News, Union Grove

Village Board green lights group’s plans for park

By Dave Fidlin

A local grassroots organization has been given the “all clear” to move forward on a series of improvements to one of Union Grove’s parks.

The Village Board on Jan. 8 approved Leadership Union Grove’s three-part set of improvement plans at Indian Trail Park. The small, neighborhood green space is located on New Street, south of 17th Avenue, and offers such amenities as a small playground.

Some of the 11 members within Leadership Union Grove went before the village’s Recreation and Parks Committee on Jan. 3 and received preliminary approval for the proposal.

At the more recent decision-making Village Board meeting, additional details of the project surfaced.

Amber Torres, Union Grove Elementary School district superintendent, is among the members of Leadership Union Grove. She said the project could create partnership opportunities with Union Grove High School for a series of student participation activities.

As for project specifics, work on the existing play and leisure area is on the higher end of the priority list. Leadership Union Grove plans to replace the park sign and match it to existing signage at other parks within the village.

Other improvements include landscaping work, painting playground equipment and replacing the park bench.

Other modernized improvements, including features that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, also are a part of the plans.

Leadership Union Grove also is planning work on the existing wooded path at the site. That particular project includes removing overgrown brush and ridding the area of debris. Additionally, the group is planning to apply a new layer of mulch to clearly define the path.

“We’re looking at reframing the area around there and really define it,” Torres said.

This particular project also includes a conceptual area that is still being formulated. An “I Spy” game could be created on the wooded path, with such items as woodland plants, birdhouses and an artificial, secured garter snake serving as some of the possible props.

Further down the priority list, Leadership Union Grove is proposing a street workout area at the site. If plans come to fruition for this particular project, the workout area could offer up a punching bag, incline bag and similar equipment.

The ultimate cost of the work will determine how far down the list Leadership Union Grove gets in bringing the project to fruition.

“It all boils down to fundraising, and how good we are at doing it,” Leadership Union Grove member Michaela Decker said.

As for the outdoor exercise equipment, Decker said she was optimistic at least a portion of the project will come to fruition.

“We’re thinking that we will be able to do some of it,” she said.

Trustee Jan Winget said she wholeheartedly supported the plans because they would breathe new life into one of the village’s parks.

“I think it would be a great improvement for that park,” Winget said. “It’s a weird shaped piece of property because there’s a water line that runs through it.”

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