The Forest Park Garden Club is in talks with the village about taking over the responsibility for planning and maintaining some plantings at some intersections and along major streets.

The discussions are still at the early stages, with the garden club expected to consider some potential sites at an upcoming May 21 meeting. Public Works Director Sal Stella told the Review that the club and the village already agreed on the northwest, southwest and northeast corners of Circle Avenue and Harvard Street. The village is also open to the group taking over areas like the gateway sign at Harlem Avenue and the garden wall on the north side of Madison Street, at the village-owned parking lot at the northwest corner of Madison Street and Circle Avenue.

While the Park District of Forest Park has taken over responsibility for maintaining and improving four village-owned pocket parks under a symbolic $1 a year lease, the village still maintains the remaining two pocket parks – the Veterans Park, 631 Circle Ave., and the dog park, 632 Circle Ave. It is also responsible for maintaining trees and other plants on the village property. 

While the Forest Park Recreation Board’s mission shifted towards organizing community events since the park district took over most pocket parks, it still advises the village on issues affecting the property it does control.

Board member Meghan Hunt has been keeping the board up to date on the efforts. During its May 11 meeting, she said the garden club is considering putting in native plants or other plants that would do well in Forest Park’s climate. She said she took photos of some potential available spots, and that she would be presenting them at the club meeting.

Forest Park Community Clean-Up Scheduled for May 27

Forest Park’s annual spring community clean-up is set for May 27 at 9 a.m. – and the Recreation Board was so confident that the bad luck that plagued the event last year won’t return that they didn’t initially set a date.

 The annual event was initially delayed twice due to bad weather. While the board planned to meet in May to set another delay, the lack of a quorum during that meeting and the June meeting forced them to postpone the discussion until July. With all the delays, the board decided to shift the clean-up to Sept. 11, 2022, but the prediction of the rainy weather meant that the clean-up got pushed back to the fall rain date, Sept. 24, 2022.

Since last summer, Mayor Rory Hoskins gradually filled the vacancies on the board, making it easier for the board to achieve a quorum.  

This time around, board chair Amy Binns-Calvey admitted that they haven’t even considered the rain date until the Review asked about it during the May 11 meeting. After a brief discussion, the board agreed to set June 6 as a tentative date. 

For now, the board hopes that the clean-up will go off without a hitch this year. As it  has in the past, it will start at the Roos Recreation Center, 7329 Harrison St., and spread out to one of four zones. While the village will be providing gloves and other equipment, participants are encouraged to bring their own. They have the option of reconvening at Roos at around noon for snacks.

The Rec Board encourages residents who don’t take part in the clean-up to use the occasion to clean their yards.