State grant to help fund $550,000 upgrade at park near Randhurst

The Prospect Heights Park District has received a $275,000 matching state grant which will fund a number of upgraded facilities at the half-acre East Wedgewood Park directly west of Randhurst Village in Mount Prospect.

Among the changes planned for the park at Wedgwood Lane and Oxford Place are separate playground areas with equipment for younger and older kids, fitness stations, asphalt and concrete paths, a shelter with tables and a grill, a new basketball half-court, landscape improvements, open grass space, and pollinator and sensory plantings.

"This grant allows the district to address outdated equipment and make improvements to East Wedgewood Park while also reducing the financial burden for the district and residents," park district President Tim Jones said in a statement.

The park district is working with landscape designers at JSD Professional Services Inc. on the project, which is expected to be built between spring 2023 and spring 2024.

Prospect Heights Park District Executive Director Christina Ferraro said the park will be unavailable for use during that period.

The remaining $275,000 for the project will come from the park district's capital improvement fund.

The state funding comes from an Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant, through which 87 park and recreation agencies throughout Illinois received a total of $30.3 million this year.

Ferraro said a park improvement project must include at least five of 16 potential elements to be considered for the grant. Even then, there's no way of knowing how competitive any particular year will be.

"We're grateful for the resident input and we're grateful that we were selected," she said of the successful application for East Wedgewood Park.

The Prospect Heights Park District last received an Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant in 1997 for improvements to Muir Park on Oak Avenue.

Another upgrade is planned there in conjunction with funding from a land swap with an adjacent townhouse development by Lexington Homes.

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