With the roll out of Vision 2020, six key goals emerged including improved condition and maintenance of parks and amenities. To align with that goal, a fence improvement project will begin soon at Berens and Van Voorst parks. The project is based on athletic field park assessments that were completed during the Vision 2020 process.
Park Board News
Serving as a volunteer board member for a local unit of government can seem intimidating to some, but for Patricia Morissette-Moll, it became a passion. After attending more than 500 board meetings, countless events, and being part of numerous large-scale projects, Morrisette-Moll was recognized at the April 22, 2019 Park Board meeting for her 24 years of service to the board.
The Park Board emphasized the importance of safety and the ability to improve access to the Salt Creek Greenway Trail at the May 13 Park Board meeting, where they approved providing a letter of support to the City of Elmhurst in its plan to construct a pedestrian/bike bridge crossing over Route 83. The proposed bridge will extend over Route 83 from the North Graue Woods neighborhood to Cricket Creek Forest Preserve in order to link north Elmhurst to the Salt Creek Greenway Trail.
A resolution honoring Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art was unanimously passed at the Monday, May 14, 2019 Elmhurst Park District Board of Park Commissioners meeting.
The museum, currently located in Wilder Park, is moving to a new location in the fall of 2019, but the museum’s contribution to Elmhurst and the Park District will continue to be remembered for years to come.
During the March 11, 2019 Park Board Meeting, board members approved plans for the redevelopment of Salt Creek Park Playground. Details of the plan include replacing the existing playground with new blue and green equipment that allows for more climbing opportunities, providing additional shaded seating with good sight lines, replacing the wood chips with rubber safety surface and providing more shade trees.
The playground will also feature a Friendship Swing, a one size fits all multi-user swing that allows kids and adults to swing together!
In 2017, the Board acquired 0S762 Old York Road for the future development of the District’s first dog park. This was done in response to feedback gathered during the Vision 2020 process, in which the community expressed high interest in a dog park. Now, steps are being taken to ensure this potential project is ready to move forward once funding is available. At the January 28, 2019 Park Board Meeting, a tree removal project at Old York Road was approved which will help prepare the site and improve its landscape.
Residents can expect to see changes to the first day of registration for Elmhurst Park District programs beginning with the winter season. Based on feedback from residents, the decision was made to hold gymnastics registration on a separate day and time in an effort to reduce the high volume on the District’s current software system.
A survey was recently conducted to gauge the best day and time for gymnastics registration. Overwhelmingly, residents chose Saturday, December 1 at 8:00 a.m. Registration for general programs will then be held on Saturday, December 8 at 8:00 a.m.
At the Tuesday, October 10 meeting of the Elmhurst Park District Board of Park Commissioners, members of the Elmhurst Garden Club presented a check to the District for $4,000, raised during the annual Garden Walk and Faire.
Penny O’Neill, Garden Walk & Faire Committee Chair, thanked the District for their assistance and continued support.
“We can’t hold the Garden Walk without the Park District’s help,” O’Neill said, “It’s a great collaboration, and staff is such an integral part in making this event happen.”
Two seats for a six-year term on the Elmhurst Park District Board of Commissioners are up for election in the Consolidated Election on April 2, 2019. Candidates may pick up packets at the Elmhurst Park District Administrative Office at 375 W. First St., from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Candidate petitions or certificates of nomination will be accepted beginning December 10, 2018 through December 17, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Elmhurst Park District is seeking public comment on its Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan. On October 24, 2011, the Board of Park Commissioners approved an updated ADA Audit and Transition Plan that was completed by Accessibility Consultation and Training Services, Inc. of Wheaton (ACT), in consultation with staff.
On Monday, August 13, Elmhurst Park District and Elmhurst College representatives came together to celebrate the completion of the recently renovated turf fields at Berens Park. The fields have proven themselves to be mutually beneficial to both organizations and the Elmhurst community as a whole and are a great tribute to the partnership between the two entities.
“The Elmhurst Park District Board and staff look forward to continuing to work with Elmhurst College in the future as we identify additional opportunities to partner,” said Park District Executive Director Jim Rogers.
At their August 13 meeting, the Elmhurst Park District Board of Park Commissioners approved a Master Plan for a potential dog park, to be located at 0S761 Old York Road. In early June, Upland Design was hired to provide professional landscape architectural and engineering services for the design as well as cost estimates of a community dog park. Based upon feedback provided at a public meeting open house and an online survey, Upland Design developed three initial concept plans for the site that were presented at the July 23, 2018 Board meeting.
You've shared your feedback and told us what you'd want in a dog park, now it's time to see design concepts! Stop by the open house on Thursday, July 26 from 5-8 p.m. at The Abbey to view the concepts and vote for your favorite!
The playground equipment at the Conrad Fischer playground has been assembled and set and concrete footings were poured. The installation of safety surfacing will begin soon.
The Berens Park Synthetic Turf Project is completed and the fields will reopen the week of July 9, allowing summer camps and team programs to again make use of the fields. The project, begun in early June, moved swiftly and was completed ahead of schedule.
After ten years of use, replacement was necessary to continue to provide a safe and functional surface for play and to meet the high demand for field usage, by both the Park District and affiliate athletic groups.
The Board accepted and approved the Elmhurst Park District Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the year ending December 31, 2017 at its June 11, 2018 board meeting. The report was presented to the Board by the District's independent auditing firm, Lauterbach & Amen.
The financial statements report that the District continues to maintain a sound financial condition, reporting total net assets of $45.1 million. This is an increase of $1,655,520 from the prior year.
Based on feedback from residents during the Vision 2020 process, one of the amenities most desired is a dog park. And now is your chance to tell us what you'd like to see! You're invited to a planning open house on Thursday, July 12 from 5-8 p.m. at The Abbey, 407 W. St. Charles Road. It will be an open house format so drop in any time and let us know what you'd like to see in a dog park!
With school out of session, the Park District is beginning work on the redevelopment of Conrad Fischer Park playground, which will receive new structures and play surfacing this summer. On June 4, the old playground structures were removed by Kids Around the World, a non-profit agency that repurposes playgrounds and rebuilds them in developing countries. Elmhurst Park District has worked with them previously to repurpose playground equipment from several parks, including most recently at Plunkett Park.
At the March 12, 2018 Park Board meeting, Park District staff and the Board’s ad hoc IT committee provided updates regarding the District’s registration software, RecTrac from Vermont Systems, Inc. (VSI). The software ran at an unacceptably slow rate of speed during registration on February 24, 2018, causing concern amongst residents trying to sign up for programs.
One of the values the Park District emphasizes is being Community Focused – at the end of the day, it’s all about the community we serve. Improving the accessibility of our parks and facilities for all community members is an important part of maintaining that focus.