Friday, November 17, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Eisenhower Park before renovations that are expected to be completed by the end of the year. | Google Earth
A roughly $700,000 renovation project at Memorial Park District’s Eisenhower Park, 700 Speechley Blvd. in Hillside, is nearly finished. Memorial Park District serves the villages of Bellwood, Hillside, Melrose Park, Northlake and Stone Park.
The upgrades were made possible by an Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant allocated by the state. The $341,700 grant, which the park district matched dollar for dollar.
Mari Herrell, the executive director of the Memorial Park District, said during an interview earlier this month that the Eisenhower Park upgrades include the addition of a large picnic shelter, a walking path that will run along the circumference of the complex, new bleachers, more green space for tee ball and youth soccer, game tables and outdoor exercise stations, among other features.
Herrell said that the park has been open during renovations, which will be complete by the end of this year.
“We tried to work around our residents so people could still have picnics and other activities there during construction, which has been going on for over a year,” she said.
Herrell added that no new fees have been introduced in order to pay for the upgrades. She said that the district is planning a ribbon cutting and re-dedication ceremony on the occasion of the district’s 90th anniversary on March 28, 2018.
She said that the district has already kicked off a fundraising effort to raise money in order to install state-of-the-art outdoor lighting and outdoor athletic courts for sand volleyball, tennis and basketball.
Specific fundraising activities that the district will host next year include its Hike for Ike walk and its brick-buying program, which will allow community members to have an engraved brick in their names as part of Eisenhower’s walking path.
Herrell said that in addition to the Eisenhower improvements, recent improvements at the park district’s Stevenson facility, 3105 Washington Blvd. in Bellwood, include a new gazebo and sensory garden that were installed earlier this year.
The district is anticipating the installation of a memorial for veterans, current military members and first responders near the gazebo immediately west of the fitness center at Stevenson Park. VFP
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