Bensenville subdivision gone, but its park remains -- for now

Posted8/2/2021 5:30 AM

What happens to a neighborhood park when the neighborhood disappears?

The Wood Dale Park District is figuring out what to do with Terrace Park, at Devon and Spruce avenues, now that the adjacent Mohawk Terrace neighborhood is vacant.


The district was willing to sell the 1.75-acre site to the developers who are going to build industrial buildings on the site of the 106 homes, which are being demolished.

But that is complicated, according to park district Executive Director Matthew Ellmann.

The park land was bought in 1970 with a grant from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, Ellmann said. The terms of the grant require that the park stay there in perpetuity, with all its amenities. The park has a playground, a basketball court and a parking lot.

The district could get permission to replace the park with one elsewhere. But it would be required to find a site not owned by any government; buy it; make a plan; and have that plan approved by several state and federal agencies, including the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service, Ellmann said.

The park district was told it could take as long as 10 years to get that approval, Ellmann said.

"It was a neighborhood park. When you take the neighborhood away, it becomes moot," Ellmann said. He doesn't believe people are going to drive their kids from elsewhere in town to use that playground.

The district and developer are talking about what amenities could be added for workers to use the park, he said.

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