Linberg upgrade: 1) Add blue tennis court surface and fencing; 2) Extend existing structure or build new shelter for day camps; 3) Regrade and slightly expand athletic fields to accommodate more games. Keep existing soil; 4) Create a newly expanded half-mile walking path.

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The Park District of Oak Park approved a $1.1 million plan to overhaul Lindberg Park on Thursday night, sketching out the details of upgrades that will likely begin in 2013.

With a few small alterations to the plan that was hammered out through a months-long planning process that spanned focus groups and raucous public meetings, the park board voted unanimously to approve the plan.

The planning process was highlighted by a debate over how best to deal with the parks’ fields, as residents sometimes-heatedly battled over the merits of artificial turf, sports lighting and a high-performance, high-cost natural turf field.

In the end, the park district’s consultant who led process, Wolff Landscape Architecture, decided to stick with soil similar to what’s at Lindberg now, though the plan for the park involves hiring several specialists to examine the lumpy athletic fields to figure out just what the best way is to care for them and maintain them.

Other new features of the park will include revamped tennis courts, a half-mile walking loop and possibly a new shelter for day camps.

The park board only made one major addition to the plan, adding fencing around the new tennis courts to keep balls from going into the street.

The park district will likely begin working on pieces of the plan in 2013, when the parks’ capital plan currently has $450,000 set aside for Lindberg projects. The park district will likely apply for a grant from the state to help pay for the upgrades, or put off some parts of the master plan until further down the line.

Lindberg Park Master Plan Recommendation

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Ben Meyerson

Ben was Wednesday Journal's crime, parks, and River Forest reporter, until he kept bugging us enough to promote him. Now he's managing two of Wednesday Journal's sister papers in the city, Chicago Journal...