Naperville Park District will continue to use autonomous mowers at five parks in 2024

Havenshine Technologies' autonomous mower.
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The Naperville Park Board will continue using autonomous mowers at area parks this year.

The board approved autonomous mowers at Monarch, Kingshill, White Eagle, Heatherstone, and Country Lakes Parks for the 2024 mowing season at its meeting on Thursday. 

2023 autonomous mowers pilot program

Last year, the Naperville Park District entered an agreement with Havenshine Technologies to test out autonomous mowers at Monarch, Kingshill, and White Eagle parks for $29.80 per acre. 

The service included mowers programmed specifically for each location, using GPS, cameras, and sensors to detect objects and shut down the blades. One supervisor was also overseeing each site. 

The trial of the unmanned electric mowers, the district said, was both for economic benefits and efficiency.

During this time, the park district’s other lawn care contractor Aronia Landscape, Inc., from competitive bidding, was not meeting park maintenance standards, according to park district officials.

To relieve park staff from maintaining Heatherstone and Country Lakes Parks, the park district and Havenshine Technologies agreed to reduce the price to $27.80 per acre to include autonomous mowers at those parks in the fall.

Extending Havenshine Technologies’ contract for the 2024 season 

At the end of the 2023 mowing season, the park district was pleased with the performances of the autonomous mowers at all five parks.

The board agreed to extend the contract with Havenshine Technologies at $27.80 per acre for the 2024 season. For 30 weeks of mowing 45.7 acres of land, the park district anticipates an annual price of $38,113.

Other Naperville parks will be mowed by a combination of park district staff and competitive bidding contractors.

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