To look at the history of the Glen Ellyn Park District
one must also look to the rich history of the Village of Glen
Ellyn, whose early history is tied closely to present day parks
owned by the Park District, its beginnings in 1919, its commitment
to open space and the value of recreation.
Early accounts of Glen Ellyn's history mention
a pair of settlers, Ralph and Morgan Babcock, who chose a large
grove for their claim in 1833 at which time it was promptly
named Babcock Grove. Portions of that grove, located near Five
Corners, remain today, and are part of the Churchill Forest
Preserve and the Park District.
Deacon Winslow Churchill, however, is considered
the first true settler staking a claim within Babcock Grove
in 1834. Churchill's contributions to this growing area included
the first school house (he being a school teacher) and the
first log cabin. Churchill Park, appropriately named and located
north of Babcock Grove, is owned by the Glen Ellyn Park District.
In 1837, Stacy's Tavern was built by Moses Stacy,
a resident of Babcock Grove, at the intersection of Five Corners.
The Tavern, also called the "Halfway House" because it was
halfway between McHenry and Chicago, is still standing. An
adjacent park, Stacy Park, is owned by the Glen Ellyn Park
Through a small sampling of early settlers, whose
names remain alive today through the Park District's various
parks, one could say that the Park District's history started
much earlier. Among other inhabitants of Babcock Grove were
Danby, Newton and McChesney.
In 1889, a great "boom" took place in what is now
downtown Glen Ellyn. Culture and commerce prospered under the
direction of Thomas Hill. Hill's enthusiasm for the outdoors
prompted him to create a lake by damming a stream; thus Lake
Ellyn was formed through the cooperative efforts of the Prospect
Park Improvement Association whose specific purpose was "to
make an embankment by which the stream of water running to
waste be checked and the lake restored".
With the progressive views of the residents of
Glen Ellyn, the Glen Ellyn Park District was formed in 1919
but not before the question of establishing a park district
was submitted to voters three times. On November 3, 1919, the
sound of a gavel called to order the first meeting of the Park
Board of Commissioners whose members were: D.S. Adams, A.E.
Hayes, E.S. Hopping, William Kolacek and Dr. W.H. Pontius.
In 1923 the Park and Playground Extension Association
was formed to assist the Park Board in providing additional
park and recreation facilities. Through the efforts of the
association the Park District acquired property now known as
Prairie Path Park.
Memorial Park, a fifteen acre site, consisting
of four separate contiguous tracts, was purchased by the Park
District in 1926 at a cost of $40,917.75. The old frame Community
House was replaced in 1966 with a brick, 2300 square foot Park
District Administration Building, for a cost of about $90,000.
The years 1931, 1932 and 1933 were difficult for
the District. Funds were lost when the Glen Ellyn State Bank
closed its doors. Five maintenance workers were laid off and
still the District could not meet the interest payments on
bonds that were maturing. In 1937 the W.P.A. workers built
the Recreation House (Boathouse) at Lake Ellyn which was officially
opened on November 12.
On April 4, 1939, a proposition submitted to voters
for construction of a swimming pool and an increase in indebtedness
was approved. The sight for the pool was Sunset Park which
was acquired by the Park District in three separate purchases
in 1928, 1929 and 1930. The main swimming pool opened in 1941;
the wading pool in 1961 and the shallow pool in 1964. In 1985,
a concession stand was built and the entryway was renovated.
In 1939, Mr. George Ball donated three acres. This was developed
into three tennis courts and parking facilities. In June 1967
the Park District entered into an agreement for a irrevocable
license between the Park District and the Glen Ellyn Tennis
Association to operate the clay courts in Lake Ellyn Park and
three courts to be constructed at Ball Park for a term of ten
years with a financial return as stipulated.
In 1948 the Board adopted an ordinance providing for the
regulations and restrictions governing the use of the Park
system. This ordinance was amended and revised in 1968, 1985,
1996, 200 and 2002. Also in 1948, the Board was petitioned
by three hundred and fifty residents requesting that the Park
District sponsor a recreation program under the supervision of a Recreation
Director to promote and coordinate recreational activities in Glen Ellyn.
In order to carry out the plans of the Park Board
for rehabilitation of the park system, the first professionally
trained Superintendent of Parks was hired in 1962. The expenditure
of $100 was authorized as a contribution to the expense of
a survey as to the feasibility of securing the Duane Street
School for Park District and Municipal purposes. A resolution
was adopted accepting dedication of Spalding, Park, Glen Oak
and President's Park from the Village.
On March 13, 1963, a proposition submitted to the
voters to authorize the levy and collection of .05 percent
for the purpose of providing recreational programs was defeated.
