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H-F Park board ready to update its master plan

The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District commissioners agreed the master plan needs an update.

The master plan on file was prepared for the five-year period 2012-2017. It had a few updates since then, but discussion at the board’s April 2 committee meeting focused on the need for a total revamp.

“I think it’s super important. It’s what drives us,” said Parks Executive Director Doug Boehm. 

“To me this isn’t something that you do and then put on the shelf,” said Brent Bachus, the board’s president, adding, “I think we do this and then it becomes our driving force, our North Star.” 

Bachus said the master plan should be an instrument for gauging the park district’s progress.

He reviewed the current plan and learned a lot about the park district’s history and the goals. But it ended after the last update in 2019. There’s no mention of the work since then that was done updating parks or the H-F Ice Arena, to name a few improvements.

Board members suggested the staff look for a consultant to take on the task of updating the plan with considerable input from the park district staff. Boehm said he would come back to the board with suggestions on services and costs. He said the park district already has valuable information about the park district, including statistical data that could be helpful and maps and other things that should go into a master plan.

Board member Steve Johnson said a master plan is “super valuable” not only in listing the parks and the various resources the park district has available, but “as part of this, if there could be an addendum,” that would be an “implementation strategy that we might consider to make some of this (goals) more real.”

Board members agreed that community input would be essential and other stakeholders, such as the schools and villages, should be included.

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