Further development of Lippold Park will continue this spring, following approval by the Fox Valley Park District Board of Trustees Feb. 11 of an $814,500 bid to R.C. Wegman Construction Company of Aurora.
Lippold Park, a 30-acre natural area tucked between the Fox River and Route 25, just north of Red Oak Nature Center, will be developed in phases as an outdoor educational venue.
Phase Two improvements include construction of a shelter-styled tree house structure built amid an amphitheater setting with interpretive displays and observation areas.
An accessible skywalk will run around a portion of the perimeter. A centralized fire pit and rock-ledge seating with electrical outlets are featured as well.
Trees will be interspersed throughout the new construction, with a nature-based playground area for children.
Plans also call for reconstructed wetlands and restoration of the small pond, with a boardwalk lining the pond's west edge and extending to the Fox River.
"This exciting project will create opportunities to enjoy outdoor educational experiences year-round that reflect the changes of each season," said Jeff Palmquist, director of planning, development and grants.
Last fall, as part of Phase One work, a half-mile paved trail was constructed and has been a popular venue. The looped trail enhances river front access and connects to the Fox River Trail, which also was widened from 10 feet to 12 feet.
The project is part of the 2008 Open Space Park and Recreation plan that reinvests funds into community parks. An additional $400,000 was allocated to the project from an Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Completion is expected by next fall.
The Fox Valley Park District serves a diverse population of more than 230,000 people. Recognized as an Illinois Distinguished Agency, Fox Valley holds the nation's highest honor as a two-time Gold Medal Award winner for excellence in park and recreation management.
Serving the communities of Aurora, Montgomery and North Aurora, the district maintains 164 parks and 45 miles of interconnected regional trails amid 2,500 acres of parkland. Sharing the shores of the Fox River, the communities are united by the district's commitment to promote vibrant, healthy lifestyles through fun and safe recreation opportunities that are environmentally and fiscally responsible.
For details, visit foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.