Lake Zurich snags $400,000 grant for Paulus Park enhancements

  • A fire in early November gutted Lake Zurich's Paulus Park Barn, forcing the cancellation of numerous programs. A state grant for park improvements is a boost for morale, Recreation Director Bonnie Caputo said Friday.

      A fire in early November gutted Lake Zurich's Paulus Park Barn, forcing the cancellation of numerous programs. A state grant for park improvements is a boost for morale, Recreation Director Bonnie Caputo said Friday. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2019

  • Another fishing pier is planned for the Paulus Park in Lake Zurich.

    Another fishing pier is planned for the Paulus Park in Lake Zurich. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 1/17/2020 10:40 PM

A kayak launch, a fishing pier and a woodland trail extension are among the enhancements planned for Paulus Park in Lake Zurich, the village's largest and most utilized facility.

The village on Friday announced that it had been awarded a $400,000 Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for the work. The village is required to match the grant so improvements will total $800,000.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Paulus Park is east of Route 12 and north of Route 22 (Main Street). At 41 acres, it is the village's signature park and its most used.

Planned enhancements include:

• Extension of walking trails to the north side of the park.

• Lake shoreline restoration to the south side of the park.

• Installation of a new fishing pier.

• Installation of a nonmotorized canoe/kayak launch.

• Replacement of the aged band shell stage.

• Addition of a new picnic shelter with storage.

• Additional site landscaping at the park.

"We feel these were very visible, very impactful projects," said Recreation Director Bonnie Caputo.

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She said the grant opportunity became known last summer. A presentation was made to the IDNR in early November, two days after the barn where parks and recreation programs were held was damaged by a fire.

The barn remains vacant as the village works with its insurer to repair the structure. Temporary trailers are being considered, Caputo said.

"We have been temporarily relocated, and much of our equipment and supplies were lost in the fire," she said. "This $400,000 grant is an important morale boost for our team and is going to result in some great enhancements for our most utilized park."

Mayor Tom Poynton described the grant as a "huge win" for the parks staff and village.

The village has 24 months to complete the projects. Next steps will include creating detailed construction plans and bidding the projects.

"The public can start seeing some kind of work early in 2021," Caputo said.

Grants totaling $29.7 million for 85 projects statewide were announced Friday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

In Lake County, the Round Lake Area, Highland Park and Waukegan park districts each received $400,000.

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