Pfuetze Park, a triangular shaped lot, located
just north of 603 Phillips Avenue, was dedicated to the Park
District in 1964 by Dr. Karl H. Pfuetze. While this property
is unimproved, it provides a convenient play place for children
of nearby homes. A resolution was passed by the Board to sell
a portion of the tract known as Forest Park (now Prairie Path
Park) to Stephens Lumber Co. for $5,280. The proceeds were
placed into the newly formed Land Acquisition Fund.
In 1965 agreement was reached with School District
#87 on the use of Memorial and South Parks for a period of
20 years at $1.00 per year. This agreement was renegotiated
in 1985. The engineering firm of Deuchler Associates was commissioned
to study the problem of sewage entering Lake Ellyn via the
storm sewer and causing fish kill.
In 1966, 25 acres of land was purchased, now known
as Ackerman Park, from the School District #87 for $35,000.
Since that time additional land has been purchased from private
individuals which brings the total acreage of the park to sixty-five.
In 1967, the League of Women Voters conducted a
study which indicated that there was a need for a community-wide
recreation program and petitioned the Park Board to go on record
as accepting the responsibility for providing for a recreation
program in the Glen Ellyn Park District. The Board agreed there
was a need for a comprehensive master plan for parks and recreation
in the Glen Ellyn Park District and entered into an agreement
with the architectural firm of T.E. Samuelson and Association
to develop a master plan for a total cost of $5,000. A questionnaire
requesting the attitude and opinions of the citizens of the
Park District in the implementation of the master plan were
distributed and collected with the assistance of the Glen Ellyn
In April 1972 the Park Board created the position
of Director of Parks and Recreation.
The ten acre Lake Foxcroft Par, was acquired through
a developer donation from Hoffman Roesner Corporation in July,
The year 1975 was a year of land acquisition and
park development projects. A study by the League of Women Voters
recommended consolidation of the Village Recreation Commission
and the Park District. This recommendation was not followed.
In March of 1975 the Jefferson Ice House property (now Dr.
Frank Johnson Center) was purchased for $155,000
In 1976, the Park Board adopted a resolution to
form an Association with the Naperville Park District, West
Chicago Park District and the Wheaton Park District to provide
special recreation services for the handicapped to be funded
by the levy of a tax to be collected for said purpose known
as Western DuPage Special Recreation Association. The purchase
and development of Co-Op Park with funds from the Bureau of
Outdoor Recreation in a joint venture with the Village of Glen
Ellyn was confirmed.
In July 1978, the Park Board approved a lease agreement
with School District #41 for the rental of Glen Oak School
from August 1978 through July 1, 1979 at $3,000 per month.
Also authorized was $15,054 for equipment necessary for recreation
programs to be offered at the site.
In 1980 the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission
(NIPC) installed water monitoring equipment at Lake Ellyn for
the Federal 208 Water Quality Project.
In November of 1981 the Park District was notified by District
#41 that the Glen Oak School lease would be terminated as of
January 30, 1982. The Board of Education voted to sell the
Main Street School to the Park District. The Park Board signed
a contract with L. Wolf & Sons for the renovation of
Main Street School in the amount of $235,964. On February 6, 1983, the dedication
of the Main Street Recreation Center was held.
Also in 1983 the Park Board
entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the Village
of Glen Ellyn to construct a neighborhood park on Village
property called Walnut Park, now known as Walnut Glen Park.
The cost set for construction was $7,500 using Park District
In October of 1984 the Park District authorized
the sale of $600,000 in non-referendum bonds for the purpose
of park improvements. In November of 1984 the Park Board renewed
their commitment to long range planning by authorizing the
development and administration of a survey of the leisure interests,
attitudes and priorities of Park District residents.
In January 1986, the Park Board authorized the
formation of a citizen based long range planning committee
to study the needs and priorities of Park District residents.
The result of this study followed with the development of a
comprehensive master plan was approved by the Board in 1991.
In March 1986, the District was notified by the
Illinois Department of Conservation that it had received $98,000
as their contribution to a matching grant for the renovation
and development of Lake Foxcroft Park.
In August 1990 the Park Board awarded a contract
in the amount of $10,000 to H. Efflandt for drilling a well
at Ackerman Park, a contract totaling $30,000 to Watertronics
to construct a booster pump and a contract to J.M. Irrigation
for $41,000 to install an irrigation system.
In May 1990 the Park District was awarded $200,000
in matching grants from the Department of Conservation for
the rehabilitation of Lake Ellyn and Lake Ellyn Park. The Park
Board hired Harza Engineering Company to design the plan and
in 1991 hired Thomas Madden Company to perform the work. The
Village of Glen Ellyn contributed $400,000 to the cost of the
project which totaled over $1.5 million dollars.
