Kid heaven: A chance to operate big machines at Homewood Public Works open house

Anyone who wanted to know what it is like to operate a backhoe or see the view from a towering bucket truck or learn how Homewood's water plant works could have found the answers in one convenient spot Saturday, May 16.

Dozens of families ignored the threat of rain to attend the Homewood Public Works Department's second annual open house at the Ashland Avenue facility.

And the children took full advantage of the opportunity to try their hands at operating a backhoe, ride the bucket and look with a certain amount of awe at the huge pipes that run through the water plant. All activities were done under the close supervision and assistance of public works staff members.

"I would call it a success, we had a lot of people who received an education of what public works does," said Dave Ebert, assistant director.
Activities for kids included

  • Positioning a stump grinder by remote control (not operating the blade),
  • Pouring water from a jug into a plastic glass using a backhoe,
  • Driving a roller,
  • Taking a ride in an aerial bucket,
  • Climbing in and on various public works trucks and other machinery and 
  • Playing in a sand pile with shovels and trucks.

Public works staff also provided demonstrations of how remote control sewer cameras work and how to patch a water main leak.

There were water valves and hydrants on display so staff could explain how they work.

The open house kicked off Public Works Week in Homewood, part of the national celebration of Public Works Week sponsored by the American Public Works Association.


Contact Eric Crump at [email protected]


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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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