Sunday, April 8, 2018 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Community leaders during the April 7 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly renovated Eisenhower park. | Courtesy state Rep. Welch/Facebook
On Saturday, April 7, local elected officials and other community members gathered at the Eisenhower Community Center, 700 Speechley Blvd. in Hillside, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the park’s newly renovated grounds.
The park now features various upgrades, including 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.
During an interview last November, Meri Herrell, the executive director of the Memorial Park District — which serves the villages of Bellwood, Hillside, Melrose Park, Northlake and Stone Park — said that the renovation project cost roughly $700,000.
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.
The April 7 ribbon-cutting was followed by the “Hike for Ike,” a fundraising walk “along the newly renovated sport campus memory ‘ribbon’ trail [that] will support the creation of outdoor sports courts (i.e., tennis, basketball and volleyball), as well as state-of-the-art field lighting for those courts, inclusive play for therapeutic recreation and the existing football, soccer and baseball fields,” according to the park district’s website.
The renovated grounds of the Eisenhower Center complex in Hillside. |Courtesy Rep. Welch
Individuals who donated, or raised pledges, ranging between $50 and upwards of $100 received memory bricks to be placed at the Eisenhower campus.
Elected officials present at the April 7 ceremony included Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey, Hillside Mayor Joe Tamburino and state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th).
“Special kudos to Executive Director Meri Herrell who has lead the park’s renaissance,” Welch wrote on Facebook after the ceremony. VFP
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