Birds, Arts, Crafts, and Great Volunteers

All came together at “For the Birds” weekend

The Long Grove Park District’s annual For the Birds weekend on April 18-19 was a great success.  Hundreds of visitors enjoyed the bird walks, live bird demonstrations, and bid on the birdhouses and bird art donated for the silent auction.  The weekend was capped off by a reception honoring three of the Park District’s longest serving volunteers.

image of volunteer awardeesLeft to right: Harvey Lease, Marie Borg (accepting for Bob Borg), and Lee Bassett

The combined service of Bob Borg, Lee Bassett, and Harvey Lease totals more than 75 years.  Their contributions incuded terms as Park District Commissioners; President of the Board of Commissioners; supervising Eagle Scout projects; building facilities, bridges, and trails; maintaining the 85 year old Nature Center; and spending thousands of hours in the hands-on battle to eradicate invasive plant species from Park District property throughout the Village. Their spirit and dedication to volunteerism was praised by both current and past Village Presidents, Angie Underwood and Maria Rodriguez.  Both Presidents noted that these three individuals exemplifed the spirit of Long Grove and that their volunteer efforts extended to other organizations as well as roles on Village committees.

Jane Wittig, President of the Park District, presented each of the honorees with plaques naming them as Volunteer Extraordinare and (in recognition of their invasive removal work), “Teasel Master”.  Each also received a gold star lapel pin as a Park District Gold Star Volunteer.   Marie Borg accepted the award for her late husband.


The weekend also included a Birdhouse and Bird Art contest for those who created and donated a birdhouse (or bird-themed art) to the silent auction.  The entrants included numerous high quality items.  The winners:

  • Birdhouse- “Reed-Turner Trading Post” – Rory Christiansen, Long Grove
  • Bird Art- “Robin Berry” – Donna Blunt (a repeat winner!), Long Grove
  • Birdhouse Honorable Mention – “Millhouse Home” – Brad Williams, Hawthorn Woods
  • In the youth division, birdhouse winners were a pair of sisters from Mundelein
    • Creative design- “Birdsong Tree House” – Chloe Riffer
    • Environmentally friendly – “Repurposed Home for the Eco-Conscious Bird Family” – Kaylee Riffer
image- winning bird house

Birdhouse Grand Prize – Rory Christiansen, Long Grove

image of winning bird art

Grand Prize – Bird Art – Donna Blunt, Long Grove













On behalf of the Park District, Jane Wittig extended a thank you to the volunteers who helped make the weekend a success and to Chick-fil-A of Kildeer which donated refreshments, gift cards, and gifts for the kids’ crafts activities.

The Long Grove Park District is a non-taxing organization that relies heavily on volunteer effort and donations to operate and maintain its facilities and programs.