RF Parks landscape work to be done by private firm

? McAdams lands 3-year landscape contract; living memorial planned for former trustee Nooney.

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With the final $46,355 payment for contracted work on Keystone Park in the mail, the River Forest park board turned its attention last Thursday night to the approaching spring season and to final preparations for the April 15-16 grand opening celebrations. Two new scoreboards are on order and will be installed by April 15, and two concession stands are currently being installed.

One set of tasks park district staff won't be handling this spring, though, are the landscaping duties. The park board on Thursday approved a 3-year contract to McAdams Landscaping for lawn care of its sports outfields, as well as soil and mulching around several hundred park trees. The base fee for that work was $39,640 annually, with an additional $13,100 a year for 3-season flowerbed work, bringing the total up to $52,740. McAdams came in $17,500 under the next lowest bidder.

"We just made history here at the River Forest Park District," said a satisfied Grundin of the unprecedented outsourcing of landscape services. He added that the park district will continue to be responsible for seeding and aerating all fields, as well as striping and daily infield maintenance.

The scheduled grand opening ceremonies will include honoring former park board treasurer Kathleen Nooney, who died of cancer in 2004. A White or Northern Red oak tree will be planted in a corner of the park, with a plaque to be installed at its base memorializing Nooney.

The thought of that delights current board member, and Nooney's close friend, Holly Hirst.

"It's a living and visible memory of her commitment to River Forest," said Hirst, who added that she was pleased to think of Nooney's two young children, who live close by, playing in the park that their mother was instrumental in creating.

In other district news:

? The board announced they have arranged to have twice as many River Forest nights at Forest Park's popular Aquatic Center this summer?#34;21 in total. Those dates, starting June 2 and ending August 25, will take place on selected Thursdays and Sundays. Noting that cancelled dates were a common problem last year, Commissioner Steve Dudek said the plan is to institute an e-mail notification system for any 2005 cancellations.

"I'm excited," said Dudek of the pool dates. "I think it's a great idea."

? Grundin also informed the board that the district, as part of its support of the village's 125th Anniversary celebration effort, purchased a single-sided 125th Anniversary banner to hang from its headquarters, as well as a double-sided banner to mount on a streetlight pole on Lake Street by the entrance to Keystone Park. Both banners, which directly benefit the 125th Anniversary committee's fundraising effort, will feature the park district's name.
CONTACT: bdwyer@wjinc.com

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