In May 1990 the Park Board agreed to place three
advisory questions on the November ballot asking residents
whether $4.5 million should be spent on a new pool that would
be located in Newton Park; whether land adjacent to Newton
Park should be purchased and a pool constructed on that site;
or whether a task force should be formed to study the need
and location of a new pool. Each question was defeated by the
In September 1990 the Park Board issued $1.5 million
in non referendum bonds to pay for the dredging project as
well as the renovation of the Lake Ellyn Boathouse.
In October 1990 the Park Board approved a contract
in the amount of $400,000 with Sundene Construction Company
to remove the boiler heating system in Main Street Recreation
Center and install a heating, ventilating and air conditioning
In November 1990 the Park Board awarded a contract
to Sundene Construction Company for $224,000 to renovate the
Boathouse in Lake Ellyn Park. Williams/Pollock/Associates was
the architectural firm chosen for the project.
In December 1990 the Park Board approved the annexation
of Arboretum Estates, located at Park Boulevard and Butterfield
In March 1991 the Park Board adopted a Long Range
Plan. The Plan was the result of many hours of work by the
Park Board, staff and a resident committee. The Park Board
also agreed in March 1991 to increase the size of the Board
from five to seven members, effective March 1993.
In April of 1991 the Park Board met with residents
of Glenbard Acres Homesites and Ahlstrand's Arboretum Estates
to discuss the annexation. As a result of the residents not
supporting the annexation, the Park Board voted not to go forward.
In August 1991 the Park Board approved the formation of an
Ad Hoc Pool Committee to study whether to rehabilitate Sunset
Pool, replace the pool and construct it on the same site
as Sunset Pool or an alternate location. The Park Board agreed
that their choice for a new pool would be Sunset Park. In
February 1992 the Committee presented its report to the Board,
including the results of a community-wide survey, indicating
that they felt a new pool should be constructed on the same
site as the present pool in Sunset Park.
A lot measuring .28 acres adjacent to Dr. Frank
Johnson Center was purchased from Scripture Press for $80,000
in November 1991.
A seven member Environmental Policy Review Committee
was formed in June 1992. In September 1992 the Park Board approved
an environmental policy prepared by the Committee and staff.
In August 1992 the Park Board agreed to go to referendum
to ask residents to approve the issuing $2.9 million general
obligation bonds to construct a 900 bather pool. The Park Board
had made it clear that their preference was to build the pool
in Sunset Park, dependent on the outcome of soil tests. In
November 1992 the voters approved the referendum. Alan Mack & Sons
was awarded the bid to construct the pool.
Williams/Pollock/Associates was the architectural
firm hired by the Park District in January 1993 to design a
new pool. The dedication and opening of the new pool was held
in May 1994.
After being approached by the American Legion to
relocate the war memorial, the Park Board approved relocating
the memorial from Memorial Park to Lake Ellyn Park. The new
memorial was dedicated in May 1994.
In June 1994 the Park Board initiated steps to
formulate a Strategic Plan for the Park District. Seven residents
were chosen from applications received to serve on the planning
committee. In February 1995 the Strategic Plan was adopted
by the Park Board.
In July 1995 the Park Board entered into an agreement
with Glenbard West Boosters to renovate the fields in Memorial
Park. The Boosters contributed $45,000 toward the $125,000
project. Packey Webb Ford donated a scoreboard for the field
at a cost estimated to be $25,000.
In September 1995 the Park District was approached
by Central DuPage Health Systems to share in the cost of constructing
a health/fitness center at a cost to the District estimated
at $3 million. After many meetings with residents the issue
was put to the voters in April 1996 and was defeated.
In June 1996 the Park Board agreed to reduce the
term of office for a Park Commissioner from six to four years,
effective with the April 1997 election.
In 1997 the DuPage County Forest Preserve District
agreed to sell their facility on Spring Avenue to the Park
District for $990,000. The Park Board hired Environ Consultants
to conduct a facility use study of the new facility as well
as Main Street Recreation Center, Dr. Frank Johnson Center
and Memorial Park Center; and a survey of residents was conducted
to determine what types of programs and facilities they preferred.
In 1997 the Board encouraged staff to pursue the
acquisition of the former Maryknoll Seminary property on Route
53 and Pershing Road. The staff was in contact with the owner
of the property for over a year.
In February 1998 Park Board entered into an Intergovernmental
Agreement with School District #41 to share in the cost of
constructing gymnasiums at Ben Franklin and Churchill Schools.
