Annual Village Wide Cleanup To Focus Efforts On Maywood’s Troubled Parks

Sunday, April 8, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: A community member participating in Village Pride Village Wide last year. | Submitted 

As park-related complaints among residents in Maywood pile up, the village’s Environmental and Beautification Commission has at least a temporary solution — the annual Village Pride Village Wide cleanup event, set for April 21.

This year, commission members said, the event will focus on the parks, which have been the sources of frustration recently for some community members.

A man visiting from the Atlanta area spoke during public comments at a regular meeting of the Maywood Board of Trustees on April 3. He said he was in town visiting his father, who lives in the village.

The visitor said that he was at the meeting on behalf of his father, who lives near Bataan Park. “There’s a lot of trash in the park,” the man said. “You can’t read the sign … I ask you all to take that seriously.”

Last month, another resident complained about the condition of Tot Lot park at 4th Ave. and Huron in Maywood, which is owned by the village.

“I’ve sent pics, emailed and spoke with village officials several times over the last year regarding the condition of the park without remedy,” said the resident, whose identity has not been published. “This park, quite frankly, is a lawsuit waiting to happen.”

On April 3, in response to the visitor’s comments, Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet said that “we’ll get right on it” and that he’d be “interested in seeing what kind of condition” Bataan Park is currently in.

“It should not be a situation where you close your windows and don’t want to look, because [the parks are] not beautified,” Norfleet said, before adding that the the park should be in “tip top shape” after the annual Village Pride Village Wide event on April 21. 

According to Loretta Brown, a member of the Maywood Environmental and Beautification Commission, which hosts the annual event, the commission plans to focus this year’s Village Pride cleanup efforts on Maywood’s parks — which are currently going through a period of transition.

Last year, officials with the village and the Maywood Park District, which is a separate taxing body, started talks to transfer village-owned parks to the park district’s control.

A 2006 ballot measure favored by over 75 percent of voters called for 10 of the 11 parks in Maywood to be under the consolidated ownership of the Maywood Park District. That transition has yet to occur, but this year village officials were said to be in talks with park district officials to that happen.

“This year we’re going to focus on the parks,” Brown said, adding that the commission hopes to attract enough volunteers for the single-day event to pull off an aggressive beautification effort of the parks (although they won’t be the event’s sole focus).

Brown said that volunteers will plant flowers, paint picnic tables and park benches, and lay down chemical-free mulch, among many other activities.

“How many streets we get done and how many parks we’re able to pay attention to will depend on how many people volunteer,” Brown said, adding that volunteers will take before and after photos of the parks, along with other areas of the village they cleanup, to be compiled in a mural. 

Individuals interested in volunteering for the April 21 event can register by clicking here.

“Our agenda this year is ambitious and how much we accomplish will depend on the donations from generous sponsors and the number of volunteers that agree to participate,” Brown said in a statement.

Brown and other event organizers are requesting that participants pre-register by April 13. This year’s Village Pride-Village Wide event will take place on April 21.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., at the Maywood Park Gazebo, between 1st Ave. and 5th Ave. on Oak Street. At 9 a.m., the Proviso East High School marching band will send volunteers off to their assignments throughout the village.

For more information, email ljbrown243@yahoo.net or Mary D’Anza Mora at mdanza@luc.edu with questions.

The Maywood Environmental and Beautification Commission seeking new members 

During the April 3 board meeting, Laura Rogers, the chairperson of the Maywood Environmental and Beautification Commission, told village board members that the 7-person commission is down to just three members and has not been able to get a quorum in the last several months.

The commission, which is responsible for raising community awareness about environmental conservation and sustainability practices, is now taking applications for interested candidates.

To learn more about the commission, click here. VFP 

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