A bold plan from Forest Park Village Hall to enhance walkability, public transit and connection to natural resources was moved forward Monday as the village council approved applying to Cook County for a grant to construct a 10-foot wide “Multi-Use Path” along Van Buren Street from Madison to the Blue Line.  

The proposed project will be part of an envisioned Desplaines River Trail project while furthering a connection to the existing Illinois Prairie Path. 

There is likely to be fierce competition for these limited Invest in Cook grants. Forest Park is asking for $432,000 in county funds to match with $108,000 in local monies. But there is nothing but upside in making the request. It is in keeping with Mayor Rory Hoskins’ pledge to work county and state legislative connections to bring money back to Forest Park. Most recently, Forest Park managed to break loose long-approved state funding for demolition of several decrepit buildings at the village-owned Altenheim property.

Kudos, too, to Ralph DiFebo, best known for his work on the proposed Culture Park at the Altenheim. DiFebo has also been quietly working the Van Buren Street plan as well.