The Park Board committed $725,000 toward the project. $475,000
for Churchill School and $250,000 for Ben Franklin School.
The agreement insures the use of the gymnasiums for Park District
programs during the week after school hours and on weekends.
In December 1997 the Park District was notified
by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources that they were
the recipients of a $250,000 matching grant for the Lighthart
property, north of the District's Churchill Park. The property
was purchased from Mr. & Mrs. Vern Lighthart in August
1998 for $500,000.
In May 1998 residents of the Maryknoll subdivision
approached the Park Board asking that they consider purchasing
a 25 acre parcel commonly known as the Maryknoll Seminary property.
Discussions were held with the Village of Glen Ellyn and Forest
Preserve District of DuPage County regarding partnering with
the Park District to acquire the property. Both government
agencies indicated they would agree to a partnership.
A referendum question was submitted to the residents in November
1998 to increase the Park District's Corporate tax rate 20%.
The money generated from the increased tax rate would fund
capital projects and land acquisition. The voters did not
approve the tax increase.
In April 1999 the Park District was successful
in submitting a proposition to the voters to sell bonds in
the amount of $3,500,000 for the purpose of acquiring land,
building, maintaining, improving and protection parks and facilities
of the Park District.
The Park Board awarded the bid to renovate the
Spring Avenue Recreation Center to John Edward Construction
Company for $2.1 million in November 1999. An Open House for
the renovated facility was held December 10, 2000.
In December 1999 bids were approved for the removal
of the sand volleyball court at Sunset Pool and the construction
of a six lane lap pool and filter building. To reduce construction
costs by approximately $45,000, the Board agreed to allow Parks
Department staff to do the excavation work. Bids were awarded
to Elliot Construction for concrete work and Paris Contracting
for plumbing, painting and electrical work. $625,000 was budgeted
for the project. The new six-lane lap pool was opened in June,
In January 2000 the 25-acre Maryknoll property
was purchased for $5.3 million. Through the Village of Glen
Ellyn, the Park District was granted $2,000,000 from the Illinois
First funds to assist in acquiring the property. The Village
of Glen Ellyn loaned the Park District $1,000,000 interest
free to help in the development costs. The Forest Preserve
District of DuPage County purchased nine acres of the property
for $900,000. The Glen Ellyn Park District will maintain and
operate the nine acre parcel. The 310,000 square foot building
on the property was demolished by DMD Demolition Services of
Memorial Park was sold to the Village of Glen Ellyn
for $1.8 million in March 2000. The Village of Glen Ellyn then
sold the property to Glenbard Township High School District
Planning Resources Design was hired in December
2000 to finalize the design and prepare bid specifications
for the renovation of the Main Street Recreation Center parking
In its on-going efforts to preserve open space,
the Park Board approved an Ordinance in February 2001 directing
staff to proceed with the acquisition of the Moorhouse property
on St. Charles Road, adjacent to Churchill Park. The five acre
parcel was purchased, for $490,000 in August 2001. To assist
in the cost of acquisition, in December 2001 the Park District
entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the Forest
Preserve District of DuPage County, to convey a portion of
the property to the Forest Preserve. The Park District received
$300,000 in return and agreed to accept the responsibility
for the preservation, management, development, operation, planning
and maintenance of the property.
An OSLAD (Open Space and Land Acquisition Development)
grant was submitted to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
in 2001. In March 2002 the Park District was notified that
the $350,000 matching grant had been awarded to the Park District.
The funds will be used for the nature center in Churchill Park.
The Park District entered into an agreement with
the DuPage County Department of Transportation for a permanent
easement on the south side of Stacy Park, in March 2002. The
easement was needed by the County in order to facilitate the
re-design of the five-corners intersection. The Park District
received $130,000 from the County for the easement. The money
was earmarked to renovate the park.
For the safety of park users, in April 2002 a lightning
detection system was purchased and installed at Main Street
Recreation Center, Sunset Pool, Newton Park, Ackerman Park
and Lake Ellyn Park at a cost of $26,650. These sites were
chosen for the system because of the large number of users
on any given day.
In keeping with the Board's commitment to develop
Maryknoll Park with the family in mind, in August 2002 a contract
was signed with Harris Miniature Golf Courses, Inc. of Wildwood,
New Jersey to construct a 36-hole miniature golf course in
Maryknoll Park. The course was designed to produce the same
putting challenges found on regulation size greens - only in
a miniature form. The design features mounding and varying
elevations accented by rippling streams, waterfalls and colorful
Also in August 2002, the Board approved a bid with TrueRide
Skatepark Design of Duluth, Minnesota, for the Newton Park
skatepark equipment. A grand opening celebration was held
on October 13.
