‘Keep It Green’ referendum led to new parks, Coyote Run course

  Greg Meyer, executive director of the H-F Park
  District in June 2005, prepares to cut the ribbon
  for the grand opening of Coyote Run Golf Course,
  property purchased through the Keep It Green
  referendum. 
(Provided photo)
 

“Keep It Green” was the slogan for a 1998 referendum that gave the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District enough money to develop an old lumberyard, a former military base and a dormant golf course into three spectacular facilities.

For Missy Barrett of Flossmoor, they are just three of the outstanding sites in the H-F Park District that give visitors a sense of how great the H-F area is and show off all the community has to offer.

Barrett co-chaired the Keep It Green campaign with Bill Frank of Homewood. For about four months, they worked with volunteers who asked their neighbors and friends to support the effort to approve the $12 million referendum to give the park district the money it would need to acquire and develop the sites that today are Patriots Park, Millennium Park and Coyote Run Golf Course.

Barrett believes two-thirds of the voters agreed with the proposal because it was a community-driven referendum. The park commissioners and staff had done their research on the proposals, but it was the residents who were convinced the area would get three tremendous assets. 

“I think in the end everybody knew it was going to be a good thing for both the Homewood and Flossmoor residents,” Barrett said.

“We held rallies and public events. We had meetings at the Irwin Center with lots of people,” co-chair Bill Frank of Homewood remembers. “It was run like a campaign.”

It took some convincing for Frank to buy into the golf course purchase, but in the end Greg Meyer, former executive director of the park district, let it be known it was an important purchase. Today, Frank has no regrets.

Mike Nussbaum, who was president of the park board at the time, said the support “is what I love about this community. The best part of my 12 years (on the board) is seeing all the accomplishments: driving around now and seeing our parks and how they’re used and transformed. To think I had something to do with that is pretty cool.”

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A great community deserves a great newspaper. The HF Chronicle was created in June 2014 as an online publication. In December 2015 we began monthly print publication, too. Our mission is to chronicle the life of our community — news by, for, and about the people of Homewood and Flossmoor, Illinois.

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