Thu August 6, 2020
DeKalb, IL- The wheels were set in motion at a special park board meeting in July 2019 when the Park Board approved a site master plan for Welsh Park and authorized a grant application for OSLAD funds from the Department of Natural Resources for the project. However, planning for Welsh Park truly began in early 2019 with several public input meetings, presentations/discussions with the Park Board, and a variety of renderings of the site plan.
In January 2020, staff received word that our community would receive a $395,800 matching grant for the renovation of Welsh Park. Throughout Illinois, $29.7 million is going to 85 local park projects with the support of Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grants, which provides matching dollars for outdoor recreation space projects. The DeKalb Park District is just one of 85 Illinois communities that will benefit from the OSLAD grant.
Almost exactly a year later from that special Park Board meeting, the Park District board awarded the bid for the project to DeKalb-based Irving Construction, and they have broken ground on this exciting project and the Welsh Park renovation has officially begun.
Park Board President, Phil Young stated, “This project will offer enhanced recreational activities for this neighborhood and the entire community, and it is a part of our District’s mission to connect the community and enhance the quality of life for all members of our diverse community. This is another great example of collaborative efforts from several units of government, our District Staff, and our Board.”
Welsh Park improvements will include a new playground, 8’ wide asphalt walking paths, a splash pad, toddler garden, a rain garden and pollinator area with interpretive signs, pickleball courts, a new full basketball court with bleachers, new park connections with accessible curbs, and a game area. The site plan will also keep the existing basketball court and shelter. In May 2020, the playground design was voted on and selected through a variety of digital, public input channels.
Portions of the park will be closed during the renovation; however, the project is slated for completion sometime this fall.
The Park Board, staff, and members of the community are excited about the positive impact the park renovation will have on the surrounding neighborhoods. To learn more about Welsh Park improvements, view the final site plan, the winning playground design, and a special video rendering of the new toddler garden, visit dekalbparkdistrict.com/welsh-park-master-plan