Through the vision of the Park District residents,
Park Board Commissioners, Park District employees and community
groups, the Park District has prospered and grown.
The Park District's concern for open space and
natural growth has left Churchill Park, Perry Nature Preserve,
the Benjamin Gault Wildlife Bird Sanctuary, and Ellynwood Nature
Preserve virtually untouched.
Senator Daniel Cronin notified the Park District
in October 2002 that $100,000 in caucus funds had been dedicated
to the continuing development of the Churchill Park Nature
In November 2002 the Park District entered into
an agreement with Glen Ellyn Baseball to assume the responsibilities
of their youth baseball program. The agreement was contingent
upon the Park District being successful in its attempts to
lease Village Green. For more than forty years the Glen Ellyn
Baseball organization oversaw the youth baseball program.
On December 17, 2002, the Park District entered
into an intergovernmental agreement with the Village of Glen
Ellyn to lease the Village Green sports complex for 25 years.
This park will not only accommodate the youth baseball program
but also Park District athletic programs and Glenbard West
High School varsity programs.
February 2003 the Board was presented a plan prepared by Rezek, Henry, Meisenheimer and Gende, Inc. for a low flow water system and Vortex system to improve the water quality of Lake Ellyn. The low flow water system would consist of burying a 12" or 18" pipe through the bottom of the lake. Both inlets would be connected to the pipe so that when the water runoff with salt comes off the streets it would go under the lake instead of going through the lake. In the summer months the pipe would be closed. The estimated cost for both systems was $600,000 and would be paid for by using a portion of the $2,000,000 anonymous donation to the Village. The donor asked that money be used to improve Lake Ellyn.
Also in February 2003 the Board of Commissioners authorized an expenditure of $5,500 to purchase a trained Border Collie from Flyaway Farms in North Carolina. The dog will be used to chase geese out of parks.
A contract with Professional Building Services was approved in April 2003 for architectural services for the construction of a club house for the miniature golf course in Maryknoll Park.
In the spirit of intergovernmental cooperation, the Park District entered into an agreement with the Village in June 2003 to assist the Village in their plans to alleviate backyard flooding of homes in the Wingate Watershed area. The Board agreed to allow the construction of a water detention basin adjacent to the Spring Avenue Recreation Center. The project also alleviated flooding of the parking lot.
Dr. Nick DiGrino, Chairperson of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration for Western Illinois University, presented the results of the Needs Assessment Survey commissioned by the Board in December 2002. The purpose of the study was to determine a profile of respondents and members of their household; methods used by respondents to become aware of Park District programs, areas and facilities; household involvement with Park District programs, parks and facilities; reasons for noninvolvement in programs or events; levels of priority regarding future development of Maryknoll Park; attitudes and opinions regarding selected issues; evaluative ratings of Park District parks and playgrounds in general and within the respondents’ region; evaluative ratings of selected Park District facilities; evaluative ratings of program quantity and quality; and recommendations for better serving respondents and members of their household.
A random sample of 5,040 households were selected from a sample frame of 12,600. The actual return rate of usable surveys received was 21.1 percent or 1,032. Percentage of participation in programming among households with children was very high
Also in June 2003 the Illinois Legislature passed a Bill allowing Western DuPage Special Recreation Association members to exempt their special recreation levy under the tax cap. The statutory limit for Special Recreation is 44.
In July 2003, Rezek, Henry, Meisenheimer and Gende, Inc. presented a report on the study of Lake Ellyn water quality, recommending the installation of Vortex separators on the inlet pipes on the southwest and southeast side of the lake. CDS Technologies explained how the Vorterx system would work and improve water quality to enhance ice formation.
A $869,500 contract with EarthWerks, Inc. of Carol Stream, for the Maryknoll Park site renovation project
was approved in July 2003.
In August 2003 a $128,170 contract was awarded to Fritz Landscaping of Wauconda for the Maryknoll Park landscaping project.
At a meeting in September 2003, the bid for the construction of the miniature golf course clubhouse was awarded to Inter-Lakes Construction in the amount of $369,400.
On October 20, 2003, the Board passed a Resolution honoring Mr. Bill Pope who was one of the founders of the Bill George Football League and the Park District’s Glen Ellyn Golden Eagles youth football program. The Board also authorized naming a football field in Newton Park in Mr. Pope’s honor.
At that same meeting, the Board selected Holes & Knolls Miniature Golf Course@ as the name for the miniature golf course facility in Maryknoll Park.
