The Village of Minooka is looking to explore what an expansion of Veterans Park may look like should it occur.
Yesterday village officials staged an open house inviting the community to provide input about how they envision the future of the park, located at 102 E. Mondamin St.
Veterans Park currently features memorials, flags, pathways and is occupying roughly one acre of land. The village is eying an expansion of the park using the nearby site of an excavating company, which will be anticipated to have vacated the property by May.
Michelle Kelly, principal landscape architect for Upland Design, said the village is interested in hearing from the community about the project and how they envision it turning out.
“We just want to hear from people what they want,” Kelly said. “What do they want in their park? We haven’t created any plans yet, because we want to hear from the public first.”
Upland Design is the firm hired by the village to assist with the planning of the park’s expansion.
Some ideas for amenities touched on everything, from shelter areas and fencing to crosswalks and ADA accessibility.
Kelly says village officials need to know what draws residents to neighboring communities if there are specific amenities that may lure them from Minooka.
Ideas were floated during the open house about the park offering amenities for pickle ball, bocce ball, challenge courses and birdwatching.
The village board has emphasized that it would like to have a bit of a recreational focus in the expanded park area.
Kelly expressed optimism for the project and the village’s chances of landing grant funding to help pay for it.
“The state has put $56 million in for this grant bucket year, so we have a really great shot,” she said. “It’s a 50-50 grant, so each community has to bring 50%, and the grant will provide 50% up to $400,000.”
The village plans to hold additional meetings at a later date presenting concepts for the park’s expansion.