Cary opens 196-acre park on former gravel pit
Cary residents now have access to a new 196-acre park, which quietly opened to the public Friday.
The village's Cary Lake at Rotary Park is north of Klasen Road, east of Route 31 and south of the Cary Park District's Hoffman Park. A parking lot for visitors is accessible from Klasen Road. It was named in honor of the long-standing community service by the Rotary Club of Cary-Grove, which will partner with the village to make additional enhancements to the property.
The park includes a 70-acre lake with a 2.5-mile walking path around it, trails, fishing stations, a kayak launch and restroom facilities. It eventually will have other recreational amenities, such as a picnic pavilion or shelter.
"In the future, we're looking at adding some trees for shade around the path," Community Development Director Brian Simmons said. "Right now, it's just more of an open-space park to have people go there and walk around the property."
Formerly, Meyer Material Company used the site for mining and mineral extraction operations. In 2008, the village granted Meyer approval to complete mining activities on the property. As part of that agreement and a 2016 amendment, Meyer was required to restore the property to village standards for future park use and pay more than $7.5 million to the village.
The village recently took ownership of the property and has used the money to fund improvements, including:
• The purchase of current and future village vehicles and equipment.
• Construction of a new multiuse path along Cary-Algonquin Road (between Fox Trails Drive South and West Main Street).
• Construction of a new sidewalk along Fox Trails Drive South (between Cary-Algonquin Road and Knollwood Drive) connecting to the multiuse path along Cary-Algonquin Road.
• $350,000 was paid to the Cary Park District toward its future network of multiuse path improvements that will connect Hoffman Park to the new lake property.
• $1.5 million to the village for future park maintenance and improvements.
• $1 million paid to 130 Fox Trails subdivision property owners nearest the mining operations for home improvements.
"This park is a wonderful new addition to the variety of outdoor recreational amenities already available in the village of Cary," Mayor Mark Kownick said. "We invite everyone to enjoy the beautiful views of the lake and native prairie plantings from our extensive trail system and picnic area."
The park is open from dawn to dusk. A formal ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony is planned at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
For more information including park use rules and regulations, visit CaryIllinois.com.