In October 2003, EarthWerks, Inc. was awarded the bid for the Churchill Park Phase I Development project in the amount of $148,424.00. The project was 50% funded by the $175,000 Illinois Department of Natural Resources OSLAD grant awarded to the Park District in 2001.
An agreement was reached with the Village in December 2003 to grant an easement in Glen Oak Park to allow the installation of a sanitary sewer line. In return the Village agreed to pay for replacing the backstop and pay the Park District $50,000 to be used toward the cost of burying overhead power lines
In the ongoing efforts to improve Village Green Park, in January 2004 a bid was awarded to J.F. Edwards Company for field lighting, in the amount of $249,300.
In May, 2004 the Board agreed to name a field in Village Green Park in honor of Chuck Matze for his 40 years of commitment to Glen Ellyn Baseball.
Also in June 2004 a joint meeting of the Park Board and Village Trustees was held to discuss improvements to Lake Ellyn. In 2001, the Village was the recipient of a $2 million anonymous donation, which the donor asked to be used to provide funding for three different activities, including improvement of Lake Ellyn water quality. The engineering firm of Rezek, Henry, Meisenheimer and Gende, Inc. was hired to determine whether there might be ways to improve water quality and after conducting studies offered two options. The first option was to install a bypass pipe that would carry winter storm water either under or around the lake and the installation of Vortex separators to prevent debris and larger grit from entering the lake. Bid specifications were prepared and both options were bid out. Only two bids were received and both were higher than engineers’ estimates. It was agreed at the meeting to reject the bids received, rebid the project and explore the cost to remove the silt if the lake was dredged to allow for a trench to be constructed for the low flow pipe system.
An agreement with Parkview Church was approved in August 2004, granting a temporary construction easement and developing a wetland area on Park District property. In return, Parkview Church granted the Park District use of their gymnasium and parking lot.
In September 2004 the Board approved a Resolution authorizing the submittal of a $400,000 matching OSLAD grant application to Illinois Department of Natural Resources to develop Village Green Park.
In October 2004 the Parks Department provided the Board a lengthy report on the invasion of gypsy moths in Lake Ellyn Park. The report included information on what damage could be expected, what steps would be taken to minimize damage and keeping the public informed.
The bid for the Churchill Park Phase II Development project was awarded on October 26, 2008, to Land Design & Construction in the amount of $105.786. Work on the OSLAD matching grant project included the installation of a boardwalk, bridge railings with masonry pillars and limestone pathway.
In January 2005 it was reported that the Park District and Village met with representatives from Parkview Church to reach a proposed agreement for a for a stormwater detention area in Ackerman Park. In return for allowing the detention facility in the park, the Park District would get two soccer fields.
In February 2005 an intergovernmental agreement was approved with the Village of Glendale Heights to construct a playground in Greenbriar Place Park, located on Second Place, south of North Avenue and North of St. Charles. The Park District contributed $30,000 toward the cost of a $70,000 playground and pavilion.
On May 2, 2005, a joint meeting of the Park Board and Village Trustees was held at Spring Avenue Recreation Center. Representatives from Rezek, Henry, Meisenheimer and Gende, Inc. explained the low-flow bypass and Vortex separator systems being proposed to improve the water quality of Lake Ellyn. Representatives from Hey & Associates presented the results of their evaluation of any potential impact the low-flow bypass system would have to downstream receiving waters, including Perry’s Pond. Their study determined there would be little effect to Perry’s Pond if the Vortex system was part of the project as it captures materials before entering the lake. The Park Board and Village Trustees agreed to go forward with the bid process to determine the cost of the project.
In June 2005 the Board was presented the results of bids for the Lake Ellyn water quality project. The Board voted to go forward with installing a low flow bypass system and the Vortex separators with the Park District’s portion of the project allocated at $300,000. On June 21, 2005 the Board approved a Resolution authorizing the execution of an intergovernmental agreement with the Village of Glen Ellyn for the Lake Ellyn low flow bypass and storm water treatment unit project.
Also at the June 21, 2005 meeting of the Park Board many residents who were concerned with School District 41's discussions of condemning homes near the former Spaulding School site attended the meeting. The Board was asked to give District 41 the land owned by the Park District east of the former Spalding School site or land in Ackerman Park for a school. The Board assured the residents they would have no problem swapping land near Spalding School for land owned by District 41 but the land in question at Ackerman Park is a wetland area. In order for there to be enough room for a school at Ackerman Park the School District would have to condemn homes in that area as well.
In lieu of hiring a firm to conduct a community survey at a cost ranging from $7,500 to $15,500, the Board agreed to conduct a community survey in-house, in August 2005, for an estimated cost of $5,200.
