ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Park District has dropped plans to build four pickleball courts and an 18-hole disc golf course at Timber Trails Park following overwhelming opposition to the project.
"The Park District appreciates receiving input from the community," Director of Parks and Recreation Holly Cabel said in a letter to residents.
Residents packed Hickory Knolls Discovery Center on Oct. 28 to voice their concerns about the project, part of a proposed redevelopment plan for Timber Trails Park. The park district had applied for a $400,000 grant through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to improve the 36-acre park, located at the north end of North 17th Street.
Based on their concerns, the Park District has withdrawn its grant application and is in process of revising a plan for Timbers Trails, Cabel said.
"Additionally, the Park District will begin to evaluate Park District sites that can host the amenities that have been withdrawn from the Timber Trails park plan, including disc golf and pickleball courts," she said.
Among those speaking out against the proposed improvements was Gina Facchini Buresch, administrator for the Facebook group SAVE Timber Trails Meadow. Buresch and other residents are concerned about the impact the proposed improvements would have on the park, including the park's meadow.
"The plan drastically alters the character of the park from a quiet refuge where wildlife and wildflowers flourish to an amusement park that includes an 18-hole disc (Frisbee) golf course, pickleball courts, additional and enlarged parking lots, another playground and re-do of the existing one, bathrooms and a bags game area," Buresch said in a Facebook post.
In a Park District survey, a number of residents said they would like to see the district work on maintaining, restoring, enhancing and/or saving the prairie in the park. Other residents said they would like to see improved bicycle and walking trails and for the Park District to clean up the waterways at Timber Trails Park.