The Naperville Park District‘s annual event, Pumpkin Smash, was back this year at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots. “These plots, we used this summer for folks to rent and grow their own vegetables and flowers,” said Angelique Harshman, garden plot manager at the Pumpkin Smash event. “Once we close in like mid-October it gets mowed and we invite people in the community to bring us their jack-o-lanterns or their pumpkins. And they can throw them or smash them into the ground here.”
Helping the Environment
The smashing event is just all about having fun, there’s a benefit to the environment as well. “[Pumpkins] replenishes the nutrients [in the soil] and adds water back into the soil,” said Harshman. “It’s part of a regional-wide initiative by SCARCE to keep pumpkins out of landfills. And last year we had over 14,000 pounds of pumpkins and that’s seven tons kept out of a landfill.” This year, families and community members brought in a total of 1,973 pumpkins, which is 22, 416 pounds or 11 tons composted.
Having fun while helping the community is what it’s all about, according to Harshman. “It’s just fun to take a jack-o-lantern and smash it into the ground and because it’s not solid it’s going to break into smaller parts and release of energy for little kids and frustration maybe,” said Harshman. “And just a chance to be part of the community and contribute too.”
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.