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Prairie Grove opens first park after 10-year wait

PRAIRIE GROVE – Prairie Grove has its first park.

The 10-acre park next to the Prairie Grove Village Hall officially opened to the public this weekend. It houses a baseball field, a shelter, a walking path, a restroom and two playgrounds.

Grass restoration and seeding will wrap up the project by the end of June, Village Administrator Jeannine Smith said. A ribbon cutting was set for Saturday.

“It’s fabulous,” Smith said. “It’s a beautiful park, an amenity that we hope many generations will enjoy.”

The park is still unnamed, she said. Staff is leaving that decision up to the Village Board.

The project has been in the works for the last 10 years, with fundraisers held and money saved.

Half of the cost was covered by a state reimbursement through an Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Grant.

“When you’re a small community, it takes a little bit longer,” Smith said. “We’ve been doing fundraising activities and doing other things to meet our financial obligation to the grant.”

A multipurpose court and a continuation of the walking path is on the agenda for the second phase.

There is no time frame on when that would happen, and Smith said it would depend on the economy and donation of neighboring property.

A final wrap-up of the park and its costs will be presented to the board later this summer, she said. It was expected to cost about $300,000, including the portion to be reimbursed.

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