|January 04, 2008|
2007 proved to be a busy and exciting year for the residents, commissioners and employees of the Frankfort Square Park District. We were honored in September with the prestigious National Gold Medal Award for Excellence at the National Park and Recreation Association Congress in Indianapolis, Ind.
In May, the FSPD awarded five $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors seeking a four-year college education, thanks to the success of its inaugural College Scholarship Golf Tournament, held at Square Links Golf Course. The second annual tournament was held in July, which will enable the awarding of seven $1,000 scholarships in 2008.
Frankfort Square Park District contracted with Lohmann Golf Designs to incorporate ideas of residents and staff for enhancement of Square Links Golf Course and Driving Range. A comprehensive document was created, establishing a blueprint for future development. This plan is already underway with the new configuration of the first two holes and extensive landscaping.
The fall marked the end of another ambitious construction season. Brookside Glen East Park, the largest construction project, was made possible through the collaborative efforts of park district staff, and residents who surround the site. Amenities include a walking/bike path, exercise stations, playground, shelter and bocce courts. Highlighting this park are the extensive landscaping, featuring native Illinois trees, fountains and a rock outcropping. Improvements at this location exceed $460,000, with $400,000 provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources OSLAD grant program.
The second major improvement was the renovation of our first park building, located adjacent to the old Summit Hill Junior High. This building served as the administrative headquarters in the park district's early years, housing community meetings, the Early Learning Center and park offices. This facility is still extensively used for community group meetings, and also houses the Summit Hill concession stand.
The park district also added a ThorGuard Lightning Prediction System and additional automated electronic defibrillators through the efforts of Illinois Sen. Maggie Crotty. Not to be outdone, Illinois Rep. Kevin McCarthy secured state funding for additional playgrounds at Plank Trail, White Oak Estates, and additional adaptive playground equipment at Union Creek Park.
We extend a special thank you to outgoing Park Commissioner Phill Cherry. Cherry served on the park board for the past six years during the largest expansion of facilities and services in FSPD history. Phill and his wife Sue have been active community leaders, and their dedication will be missed.
The Board of Commissioners appointed Brian Mulheran to the vacant park board seat in December. Mulheran brings with him a wealth of experience and community involvement, having served on Frankfort Square Wildcats Football and Frankfort Square Baseball League boards.
We had the privilege of welcoming Clayton Wooldridge to the new position of Park Ecologist, and Kelly VanHyning as Recreation Supervisor. Clayton Wooldridge brings a wealth of environmental knowledge that has and will further enhance park district properties, specifically the native landscapes within the district. Kelly VanHyning is a seasoned veteran previously employed at the Bensenville Park District. We are excited to see the new opportunities these two individuals will add to our exceptionally strong staff.
In November, the Frankfort Square Park District honored Jim Randall for his 25 years of dedicated service as its executive director. During Mr. Randall's tenure, Frankfort Square has grown from a community of 3,200 residents covering 84 acres of park district property to more than 16,000 residents now encompassing more than 500 acres of park property. Jim Randall has been instrumental in securing funding to develop $12+ million in park improvements. Past and present commissioners, family, staff, friends of the park district and community leaders gathered to honor Mr. Randall for his outstanding leadership, tireless efforts and dedication to the Frankfort Square Park District community.