Why a Carpentersville park could be getting new recreational amenities
A bike trail, a picnic shelter, disc golf and a new playground are among the amenities that could be added to a Carpentersville park if the Dundee Township Park District secures grant funding.
Located on the east side of town at 770 Navajo Drive, Hickory Hills Park currently is home to an abundance of trees, open space and an aging, scarcely used baseball field, park district Executive Director Dave Peterson said.
Kane County's ongoing project to extend Longmeadow Parkway will increase access to the 13-acre property, prompting park district officials to start considering how to take advantage of its new connectivity to the four-lane road and adjacent bike path.
Adding more recreational opportunities also could benefit the densely populated residential area to the south, Peterson said.
"There are hundreds of homes (with residents) who could walk right into this park, which we feel is a really good fit," he said. "We thought it'd be good to provide them with a park that actually has amenities and not just open space."
A concept plan calls for creating a walking trail, a bike path with challenging obstacles, a picnic shelter, a half-court for basketball, a 10-space parking lot and a nine-hole disc golf field. A bike repair station would be located at the park's entrance, and the existing baseball field would be replaced with space for free-play soccer.
The project also would create a playground for 2- to 12-year-olds with accessible flooring and pieces for kids with disabilities, Peterson said. The park district plans to allocate some special recreation funds toward those features, along with a fully accessible walking trail.
The improvements are expected to cost about $727,000, Peterson said. This month, the park district plans to apply for a matching grant covering up to half those expenses through the state-financed Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development program.
If the funding comes through, the park district likely would begin construction in the summer or fall next year, he said. Officials sought feedback on the proposed improvements during a public meeting this week.
Park district officials also have started brainstorming plans for a second phase of the project, which would use adjacent park land expected to be conveyed by the county at a later date, Peterson said. Those upgrades could include another nine holes of disc golf and a dog park.
The project also aligns with a master plan completed in 2010, which called for redeveloping more parks on the east side of the park district's boundaries, Peterson said. "It falls into one of the pocket areas that was suggested we move forward with," he said.