One Man’s Weed Is Another Man’s Flower

April 12, 2024

Spring is the time of year you may notice dandelions popping up in our parks.  You might wonder why the Park District doesn’t do something about all those yellow flowers.  Letting them bloom is one way we keep our parks at their healthiest. Though not a complete source of nutrition for bee pollinators, dandelions also fill in early spring food source gaps.

As part of our best management practices, we aim to avoid spraying lawn chemicals to eliminate what some might deem an unsightly nuisance.   Instead, the yellow blooms can open to their glory across our parks.  Once the grass is long enough, crews will mow the dandelions giving our parks a more uniform “green grass” appearance.  

The Park District of Highland Park was one of the first Park Districts in Illinois to adopt an Environmental Policy which includes maintaining our parks, facilities and natural areas in a manner that enhances and protects the environment by minimizing the adverse impact on air and water quality. This includes “Integrated Pest Management” practices that minimize chemical use in favor of other management efforts such as careful mowing, aeration and–in the case of dandelions–working with nature to provide healthy places to play.