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updated: 1/31/2013 4:04 PM

Palatine Park District renaming athletic fields after former leader

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  • Ron Gbur

      Ron Gbur

  • The baseball and soccer fields at Hamilton Reservoir in Palatine will be renamed in honor of Ron Gbur, the former executive director of the Palatine Park District. Among other things, Gbur is credited with the development of the sports fields.

       The baseball and soccer fields at Hamilton Reservoir in Palatine will be renamed in honor of Ron Gbur, the former executive director of the Palatine Park District. Among other things, Gbur is credited with the development of the sports fields.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • The baseball and soccer fields at Hamilton Reservoir in Palatine will be renamed in honor of Ron Gbur, the former executive director of the Palatine Park District. Among other things, Gbur is credited with the development of the sports fields.

       The baseball and soccer fields at Hamilton Reservoir in Palatine will be renamed in honor of Ron Gbur, the former executive director of the Palatine Park District. Among other things, Gbur is credited with the development of the sports fields.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • The baseball and soccer fields at Hamilton Reservoir in Palatine will be renamed in honor of Ron Gbur, the former executive director of the Palatine Park District. Among other things, Gbur is credited with the development of the sports fields.

       The baseball and soccer fields at Hamilton Reservoir in Palatine will be renamed in honor of Ron Gbur, the former executive director of the Palatine Park District. Among other things, Gbur is credited with the development of the sports fields.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 

Palatine Park District officials generally try to avoid naming facilities after people, preferring instead to highlight native plants and animals.

But some people, they agree, warrant an exception.

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The park district board this month voted to rename the baseball and soccer fields at Hamilton Reservoir after Ron Gbur, who served as executive director from 2002 until his retirement last year.

"One key thing during Ron's tenure was the development and lighting of the sports fields there," said Executive Director Mike Clark, Gbur's successor. "He was instrumental in working with neighbors on it and making sure their voices were heard."

An announcement renaming the complex the Ron Gbur Sports Fields at Hamilton Reservoir will be made at the park district's annual volunteer banquet Saturday. A ceremony unveiling new signage will take place later this spring.

Since joining the Palatine Park District in 1981 as the sports/aquatic coordinator, Gbur held the position of facility/aquatic coordinator, golf course manager, superintendent of revenue facilities, superintendent of recreation and deputy director.

During his 10-year run as executive director, Gbur led the park district's effort to build Falcon Park Recreation Center, a 49,000-square-foot facility that won the 2010 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award at the Illinois Association of Park District's annual conference.

Under his tenure, the park district also renovated the Community Center Fitness Center, remodeled Birchwood Pool and installed both the Community Park skate park and the disc golf course at Margreth Riemer Reservoir.

Clark said the board at a future date will consider crafting a more formal policy on what criteria is needed to recognize people whose efforts have impacted the park district.

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