In line with the Park District’s Comprehensive Community Action Park Plan adopted in March 2014, the Commissioners and staff of the district are excited to implement a plan for the re-development of White Oaks Park. Starting in the summer of 2016, the park district solicited community feedback for the park’s improvement after contracting professional services from a land planning and architecture firm (Altamanu). Opportunities for providing input included focus groups and multiple community meetings. Resident feedback, combined with a wetland delineation study, a tree inventory, a condition assessment of the cabin and an environmental study of the structure, drove the formation of the plan that included both passive and active recreation amenities.
The White Oaks Park Concept Plan was adopted by the Wood Dale Park District Board of Commissioners in February of 2017, and was then presented for approval to the City of Wood Dale Community Development Commission at a public hearing. Community feedback lead to modifications of the plan, specifically the elimination of two features: an aerial challenge course and a Montrose Street park connection trail. With these changes, community support was achieved and the plan was approved by the City Council on June 7, 2018. The project will be completed in three phases. Click here to view the site plan.
The first phase includes: the removal of the cabin, class room, and an adjacent shed, followed by the retro-fitting of the parking area and the construction of a new 2,450 sq. foot activity and nature building. Click here to view the rendering and floor plan. Also included is the creation of a meadow and the addition of a walking path, along with new landscaping.
The second phase includes: the replacement of the picnic shelter, adding a new children’s discovery area/playground, an new improved scouting area and adding environmental art as well as the creation of a boardwalk trail to enhance the visitors’ experience through the wetlands.
The final phase includes a new dog-friendly area, re-constructing the parking lot, improvements to the existing trails, and the addition of a spartan trail.
Completion of each phase is dependent upon funding. The park district has secured the necessary capital to complete phase #1, and possibly phase #2, in the next few years. Alternative funding sources are being pursued, including a state grant funded through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. Private funding and sponsorship opportunities will also be available.
The passive and active features of the site will appeal to multiple age groups, while enhancing leisure opportunities in the community and improving property values and the natural environment of the neighborhood. Community input is the cornerstone of this project and will be accepted by the Wood Dale Park District Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: Phase 1 of the approved White Oaks Park Project will start next Monday, September 24 (weather dependent) beginning with the demolition of the Cabin Nature Center. The facility has been emptied, and many internal and external items will be preserved for display in the museum area of the new building that will take its place. The Cabin Nature Center has served the Wood Dale community for many years and will continue to be a part of the new and improved White Oaks Park.