HE Parks receives $400,000 IDNR grant for park improvements
The Hoffman Estates Park District (HE Parks) has been awarded $400,000 from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) as part of the State's FY 2019 Open Space Lands Acquisition & Development (OSLAD) program. This project was one of 89 local outdoor recreation projects, representing approximately $28,974,500 in funding assistance approved by the IDNR for FY 2019 OSLAD grant funds.
Results from HE Parks' community-wide survey identified the need for a north Hoffman Estates water attraction, specifically a water play feature. A major renovation plan was developed for South Ridge Park, located on the north side Hoffman Estates. The awarded grant money, along with funding from our park partner AMITA Health, special recreation dollars for ADA requirements, and reserve funds of the District (requiring no tax increase), will enable HE Parks to complete the project. The total project has an anticipated cost of $1.3 million dollars.
"Our intent with this project is to improve the outdoor active lifestyles for individuals and families on the north side of town, throughout the Village of Hoffman Estates and the northwest suburbs, by providing exciting and free outdoor recreation and wellness amenities", said Craig Talsma, Executive Director.
The planned centerpiece of this park is an expansive, 4,000 square-foot entertainment splash pad with spray effects, exploratory waterspouts, and interactive squirting displays. The splash pad will use an environmentally-friendly filtration system designed to recycle the water and will eventually pay for itself, essentially providing the water supply for free after ten years.
Revamped sports fields will accommodate a new array of multi-cultural sports options including cricket, soccer, rugby, ultimate Frisbee, Lacrosse, field hockey and baseball. Pickle ball lines will be added to the existing tennis courts.
A Fitness Challenge Course will be built for adults and children that will provide athletic cross training through a series of physically demanding obstacle-course equipment stations. The structure will allow the park district to offer new fitness programming options in the form of group fitness classes, races, and cross-training workshops.
For those with mobility challenges, the plan includes an entertaining and inviting playground remodel with a fully accessible artificial turf fall surface that allows wheelchairs easy access. For toddlers and those with sensory needs, an attractive and fun nature sensory play area is planned for children ages 2-5.
An attractive open-air shelter will be built for party rentals. The park plan includes a paved, two-mile trail system that connects four of our premiere parks and offers visitors the ability to explore all four parks with just one visit. The plan includes an environmentally friendly naturalized lake shoreline that will include native plants to encourage the growth of the Monarch butterfly habitat. Further, a variety of new trees will be planted that will qualify the park to be a certified arboretum by ArbNet. Each tree will be properly labeled and the district will offer educational programs to educate the community on the importance of trees and conservation.
An upgraded fishing pier and kayak launch will be added. The pier will further enhance popular fishing lessons, while the kayak launch will be a desirable new addition that will bring new appeal to the lake with the paddle sports programming.
Further, the existing parking lot will be more than doubled and a fully ADA-accessible restroom shelter will be built. Work will begin on South Ridge Park in spring. Stay current with the project updates at heparks.org.