Some of the written reactions to the park district’s recently published proposed plans for Ridgeland Common contain misinformation.

There are two planning processes at work here: 1) functionally re-examining a number of neighborhood parks and 2) doing the same for Ridgeland Common-to address deferred maintenance and modernizing needs. Both processes were led by park district staff, with the assistance of groups of thoughtful volunteers, in partnership with consulting firms, who came up with rejuvenating plans, also addressing much-needed repairs. Volunteers dedicated many hours of research and discussion to come up with plans to accommodate multiple uses for the parks that would also appeal to a range of ages. This process included many forums open to the public for discussion, reaction, and input. Additionally, park district staff sought and obtained substantial grant dollars to defray the costs involved. Some work on the neighborhood parks has been completed and some is ongoing.

Budget figures recently released for Ridgeland Common imagined several scenarios, from repairing the existing facility to dreaming big. Both planning processes were in direct response to deteriorating facilities and involved careful decisions about cost-effective ways of both making necessary repairs and also responding to today’s needs and uses.

My family and I are frequent users of park district facilities. I am most grateful to the district staff and many, many volunteers who have carefully and thoughtfully sought community input and researched ways of making maximum use of the parks.
Field Park, featured in a recent article in Wednesday Journal, is a beautiful example of the culmination of untold hours of work by all concerned. 

Michelle Uhler


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