By midsummer, Cary residents will be able to enjoy a spruced up Hoffman Park, including picnic shelters, community gardens and a fishing pier off the pond.
The eco-friendly development project began last year and is expected to be completed around July, said park district executive director Dan Jones. The improvements are mostly in the north and central areas of the 272-acre park, he said.
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Plots to grow vegetables and flowers will be available to residents, and there will be an open meadow and a native prairie restoration area. A new walking and biking trail will connect the Cambria subdivision to the existing park trail, Jones said.
The project incorporates eco-friendly technology such as wind and solar energy to aerate the pond, water the community gardens and provide power for lighting and public restrooms, according to the park district's website.
Hoffman Park will also have Cary's first off-leash dog park, Jones said. The dog park will be completed in July, but will be open to the public later this fall because the grass needs to grow in.
The Hoffman Park project cost $1.2 million, with the park district paying for $975,000 and the rest coming from a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, said Katie Hughes, park district director of communications and marketing. The vast majority of the project is part of the park district's 2011-12 budget, she said.
A map of the project can be found at carypark.com/PDFs/hpoverallsiteplan101510.pdf.
Also, the park district will welcome the addition of 1.8 miles of walking and biking trails in the north end of the village with a celebration 10 to 11 a.m. May 14. The event will include games and activities for families, and will take place on the trail north of Cary-Grove Park, also accessible from Cary Junior High School and Mink Trail.
The new trail link has been open since November, but the park district is still working on "finishing touches" including some landscaping, Jones said. It was funded by about $700,000 in state and federal grant monies, and $270,000 from the park district, he said.
Resident Barry Hager says he uses the new trail link all the time to go back and forth between his house and the Cary Area Public Library. "It's a vast improvement over the dirt road they used to have," he said.