In September 2005, a petition signed by approximately 250 residents was presented to the Board requesting that the Park Board and the Board of School District #41 negotiate an agreement to place the proposed 5th & 6th grade center within the confines of Ackerman Park in lieu of the School District’s proposal to condemn homes adjacent to the former Spalding School site. The Park Board agreed it was their fiduciary responsibility to preserve open space and provide recreational opportunities. In the 1970's the Park District fought hard for the Ackerman land to prevent it from becoming apartments, condos and town homes and selling it to School District #41 would have the direct opposite outcome as well as compromise current activities and any future recreational plans or growth.
The results of the community survey were presented to the Board at a Special Meeting held on October 4, 2005. 68.71% of the community felt land acquisition was important, 56.99% felt it important to renovate the Boathouse, 48.87% felt constructing washrooms and shelter at Ackerman Park important, 48.70% felt a new concession and parking at Newton Park important and 48.55% felt renovation of Main Street Recreation Center important. At that same meeting the lack of funds needed for capital projects was discussed. As a result, the Board agreed to go to referendum in March 2006 for money to fund projects and acquire open space.
In December 2005, FGM Architects presented five options for the renovation of Main Street Recreation Center.
Also in December 2005 the architectural firm of Perkins/Pryde/Kennedy/Steevensz provided a design plan for renovating the Lake Ellyn Boathouse. The Board authorized staff to engage Perkins/Pryde/Kennedy/Steevensz for design services in connection with the Lake Ellyn Boathouse renovation.
At their meeting of December 20, 2005, the Board approved a Resolution to go to referendum for $12.5 million on March 21, 2006, to raze and reconstruct Main Street Recreation Center, construct a washroom/shelter facility in Ackerman Park, renovate Lake Ellyn Boathouse and acquire open space.
At that same meeting the Village Engineer presented their proposal to redesign the Riford/St. Charles Road intersection. Work would include construction of a turn lane for eastbound and westbound traffic and a sidewalk along St. Charles Road. To have the proper amount of land to complete the work the Park District would have to agree to sell 3,734 sq. ft. of land on the north side of St. Charles Road. The Park Board agreed the project was important to improve safety.
In January 2006, it was proposed to partner with the Village of Glen Ellyn to purchase two party wagons. The wagons would be used for community block parties and neighborhood parties at no cost to residents. The estimated cost was $8,000 for each agency.
On January 24, 2006, the Board approved a contract with FGM Architects/Engineers, for design services related to razing/renovation of Main Street Recreation Center
In February 2006, the Park District was notified of being awarded a $400,000 OSLAD matching grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for the Maryknoll Park Phase III project.
On February 21, 2006, a joint meeting was held with the Board of School District #41. The purpose of the meeting was to determine if the School District had a need for classroom space in Main Street Recreation Center and if so, whether the School District would contribute financially to a renovation project should the March 21, 2006 referendum be successful. School District officials felt there was potential for utilizing space for their early childhood programs but not their overcrowding issue and until they reached a philosophical direction, as to whether it was the smart thing to do, could not make a commitment.
In March 2006, the Park District renewed a lease with Lombard School District #44 to lease the Surrey Park property for twenty years with a ten year extension period.
An intergovernmental agreement was signed with Community Consolidated School District #89 on March 21, 2006. The agreement provided permission for the Park District to utilize baseball fields at Park View Elementary School and Glen Crest Middle School as well as placing portable restrooms at both schools. In return the Park District is responsible for mowing and maintaining the ballfields during baseball season and constructing a wood slat fence enclosure for the portable restroom and garbage container area at Park View School.
In a joint effort with the Village, two party wagons and equipment were purchased in April 2006. The wagons are available to residents on weekends, free of charge.
On July 18, 2006, the bid for the construction of a platform tennis court in Maryknoll Park was awarded to Reilly Green Mountain Platform Tennis, Orange, CT in the amount of $116,800.
The need for additional gymnasium space had been discussed for many years. A successful referendum in March 2006 would have solved that problem however, the referendum was defeated. Not only would there not be additional gym space, the Main Street Recreation Center and Lake Ellyn Boathouse would not be renovated nor could additional open space be acquired. With that in mind, at their August 8, 2006 meeting, the Board agreed to go to referendum once again in November 2006 for $11.9 million, to renovate Main Street Recreation Center, construct an indoor athletic facility in Ackerman Park, and acquire open space.
In August 2006, the bid for developing Maryknoll Park was awarded to EarthWerks, Inc. In the amount of $1,243,701. The Park District was awarded a $400,000 matching OSLAD grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for the development project.
