It was a night for recognition at the top of the agenda at the City Council meeting of Monday, December 3, 2019.
First up was the IHSA Class 3A State Champions Varsity Boys Soccer Team. The team received a standing ovation from Mayor Ruben Pineda, City Council and others in attendance.
Following the reading of a Mayoral Proclamation which outlined the victory and expressed the pride which this accomplishment brought to West Chicago Community High School and the City of West Chicago, team members were invited to the dais for a group photo with the Mayor and to receive handshakes and congratulations from all Council members.
Next to receive well-deserved recognition was local artist Kathi Kuchler for receiving the People’s Choice Award for the artwork she submitted for the juried Art Banner Exhibit of 2019, themed Love.
Kathi’s work, titled Love Birds, was transferred to a 30″ x 60″ vinyl street banner, along with 21 other artist banners that hung on Main Street from May through September. In that amount of time, Kathi’s work received the most number of votes from the public for the People’s Choice Award.
Mayor Pineda began the tribute, which included the presentation of her banner to her as a “keepsake and memento” of it being chosen People’s Choice Award winner.
In her autobiographical profile, Kathi indicated she began painting at the age of 14 in oils and then turned to watercolors because she loved the fact that she could take her small round paint palette wherever she went. She later pursued her certification as a botanical water-colorist and illustrator through the Morton Arboretum in 2015. She credits her love of nature for her inspiration to paint Love Birds, which will hang with other pieces of her original work at City Hall beginning in January 2020.
Third up for honors last evening was Mayor Ruben Pineda and the City of West Chicago.
The DuPage Monarch Project, a partnership of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage, River Prairie Group of Sierra Club, The Conservation Foundation, Wild Ones Greater DuPage Chapter, recognized the City of West Chicago for it’s outstanding commitment to the preservation of Monarchs and pollinators.
Connie Schmidt, Chair of the Illinois Sierra Club, and Jeanette Goodlow, of Wild Ones Greater DuPage Chapter, presented Mayor Pineda and the Council with a framed commendation for the work that has been done in West Chicago to increase awareness for Monarchs through many efforts.
“When Mayor Pineda signed the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, the City took immediate action by planting a milkweed-rich monarch waystation at City Hall. This summer the garden was blooming, colorful and alive with butterflies and bees, providing a high profile example of landscaping which also benefits monarchs and pollinators,” said Connie during the presentation. “Residents are following the City’s lead and the amount of healthy, attractive and sustainable habitat is increasing throughout the community.”
Also mentioned were the 36 artist-designed butterflies which were installed in public gardens throughout the City, public showings of the film The Guardians, and national recognition by America in Bloom for the 2019 Best Pollinator Garden Project.