BRIDGEPORT — The volunteer park advisory council for Palmisano Park will be honored with an award by Friends of the Parks.
The group said the annual "Volunteers in the Parks" awards are given to individuals, organizations and Chicago Park District employees "for their significant contributions to Chicago's parks and open spaces."
This year, nine groups will take home the awards.
The Palmisano Park council earned a special nod for helping to host events like the Bridgeport Air and Water Show and "clean and green" park cleanup days.
The council is led by Maureen Sullivan, a candidate for 11th Ward alderman.
In a statement, Sullivan said “I’m grateful for the recognition of our team ... We filled a leadership void to bring our beautiful park and the community closer, and I’m very proud of our creative and hands-on approach."
Also serving on the council are vice president Rob Warmowski, Sullivan's partner and campaign spokesman, and secretary and treasurer Dan Pugh, who helps lead the Bridgeport Citizens Group, a volunteer civic group focused on anti-crime efforts.
Located at 2700 S. Halsted St., Henry C. Palmisano Park opened in 2009 as Stearns Quarry Park after an extensive renovation effort. The Chicago Park District converted the former “clean construction” landfill — which was once a giant quarry — into a 27-acre public park, complete with native plant life and prairie wetlands.
The park was largely built using construction debris — there are recycled timber boardwalks, concrete walkways and a crushed stone running path. Some of the larger stones along the walkways are construction waste from the ill-fated Block 37 project Downtown.
A portion of the quarry walls remains in the park’s northwest corner, which has been transformed into a fishing pond.
Nominations for this year's awards were taken "from fellow park enthusiasts," according to the Friends of the Chicago Park website. An award ceremony is planned Oct. 25 at the Dunning Read Conservation Area.
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