Taking Things for “ Grant ” ed
By Jen Costa , Parks Services Assistant
Franklin ’ s Game Night
By Anne Raucci , Skating School Director
Did you know that the Yellow Banded Bumble Bee is on the endangered list ? These bees do not harm anyone , but they use their fuzzy bodies to pollinate flowers . Many food sources we consume , including apples , blueberries , strawberries and even coffee , are produced by pollinators . The Park District of Franklin Park has been focused on establishing pollinator gardens in every park to help different pollinator species from becoming endangered .
In February , the Parks Department discovered a program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources ’ Division of Education called “ Earth Day in the Parks ”. Through the program , there are 25 grant awards of $ 1,000 that are distributed . The Park District of Franklin Park was privileged to receive one of these awards . With this grant , the Park District is renovating a small portion of Discovery Park near the table tennis table .
Park District Staff did not do this alone . Discovery Day Camp was alongside preparing the grounds and planting Illinois native plants . Butterfly weed , Echinacea , Foxglove , Coreopsis are just a few of the 16 different plant species that pollinating insects depend on for survival . While camp was planting , they were educated on the importance of the different plants and pollinators .
Over the summer months , Discovery Day Camp will help water , weed and watch the plants grow . Discovery Park is located next to District 84 ’ s North Elementary School . During the fall months when camp is over , the students will maintain the garden as they visit the park .
The Franklin Park Ice Arena held its annual Spring Ice Show on May 13-15 . Preparation for the show starts the summer before our production . Skaters start rehearsals in March and practice every Thursday through Saturday for six straight weeks .
This year ’ s theme was “ Franklin ’ s Game Night ”. We had approximately 100 skaters in the show . This included 25 soloists , pairs , trios and 20 different group numbers . The group numbers had skaters ranging from tots to teens .
The show started with a childhood favorite game Candyland and moved on to The Game of Life , Clue , Ouija Board , Pay Day , Trouble , Card Games , Battleship and Monopoly . Each number had a different costume and quick changes behind the scenes were part of the excitement .
Two skaters graduated high school this year as part of the Class of 2022 . The graduating seniors this year were Amber and Alexis . They received a special tribute and skated an extra number . Amber and her family who have been skating at the Ice Arena for years did a family number . Alexis ’ father took skating lessons so he could meet her out on the ice during the show .
Ice Arena Staff was pleased to continue the show ’ s traditions and without restrictions this year . The show drew over 800 attendees over three days . Thank you to everyone who attended !
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