It looks like winter has come to an end. Yeah! At the time I am writing this letter Spring is starting to Spring. Aside from a few April showers, the grass is turning green, blossoms on the trees are starting to pop, and many annual flowers are in bloom. As the days continue to get longer and the temperatures continue to rise, mother nature is giving us all a chance to get outside and explore. The parks are waking up from their long winter hibernation and are coming alive with more activity. The sound of kids laughing is once again on the playgrounds, the crack of the bat on the ball fields, and an increased number of community members out walking, running, biking, and rollerblading along the 1-mile path at Cook Park are all signs that summer is coming quickly. If you have not had a chance to do so, please go outside and visit one of our local parks. There are dozens of adventures to be had right in your own backyard.
Wauconda Boat – In February, the park district began a new adventure of its own. We acquired Wauconda Boat on the shores of Bangs Lake to help preserve public access to the lake and secure a future revenue source to assist in the funding of future capital projects within our park system. Newly named, Bangs Lake Marina, will provide our residents with more access to Bangs Lake.
This facility will be home to one hundred and twenty boat slips, and pontoon boat, kayak, and paddleboard rentals. For the angler in your house, we will also provide bait and there will be snacks and refreshments available for when you need a break from your boating activities.
Comprehensive Plan – This past winter the District contracted with Hitchcock Design to guide us through the comprehensive planning process for the first time since 2012. The comprehensive plan will allow us to develop an inventory of our parks, facilities, and programs and match this inventory to nationally accredited standards in the parks and recreation field. Public input is an important part of
this process. The District will be soliciting input from our stakeholders through community input meetings and most importantly a Community Needs Assessment Survey. Once complete we will analyze all the information and develop a plan that will prioritize projects and guide us through the next three to five years. In June we will be mailing a survey to all residents. The survey will also be available online for your convenience in providing feedback regardless of where you are. Your input is valuable, so please take some time to complete the survey or participate in a focus group if you are able. Visit our district’s website, www.waucondaparks.com for updates on this process.
Park Partners – This past year, we have received an overwhelming response from our Park Partners. In cooperation with the eleven local businesses, we were able to generate $33,000 to help offset the costs of many of the District’s special events including Wauconda Fest, Wauconda Triathlons and Multisport Festival, Concerts in the Park, Egg Hunt, Sweetheart Dance, and many others throughout
the year. We value these partnerships and encourage you to visit these partners as they have gone beyond expectations to support our community and make Wauconda a great place to live, work, and play. For a complete list of our park partners and program details please refer to page 7 of our Summer Program Guide. Thank you to all the businesses that have supported this program.
There are a lot of things happening in your local parks. This guide has a wide variety of activities for you and your family to enjoy.
I am sure you will have something for everyone. Our staff welcomes comments and feedback regarding our services. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at (847) 526-3610 and one of our staff will be able to assist.
Thank you for your participation and support. We look forward to seeing you at one of our parks or facilities soon.
Tim Staton, CPRP Executive Director