    • Styrofoam, including packing peanuts
    • 6 pack rings
    • Oil containers
    • Grocery bags
    • Plastic bags, bubble wrap


    Education and Public Information

    The Crystal Lake Park District Nature Center serves as the primary provider of environmental education throughout the district. Open year-round, the Nature Center provides a unique opportunity for young and old alike to experience nature through progressive programs, hands-on activities, seasonal exhibits and volunteer opportunities. Demonstration gardens that include native landscaping and rain barrels are used to educate visitors.


    To improve the efficiency of existing buildings, energy saving devices are used to replace outdated switches, appliances, lights, hand driers and other items. When remodeling or constructing new buildings, green technologies and building products are preferred. Our newest building, a restroom in Veteran Acres Park, is constructed to utilize photovoltaic power for electricity.


    The Crystal Lake Park District discontinued the use of fertilizer and herbicide for general turf care more than ten years ago. Currently, only athletic fields are treated with fertilizer (non-phosphorous) and herbicide. Spot application of herbicide by licensed individuals is done as needed to control weeds in playgrounds, along fence lines and in landscape beds. Biological and cultural weed control practices are used as much as possible.

    Human Health

    To demonstrate our commitment to reducing the use of products that pose a hazard to human health and the environment, all of the cleaning products, hand soap, floor finish and paper products used in Crystal Lake Park District facilities are Green Seal Certified. Dust mops and paper towels used for cleaning have been replaced with micro fiber products, vacuums are CRI approved and HEPA filtered, and ready-to-dispense cleaning products make our bottles refillable.

    Be Clean, Be Green, Be Healthy!

    Other Programs

    Project Quercus

    Oak tree seedlings are planted with the aid of volunteers to begin reforestation of natural areas.

    Natural Area Workdays

    Volunteers join together to eliminate invasive species from Sterne's Woods and the Wingate Prairie.

    Clean Up Day

    A yearly community wide clean up co-sponsored with the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce.

    Lake Management

    As the owner and caretaker of Crystal Lake, the Crystal Lake Park District performs a variety of management tasks each year, including water quality sampling, hydrology monitoring, aquatic macrophyte sampling, aquatic weed control, and fishery management. In addition to Crystal Lake, the park district manages ponds and streams in twelve other parks.

    Natural Areas Management

    The Crystal Lake Park District owns and maintains two Illinois Nature Preserves, the 185 acres Sterne's Woods and Fen and the 40 acre Wingate Prairie in Veteran Acres Park. More than 300 additional acres of natural areas are also located in the district, including Veteran Acres Park, Lippold Park, Willows Edge Park and Prairie Ridge Conservation Area.