The Geneva Park District will unveil a new teaching dock at Peck Farm Park this weekend, which is named in memory of former Geneva alderman Ralph Dantino who died of cancer in 2013.
The Ralph Dantino Teaching Dock dedication ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the park, which is located at 4038 Kaineville Road in Geneva.
The new dock will provide easy access and ADA accessibility to the water's edge and is meant to "create the next generation of environmental stewards and provide numerous benefits to our community,” said Trish Burns, Manager of Peck Farm Park.
“Children need to experience nature first hand, see the ways our lifestyles are affecting the environment, and understand the impact of the choices they will make. This kind of exploration and engagement will heighten awareness, promote social responsibility and create opportunities for more outdoor activities,” Burns said
Dantino was passionate about the community and served as a founding member of the Geneva Park District Foundation from 1994 to 2009. In addition to serving on the Foundation Board, he played pivotal roles in gaining community support for two successful Park District referendums.
Dantino also served on the Geneva School Board, Geneva Plan Commission and as an alderman representing the Fifth Ward of Geneva. He died on Feb. 18, 2013, at the age of 56 following a nearly four-year battle with cancer, according to his obituary.
“Not only was Ralph passionate about Geneva as a whole, but he was dedicated to preserving open space. Keeping his memory alive with the dedication of the Ralph Dantino Teaching Dock is a perfect tribute,” said Stephen Persinger, former Executive Director of Geneva Park District.
Earth Day Celebration Held Following Dedication Ceremony
Following the Ralph Dantino Teaching Dock Dedication ceremony, Peck Farm Park will hold its annual Earth Day Celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Highlights include free bicycle tune-ups, food from local vendors, rain barrels and compost bins for sale, information from vendors supplying green-friendly products, free chair massages and health scans, chalk art, and children’s entertainment.
Also, as part of Peck Farm Park’s Earth Day Celebration, Geneva Park District will celebrate the re-opening of Hawks Hollow Nature Playground with a Grand “Hatching” Event, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Explore the playground with a nature scavenger hunt through its eight interactive learning stations featuring native bird species and natural elements.
Hawks Hollow Nature Playground is a 2014 Illinois Parks & Recreation Outstanding Facility that engages visitors in environmental education through hands-on activities and unstructured play.
Source: Geneva Park District press release