For the past 26 years, the Kane County Cougars have enjoyed the “friendly confines” of Fifth Third Bank Ballpark home, located within the Phillip B. Elfstrom Events Center in Geneva, on property owned by the Forest Preserve District of Kane County.
Over that quarter-century-plus time period, the Cougars organization, with the help of the Acres Group, has maintained a high standard for the landscaping and tree-lined backdrop that greets fans as they enter the ballpark grounds.
This past fall and earlier this spring, a number of new maple and oak trees were planted on the property specifically in the new Music Garden, presented by the Acres Group as well as the KidZone area located behind the right field deck. Another species of tree that can be found among the ballpark grounds is the ginkgo, a living fossil, and the oldest tree on earth as it has remained relatively unchanged for the last 200 million years.
The Music Garden and other areas of the ballpark grounds also received new park benches, generously provided by Wannemaker’s Home and Garden, which provide fans with a spot to sit and enjoy the sounds of the Saturday Concert Series as well as the atmosphere of Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.
As part of a restoration project currently under way, the trees were transplanted from a parcel of land located off of Hughes Road, just west of the Mill Creek subdivision in Geneva, Ill. The district is working on relocating as many native trees as possible to begin restoring the yet-to-be-named site.
“The Forest Preserve District is happy to continue partnering with the Kane County Cougars on this initiative to landscape with native trees,” said Director of Natural Resources, Benjamin Haberthur. “The trees we planted not only help to beautify the stadium, but act as havens for our native birds, butterflies and other wildlife.”
Serving as a means to restore and sustain biodiversity within Kane County, as well as add a beautiful backdrop, native trees support about 30 times as much biodiversity as non-native ornamental species. Oaks specifically can host more than 500 species of caterpillars, which in turn help to support native birds including cardinals, black-capped chickadees and warblers.
“On a personal level, it’s especially enjoyable to catch a Cougars game with my kids, when I know that the organization is utilizing eco-friendly decision making to run the stadium. It’s not just a win for the Cougars, but nature as well,” Haberthur said.
“The Cougars are so thankful to the Forest Preserve District of Kane County for their dedication to the beautification of Fifth Third Bank Ballpark,” said Cougars owner Cheryl Froehlich. “Between the efforts of the district, the Acres Group and Wannemaker’s, Fifth Third Bank Ballpark has become one of the premier destinations in Minor League Baseball.”
About the Kane County Cougars
The Cougars, Class-A Minor League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, have been at the forefront of family-friendly entertainment since 1991. In 2015, the franchise became the first Class-A team in Minor League Baseball history to welcome 11 million fans through the gates. More than 130 former Cougars have reached the Major Leagues including Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez and Kyle Schwarber. Follow the Cougars on kccougars.com, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all season long for updates on tickets and promotions.
About the Forest Preserve District of Kane County
The Forest Preserve District of Kane County acquires, holds and maintains land to preserve natural and historic resources, habitats, flora and fauna. The district restores, restocks, protects and preserves open space for the education, recreation and pleasure of Kane County citizens. For more information, visit the district’s website or find them on social media via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Also, sign up for the quarterly TreeLine Newsletter.
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