WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Significant Changes Planned for Macomb Park

Oct 2, 2020

Macomb Park District Executive Director Rachel Lenz is touting a plan to redevelop Patton Park on the city's south side.

“I like to call it a fairly drastic overhaul. Some significant changes are coming to Patton Park - a renovation to a big majority of the park as a whole. So I’m very excited to see all the activity happening right now,” Lenz said.

“The infrastructure is crumbling, there is a need for beautification efforts, and there is a lot of opportunity for us to get some unique elements here.”

An overview of the Patton Park project.
Credit Courtesy of the Macomb Park District

Lenz says the redeveloped park will feature:

  • A Pathway for Play. Lenz said Pathway for Play is an effort to teach children how to independently navigate trails. “We’ll have play pockets. Those are little pockets that have a few playable amenities. For example, the pond life pocket has a frog climber, a dragonfly see-saw, and a couple themed spinners. Every 300-500 feet we will have another play pocket.” She said the pockets will include educational components and a couple of the play pockets will be connected through a low-hanging zip line.
  • A relocated and expanded dog park. Lenz said it will be more than twice the size of the current dog park. “It will be shaped like a dog bone. That will remove all the corners so dogs can’t be backed into a corner if there are two dogs that don’t play nicely together.” There will also be agility equipment for large and small dogs.
  • A contemplative garden. “It will be a huge space. We’re partnering with the Macomb Beautiful Association, bringing in their expertise to make it the quality and scale that we know they’re capable of helping us bring to Macomb.”
  • A wetland restoration. Lenz said the park district is working on the project with Prairie Land Conservancy and the University of Illinois Extension.
  • Basketball courts.
  • 1.8 miles of multi-use trails.

Lenz said the two softball fields will remain but the pee-wee field and the practice football field will be removed. “They get very minimal usage now,” she said.

Lenz said the estimated cost of the renovation project is $1.2 million.

“There are a lot of grant dollars that are available for developments such as this. So we’re waiting on a grant that would help get this whole project started,” Lenz said.

She said other funding could come from the park district’s budget, donations, and local fundraisers.

This story was produced by Tri States Public Radio.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.