The recreation board has outlined a new five-year plan designed to improve the small village owned park spaces in Forest Park, which includes using more recyclable materials and general beautification of the village’s open green spaces.

“We just made a guide so that the village could see more of a solid plan,” said Jennifer Wolfe, chairperson of the board. “When they don’t see the problems, then it’s easy to put them in front of them in this way.”

At this stage, the plan showcases a number of ideas. No changes have been approved by the village yet and costs still need to be determined.

The parks have undergone some improvements already over the last few months, including fencing repairs and repainting of buildings that had been tagged with graffiti. At the Dog Park, they also started using bags made of cornstarch, which decompose more quickly.

Now the board wants to move forward with new goals, including replacing worn out materials and possibly hiring a staff member to address problems of the parks, such as monitoring passes at the Dog Park.

Overall, the board wants to see the parks become more of a destination place in the village.

“You go to other villages, and there are incredible sculptures and beautiful walkways and lights,” Wolfe said. “We don’t have that. We want to make it even more of a destination. Forest Park should be a destination and parks help to make it that way. People love to be outside.”

Circle and Randolph

Replace rotted wood timbers with plastic timbers made from recycled tires

Install a new gazebo with benches

Replace storage shed

Change wood chips to recycled mulch made from recycled tires

Name the park and install a sign

Add a new walkway with lights

Add sprinklers for summer cool off

Pursue landmark status (Location was the site of the first Village Hall)

Circle and Lehmer Dog Park

Survey license holders regarding their preferred improvements

Correct poor water drainage.

Install working water fountain.

Grade and landscape the southwest corner of the area with trees and shrubs

Plant more trees and flowers

Provide biodegradable dog waste bags

Name the park and install a sign

Install a gazebo

Circle and Lehmer Veterans Park

Install new fencing around park

Upgrade swings

Replace wood chips with recycled rubber mulch

Landscape with brighter flowers

Add artwork/sculpture

Circle and 16th Street

Name park after original land donor and install sign

Install fencing like that at Circle and Randolph

Upgrade playground equipment

Replace wood chips with recycled rubber mulch

Replace timbers with recycled timbers

Add artwork/sculpture

Add more trees/landscaping

Thomas and Adams

Install a light for the American flag

Add plastic coating to swing chains

Add more flowers/shrubs

Name park and install sign

Mayor questions dog park proposal

Mayor Anthony Calderone didn’t seem too keen on the idea of placing a dog park in the lot behind the Altenheim retirement home, an idea that had been proposed by the rec board to the village council on Monday night.

The issue came down to whether or not the park would be used mainly by nonresidents, based on trends at the village’s current dog park.

“I do question whether it’s a worthy use of resources and money to allocate land for nonresidents,” Calderone said. “We’re going to spend money … and also dedicate a sizeable chunk of property for nonresidents?”

Commissioner Marty Tellalian suggested adjusting the fees for the dog park passes in order to control the mix of residents versus nonresidents.

“I think it’s worth a try,” he said.

Ultimately, the village council asked the rec board to discuss the plan in more detail with the Altenheim before they proceed further.