Homer Glen is a relatively new village, and it has just recently been able to focus in on the park system to begin developing areas that have been set aside for the enjoyment of residents in the neighborhood. To address this issue a Parks & Recreation Committee was formed in 2005, consisting of Village Trustees Marcia De Vivo and Russell Knaack and seven other members. This group holds regular monthly meetings to work toward implementing the Park & Recreation Master Plan that was passed by the Village Board in 2007.
The committee’s efforts thus far have focused primarily on the development of three main sites: Kingston Hills Park, Erin Hills Park and Stonebridge Park. Funding for the parks is provided by a combination of developer’s fees and some grant money. Trustee Marcia De Vivo points out that the park land is acquired as part of a park ordinance and is donated through the development approval process. She says, “We will continue to move forward with parks as Village-developer-donated revenue provides.”
Kingston Hills Park is the first neighborhood park in the Village, and it is located on Carlton Lane in the Kingston Hills subdivision. Trustee De Vivo says that the popular 1.15-acre site features a playground, shelter, drinking fountain and landscaping. “You can see this park from Bell Road. I travel the route often and it is amazing the activity it attracts,” she says.
Stonebridge Park sits on over five acres of land and has only recently been completed. Trustee De Vivo points out that the Village received an OSLAD grant to help develop this land, in addition to developer donations. The park is located west of Parker Road on the south side of 159th Street and it features a picnic shelter, walking path, sand volleyball court, tennis court, basketball court and state-of-the-art playground area.
The Erin Hills Park is the next project that the committee will take on and the Village is preparing a grant application to obtain funds from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The Village should find out if the project will be able to move forward in 2009. The funding, if obtained, would allow for the expansion and development of the site which is located on S. Dublin Drive, west of Parker Road.
As for other projects, Trustee De Vivo says, “In the future we would like to provide additional ball fields, however, that again requires land and we are investigating creative ways to fulfill the needs of the community.” Other sites that have been identified for possible development down the line include Glenview Walk and Meadowview West, but at this time the ideas are only just being formulated for their use. So far, things are rolling along quite nicely, and Trustee De Vivo says, “Being a new Village we have a lot of catching up to do and since we now have a plan and a direction it will make the road a little less bumpy.” For more information on the Parks & Recreation Master Plan, visit www.homerglen.org.