Park Board News
Monday, July 13 was a historic moment for Elmhurst Park District, as the District unveiled and dedicated Elmhurst’s first new park in more than three decades. The Park Board and District staff hosted a Virtual Park Dedication on Facebook to celebrate and reveal the park's name.
This being the year of the District's 100th anniversary, the name, Centennial Park, reflects back with pride on the last 100 years of the District while looking ahead toward the future with hope and optimism.
Plans are coming together for the redevelopment of Eldridge Park’s east playground, which Elmhurst Park District intends to replace in 2020. The Park Board approved playground concepts at the Monday, January 13 Park Board meeting.
In order to gather feedback and engage the community in the playground’s concept, the Park District performed in-person surveys at Eldridge Park during the spring and summer of 2019 and held a Party in the Park Input Meeting last August to see what changes the community was interested in seeing at the park.
At the November 25, 2019 meeting of the Elmhurst Park District Board of Park Commissioners, the Board heard results of a voter survey conducted by aQity Research & Insights regarding the District’s Vision 2020 large-scale projects.
At the October 14 Park Board meeting, the Board approved a contract with V3 Companies Ltd. to perform additional assessments at 837 S. Riverside Drive. The property located at the intersection of Route 83 and Riverside Drive, also known as the Kieft Brothers property, is 16.4 acres divisible over two adjacent lots and is the planned location of a potential indoor sports facility.
At the Monday, October 14 Park Board meeting, members of the Elmhurst Garden Club presented a check to the District for $3,000, raised during the Garden Walk and Faire, held in July.
Penny O’Neill, Garden Walk & Faire Committee Chair, thanked the District for the support they provide during this annual event.
“We want to thank the Park District,” O’Neill said, “We can't make this happen without you.”
Next year will be the Elmhurst Garden Club’s 25th walk and the organization looks forward to a continued partnership with the Park District.
Addressing park drainage and standing water issues is a project Elmhurst Park District intends to tackle in 2020. Steps toward achieving that goal were made at the most recent Park Board meeting.
Community feedback gathered in 2016 and 2017 rated District parks in “fair” condition overall on maintenance and upkeep. The District’s Vision 2020 Plan, formed based on that feedback, includes improved condition and maintenance of parks and amenities as one of its primary goals. The improvement of drainage would substantially improve park conditions for visitors.
At the September 23, 2019 meeting of the Elmhurst Park District Board of Park Commissioners, the board approved a contract to purchase a 16-acre site located at 837 Riverside Drive as the potential home of a new indoor sports facility as part of Vision 2020. The purchase price is $15 million, and the contract is contingent on a successful March 2020 referendum. Park District staff will now begin the due diligence process.
At the September 9 meeting of the Elmhurst Park District Board of Commissioners, staff presented the implementation plans and financial options for addressing Vision 2020 large-scale projects. The six projects, which can be viewed at vision2020.epd.org, were a direct result of community feedback. After reviewing the financial plans, the Park Board decided to pursue a voter survey that will determine the level of community support to fund the six projects through a referendum.
Playing pickleball in Elmhurst is about to get much easier. This summer, construction begins on six, dedicated pickleball courts in Elmhurst Park District’s Crestview Park.
This fast paced racquet game combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It’s played on a court with a paddle and plastic ball, similar to a wiffle ball. The sport, invented in 1965, is relatively new, but is rising in popularity.
“Over the past three years we have seen an increased interest in pickleball,” says the Park District’s Director of Facilities, Angela Ferrentino.
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.
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.