The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District board took the first step in its plans to redesign Leavitt Park in Flossmoor hiring a firm to develop a master plan.
At its meeting Tuesday, June 15, park commissioners unanimously agreed to a $12,000 contract for Upland Design to prepare a park redesign and conduct public hearings on that plan.
The 3.75-acre park at 1010 Leavitt Ave. has a playground area, a gazebo, ballfield and playfield. Several sculptures were placed in the park by the Flossmoor Art Commission.
The park board first started considering a redesign of the park last year after it became apparent the park was not drawing students from Parker Junior High, two blocks to the west. It’s hoped that adding more amenities can help alleviate some of the issues that come up after school “when junior high kids are in transition from school to home or school to the library or sometimes just go to the park,” said Debbie Kopas, parks executive director.
The idea is to plan for “something really cool that we can do in that park” that can make it more appealing to all age groups, she said. Upland’s proposal calls for exploring ideas including renovating the playground, pre-teen and teen activities, fitness, fun and innovative recreational features, picnic/shade shelter, ballfield renovation, rain garden/natural areas, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access improvements.
Kopas said she also asked Upland to find a way to correct the flooding problems around the ballfield.
Upland will be conducting meetings with stakeholders, including representatives of School District 161, the Flossmoor Public Library, the Village of Flossmoor, students from Parker Junior High and their parents, and residents.
Kopas said the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has included money in its next budget for Open Space Land and Development (OSLAD) grants, and she suggests the park board submit the redesign project for funding.
Kopas also proposed the Leavitt redesign be a funding initiative for the Friends of the H-F Park District Foundation.