CRYSTAL LAKE – Woodscreek Park could soon become a $1 million recreation area thanks in part to a state grant.
The Crystal Lake Park District received a $400,000 piece of the state's recent $15.3 million investment in local park projects designed to increase access and opportunities for more children to spend time outdoors.
Ann Viger, park planner for Crystal Lake Park District, said the matching grant would go toward a $1 million project that will double the parking, replace the playground equipment and add a splash park to Woodscreek Park on Willow Tree Drive.
"Generally, we look at parks nearing 20 years old as a good time to renovate," Viger said. "We first started planning for this project in 2011 and applied for the grant in July 2012. Things can move kind of slow at the state, but we're glad we got it."
Grounbreaking is scheduled for May 2014, but Viger said there would be neighborhood meetings before then – possibly starting this August – to discuss details of the project.
Preliminary plans call for constructing a second tennis court and fishing pier, moving the sand volleyball pit and adding baggo courts, benches, paths and landscaping. While those improvements were highlighted during previous neighborhood meetings, Viger said details could change.
"People could change their minds so we'll be meeting with them again," she said. "There are a few different ways we could go."
The district also plans to renovate the shoreline of the pond by removing invasive species and planting native wetland grasses.
Viger said the roughly $600,000 not covered by the grant has been set aside in the district's capital fund. She said the next major project would likely be Main Beach renovations in 2015 or 2016.
Neighboring residents to Woodscreek Park can stay informed through the park district website at www.crystallakeparks.org and will receive mailouts about future meeting dates regarding the project, Viger said.