That same month the Board awarded a contract with Mechanicals, Inc. in the amount of $264,185, for improvements to Sunset Pool
Resolution 06-06, authorizing a November 2006 referendum, was passed by the Board at their meeting of August 22, 2006 meeting.
In September 2006, FGM Architects presented plans for the renovation of Main Street Recreation Center. The cost was estimated at $1.9 million. Professional Building Services presented a conceptual design for a multi-purpose athletic facility in Ackerman park.
In November 2006, the Park District was successful in passing a referendum to issue General Obligation Park Bonds totaling $11.9 million, to pay for the cost of renovating Main Street Recreation Center, constructing a multi-purpose athletic facility in Ackerman Park and acquiring open space.
In December 2006, a contract with FGM Architects for design work related to the renovation of Main Street Recreation Center was presented to the Board
In January 2007, the Park District purchased the property at 931 Lenox Road, for $450,000, with money from the November 2006 referendum.
Representatives from the Illinois Department of Transportation made a presentation to the Park Board in February 2007 regarding their plans for Route 53, specifically the intersection of Route 53 and Spring Avenue, which would require an easement on Park District property. Because IDOT did not provide engineering designs or explain how the easement would be used during construction, the Board agreed more information was needed before a decision could be made.
Also in February 2007 a contract was approved with LandTech Design & Construction, in the amount of $88,250, for professional services for the Village Green Park OSLAD grant project.
The property at 921 Lenox Road was purchased in March 2007, for $390,000, with funds from the November 2006 referendum.
In April 2007 a contract in the amount of $515,000.00 with Professional Building Service, Inc. for construction manager services related to the Ackerman Park athletic facility was approved. A contract was also approved with Corporate Construction, for $169,400 to provide construction manager services related to the Main Street Recreation Center renovation project and a contract with Ernest Ollman Architects, in the amount of $128,135, for architectural services for the Ackerman Park Sports Complex.
At meetings in May 2007, the Board awarded bids totaling $2,259,279 for the renovation of Main Street Recreation Center.
June 2007, the Park District purchased the property at 927 Lenox Road, for $295,000, with funds from the November 2006 referendum.
To deal with the potential threat of the destruction of trees by the Emerald Ash Borer, in September 2007 the Board approved a policy outlining steps that would be taken should any of the beetles be discovered in the parks. The Park District was proactive in preparing means to combat the Emerald Ash Borer before many park districts as well as the Village of Glen Ellyn.
After having worked on negotiating a regional stormwater agreement with the Village since 2002, the Board approved an intergovernmental agreement on September 18, 2007. The agreement allowed the Village to direct water overland from the north side of Geneva Road at the five-corners to flow onto Ackerman Park property. In return the Village will construct two soccer fields west of the Riford Road entrance to the park.
A bid for the construction of a concession/storage building in Village Green Park was awarded to EarthWerks, Inc. in the amount of $384,200 in December 2007.
The Board awarded the bid for structural steel, for the Ackerman Park Sports Complex, at a meeting in April 2008. The bid was awarded to T.A. Bowman in the amount of $959,000.
In May 2008, the Park District purchased the property at 917 Lenox Road, for $360,000, with funds from the November 2006 referendum.
During the months of March - June 2008, many residents attended Park Board meetings to express their opposition to the Regional Stormwater Agreement with the Village of Glen Ellyn. Specifically, they were opposed to the removal of over 300 trees for the construction of soccer fields. At a meeting held on June 3, 2008, the Board voted to pursue formal modifications to the previously approved Regional Stormwater Agreement with the Village of Glen Ellyn and to eliminate the construction of the soccer fields in order to prevent tree removal in the field location.
On July 1, 2008, the Board awarded the bid for the Village Green OSLAD Grant project to EarthWerks, Inc. for a total amount of $1,305,573.00.
Also in July 2008 members of the Gain Ground group presented their proposal to install synthetic turf fields at Memorial Park and Duchon Field. To pay for the project the group was hoping to raise money through fund raising, private donations, parents, community, and corporations as well as the Park District and Village. They suggested the Park District contribute $50,000 annually for five to ten years. Due to the limited funds available for Park District capital projects, and the limited amount of time the fields would be available for Park District programs, the Board agreed at their meeting on August 19, 2008, to not participate in funding the synthetic turf project and pay for any use of the fields on a rental basis.
In September 2008, fourteen bids were awarded for the construction of the Ackerman Park Sports Complex totaling $7,084,797.49 In October 2008 an additional nine bids were awarded totaling $1,645,032. Construction of the facility began in late October.
• Village in a Glen, Frederick S. Weiser
• Glen Ellyn’s Story, Ada Douglas Harmon