Category: Parks & Recreation

Eisenhower Park Upgrades Nearly Complete

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.

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Maywood Park District Hires New Lawyer Over Objections of Some Residents

Thursday, November 16, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 11/17/17

In 2015, when the Maywood Park District’s 5-person Board of Commissioners voted to replace the district’s attorney, Dalal M. Jarad, with Steven A. Hinton, commissioners Terrance Jones and Dawn Williams-Rone were in the minority.

Continue reading “Maywood Park District Hires New Lawyer Over Objections of Some Residents”

Maywood Park District Celebrates a Revived Park

Sunday, October 22, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Aamina James, 5, leads the ribbon-cutting for the Maywood Park District’s newly renovated grounds at its Central Park Area District, on 9th Ave. and Madison St. in Maywood. 

Burden Langworthy, a security guard with the Maywood Park District, could hardly conceal his excitement as he watched young people and old people taking shots on a newly paved outdoor basketball court on the district’s Central Area grounds, on 9th Ave. and Madison St., after an Oct. 21 ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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It’s Time for Park District to Take Back Parks, Say Village, Park District Officials

Thursday, October 5, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Officials with both the village of Maywood and the Maywood Park District, two separate taxing bodies, have said that they’re ready to see six village-operated parks in Maywood turned over to the park district. And the park district executive director said that the district is currently working on a plan to do just that.

Continue reading “It’s Time for Park District to Take Back Parks, Say Village, Park District Officials”

Maywood Board Approves $285K for 809 Madison Building Rehab

Thursday, September 21, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: The Maywood Park District-owned building at 809 W. Madison St. in Maywood. 

During a Sept. 19 regular meeting, the Maywood Board of Trustees unanimously approved a request from the Maywood Park District for $285,000 in TIF funds to help pay for the rehabilitation of the district’s 809 W. Madison St. building and the area surrounding it.

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Maywood Park District Hires New Executive Director

Lonette HallWednesday, August 2, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

The Maywood Park District has hired a new executive director, according to a press release issued by Park District Board President Dawn Rone on Aug. 2.

The district hired Lonette Hall (pictured) to succeed former executive director Antonette Dorris, who announced earlier this year that she would not request an extension of her one-year contract that expired in July.

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Fred Hampton Pool Officially Opens and Proviso East Lifeguards Start Work

Fred Hampton Pool I

Newly installed lifeguards at Fred Hampton Aquatic Center prepare for a photograph with Maywood and Proviso East officials on June 12. | Michael Romain/VFP

Haptom Pool IIMonday, June 12, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

During a short ceremony held outside of the Fred Hampton Aquatic Center, 300 Oak St. in Maywood on June 12, a crowd of at least 300 people witnessed six lifeguards receive their official life guard shirt and sunglasses from the West Cook YMCA — the Oak Park-based nonprofit that operates and maintains the aquatic center.

According to YMCA officials, by late afternoon more than 550 people had cycled through the center’s turnstiles to enjoy the pool on its grand opening day. 

The scene was particularly special to community members because the lifeguards were trained inside of the swimming pool at Proviso East High School in Maywood.

The Red Cross-certified, 5-week training program that was facilitated by West Cook resulted in the revival of the high school’s pool and may have been the catalyst for what high school officials hope will be regular swimming courses at the school starting next year.

West Cook staff members maintain the pool during the summers, with the village of Maywood sharing half the operating costs with the nonprofit organization. This year was the first time that West Cook collaborated with Proviso East to help train lifeguards from within Maywood and surrounding Proviso Township communities.

Hampton Pool III

From left: Maywood Trustees Kimyada Wellington and Isiah Brandon, Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins, West Cook YMCA President & CEO Phillip Jimenez, Maywood Trustee Henderson Yarbrough, Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet and Maywood Trustee Antonio Sanchez. | Michael Romain/VFP

In the past, most lifeguards who worked at Fred Hampton were from other areas due to a dearth of well-trained local young people. The swimming classes at East, West Cook officials have said, worked to fill that void.

“This collaboration is a true example of the impact that can be made when organizations come together and add value to our community,” said Kevin Klein, the West Cook YMCA’s chief operating officer, during the June 12 opening ceremony.

Klein said that he anticipates this pool summer to be the biggest since West Cook since 2011, when West Cook started operating the pool.

“In 2014, we had 1,300 people visit the pool. Last year, the number increased to 4,000 visits. And just last summer, we had as many as 9,000 guest experiences,” Klein said. “Our goal this year is to break into five digits. We want 10,000 guest experiences here at the Fred Hampton Aquatic Center.”

“Fred fought hard for this pool to be in the community,” said Bill Hampton, the brother of the slain Black Panther after whom the pool is named. “We can make this a monument not just to swimming but how to how we got it and how we can keep it well.”

Hampton Pool IV

Bill Hampton, second from right, with Maywood Library Trustee John Rice and other members of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, which held a small vigil for slain Black Panther leader and the pool’s namesake earlier in the day. | Michael Romain/VFP

Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet said that the pool is an example of the kind of fusion that’s necessary to make a healthy community work — a sentiment that Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins reinforced.

“It can be done and it will take all of us to do it,” Perkins said, before Norfleet praised the parts that “the board, mayor, employees, parents, residents and taxpayers” played in the pool’s existence.

“As long as this park area is green, clean and safe, the people will come,” Norfleet said. “Take away one of those ingredients, the people won’t be here. This is a testimony of the will of the village council and the work of the employees so that we can have this place green, clean and safe.”

The Fred Hampton Aquatic Center, 300 Oak St. in Maywood, is open daily, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., from June 12 until September 4. For more info and/or to buy passes, click hereVFP

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