Green Initiatives

Thank you everyone who made Earth Day for Everyone possible this year!

Special thanks to Stone Creek Church in Urbana for providing overflow parking.


UPD CARES (Climate Action, Resilience, Education & Sustainability) Plan 2021-2026

The Urbana Park District is thrilled to present our community with the Urbana Park District CARES Plan—Climate Action, Resilience, Education and Sustainability. The Board of Commissioners, park district staff, stakeholders, and community members assisted the CARES Steering Committee in the plan’s creation. 

This five-year plan centers on breaking down information barriers and creating a healthier, safer and more resilient community for all the humans, plants, and animals that call Urbana home. The goals and objectives are organized in three planning pillars:

  1. Communicating Climate Action underscores the Urbana Park District’s commitment to serve as a community leader and role model for climate action—through internal practices, public outreach & programs, and collaborative partnerships.
  2. Protecting & Strengthening Our Natural Environment reinforces the Urbana Park District’s responsibility to care for the health of humans, plants, animals, ecosystems & the climate—by reducing our carbon footprint, stewarding biodiversity & natural areas, and improving air & water quality.
  3. Conserving Resources highlights the Urbana Park District’s dedication to the sustainability of natural resources—through conserving energy & water, using clean energy, reducing waste, and increasing recycling & reuse.



UPD Green Team

The Urbana Park District is leading the community in environmental stewardship!

Environmental issues are important to the Urbana Park District. That's why the District was awarded the Illinois Association of Park Districts "Best Green Practices Award".

UPD is a leader in implementing programs and practices that demonstrate the value and of responsible environmental practices. The "Green Team" committee implements and oversees environmental initiatives district-wide.

The Urbana Park District follows these environmentally responsible practices:

  1. Provide environmental education and interpretation opportunities for the public.
  2. Promote preservation, restoration management and stewardship of open spaces, nature preserves, waters, greenways and trails.
  3. Conserve and protect water and soil, enhance air quality, limit the production and release of damaging pollutants, and protect plants and wildlife.
  4. Conserve energy resources and utilize alternative energy technologies when possible.
  5. Re-use or recycle natural materials and manufactured products whenever possible; cooperate with local government and community groups to support recycling efforts.
  6. Purchase and use environmentally safe and sensitive products whenever possible.


Park district staff engage in seasonal "Green Challenges" to reduce environmental impact.Green_Team_logo
  • Reducing "phantom energy" waste by unplugging electronics when they are not in use is a simple way that staff conserve electricity. Read about five simple steps we all can take here.
  • We are working to do our part to make green driving decisions. Some good habits we are adopting (and you could adopt, too) can be found here.
  • Learn about guidelines that staff follow to help make green purchasing decisions here.
  • Find out where to recycle common household items here.


Check out these videos on the UPD YouTube channel to learn more about:


Climate Action Week 2022 Wrap-Up: August 22-28

The first annual Climate Action Week was a great success, and we are looking forward to making this event bigger and better in the years to come! Over 575 people participated in programs and events throughout the week, with help from more than 20 community partners.

The week was full of engaging opportunities to learn about climate change causes and effects, local impacts, and how to be part of the solution. Check out these photo highlights!


Local artist Kim Curtis installed her sculpture "Harvest: A Monument to Plastic Waste" at Crystal Lake Park. The site also served as a location for a plastic toy swap throughout the week.



Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford gave an experiential tour of our local weather station, which collects climate data for our area.



Participants at the main event created art from recycled and repurposed materials. This person made a sign expressing their concern about climate change.



During the Tree Planting and Care Demonstration, we planted an actual tree in Crystal Lake Park! Experts showed the correct way to plant and maintain new trees to allow them to grow and thrive for many years to come.


THANK YOU to our Climate Action Week partners and friends!

If you or your organization would like to be involved in Climate Action Week 2023, contact Savannah Donovan at 217-384-4062 or