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Elburn Parks Commission makes progress on a number of projects

Funding obtained for Independence Park playground equipment

ELBURN – Residents who attended Jinglepalooza at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center on Dec. 1 had the first look at the village’s new ice rink, located north of the Community Center at 525 N. Main Street.

Elburn Public Works employees, Park Commission members and other volunteers installed the walls Dec. 1.

Parks Commission Chair Dan Kolzow said that in addition to pleasure skating the installation of two hockey goals will make the rink available for hockey players. Kolzow said that rather than come up with specific hours for hockey usage, the initial plan is for users to regulate themselves.

“It’s all a learning experience,” he said.

Volunteers from the Community Center, including employees from Leyden Electric Inc. will help with maintaining the rink, monitoring snow accumulation and making sure there is a path cleared from the parking lot.

Pat Leyden has donated the use of mobile lighting, so skating will likely be possible on Friday and Saturday nights, in addition to the rink’s daytime hours.

Blackberry Creek residents have a reason to look forward to spring, now that funding has been obtained for the entire cost of playground equipment at Independence Park. Funding sources for the $90,000 project include individual donors, village funding and the Blackberry Creek Homeowners Association.

According to Kolzow, the playground equipment will be somewhat similar to the equipment at Elburn Lions Park. Now that the funding is available, the next step is for the village to approve a contract for the equipment and engineering.

Installation of the equipment will take place in the spring and will be performed by members of the community, saving $25,000 from the total cost of the project, Kolzow said.

The Elburn Village Board will soon review the credentials of several planning firms to identify one that includes village planning expertise and a parks planner, Village President Jeff Walter said. The parks planner will assist in developing a villagewide parks plan, he said. The advantage of hiring a parks planner, according to Shodeen developer Dave Patzelt, is that the planner will have expertise in grant-writing, which will help with obtaining money for park projects.

The Parks Commission is looking to identify several plots for community gardens within the village. Locations so far will include within or near Blackberry Creek subdivision and another on the north side of the railroad tracks, Kolzow said. He said it made sense to wait until all of the plots have been identified so the soil can be prepared at all sites at the same time.

The Parks Commission will end its first year in existence with one additional meeting Dec. 19. The commission, which was created with the appointments of volunteers in the spring, has been meeting on the third Thursday of each month.

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