Rendering of changes at Lindberg Park. (Courtesy Park District of Oak Park)

Barring any unforeseen circumstances or excessively inclement weather, Lindberg Park will offer residents several appealing upgrades throughout the park district’s largest park by spring of 2015. In fact, renovated tennis courts along with a new playground and park shelter/picnic pavilion are slated to reopen even earlier (by the end of October) with the ball fields scheduled to reopen in the spring of next year.

Phase 1 of the Lindberg Park construction began this week with Fuerte Landscaping Systems Inc. as the project contractor. Fuerte has also completed park improvements at Rehm Park and Euclid Square Park. Lindberg Park is at Greenfield Street and Marion.

In terms of the Lindberg Park renovation, the following amenities will be either added or improved: a new park shelter/picnic pavilion, renovation of the tennis courts, a looped trails system for increased walking paths, new playground, renovated ball fields, a new field solely for soccer and lacrosse, and an educational native plant area.

The new park shelter/picnic pavilion will be 20-feet x 36-feet and available for rental upon completion. Other park shelters currently exist locally at Field Park and Taylor Park, with both parks offering rental opportunities for special events and private parties.

At Lindberg Park, the tennis courts will also be completely renovated to improve playing conditions for tennis players and the new playground will be expanded with more swings and the addition of a synthetic ADA-accessible surface. A new backstop, new shaded player and spectator benches and warm up areas are the planned improvements for the ball fields. The field designated for only soccer and lacrosse use will be located to the north of the new looped walking path on the east side of the park.

“The majority of the park will be renovated in this phase [Phase 1],” said Jan Arnold, the park district executive director. “Future improvements will mainly be landscaping. The Lindberg Park site plan is tentatively scheduled for review in 2018 when future park improvements will be identified and discussed.”

The development of a looped trails system at the 13.9 acre park should serve as a very popular amenity for residents.

“In community survey results, our residents have identified walking paths as their most important park amenity,” Arnold said. “With that in mind, we have strived to increase the amount of paved walkways in our parks. At Lindberg, we are completing the loop around the ball fields on the eastern side of the park to increase the number of walking paths we provide to our patrons.”

While the majority of the park will be closed during construction, the trial garden area will remain open. Interpretive signs will also be added to the trial garden area.

“The trial garden is a lovely garden area in the southwest corner of the park with pathways where residents can enjoy the beauty of nature,” Arnold said. “Safety is a priority of the park district. We will ensure that this part of the park, which will remain open during construction, will be a safe and welcoming area for our park visitors.”

Arnold also mentioned that the park district has coordinated the renovation project with its various sports affiliates to have the least amount of impact on the scheduling of games at Lindberg Park. The ball fields are scheduled to be completed by the start of 2015 spring sport season.

Facilitating the renovation of Lindberg Park, the park district was notified in June 2012 by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources that it would receive a $400,000 matching grant for the development of the park. These funds are part of the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant program which provides matching dollars for outdoor recreations space projects throughout Illinois.

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Marty Farmer

The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...

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