Northfield, News

Pocket park with playground planned for Northfield

The seeds are being planted for a new pocket park in Northfield after the Village Board of Trustees voiced unanimous support on Tuesday night for pursuing an intergovernmental agreement with the Northfield Park District.

Representatives from the park district shared their proposed intergovernmental agreement with the trustees at the board’s monthly committee of the whole meeting March 19, and in a letter to the board, Park Board President Nate Pave said the proposed new pocket park would be located in the village’s Tower Road right of way, just south of Temple Jeremiah, 937 Happ Road. It would include a small playground, benches and a drinking fountain.

“This unique location is attractive because it sits adjacent to the nature walking path, providing combined access for those on bikes utilizing the future Skokie Valley Trail and walkers who already enjoy the nature trail,” Pave wrote in his letter, which was read to commissioners by Park Board Vice President Bridget Kennedy at Tuesday’s meeting. “We believe the addition of a pocket park and landscape beautification of this site will provide a treasured asset for this neighborhood.”

The proposed IGA would allow the park district to build and maintain the park for an initial term of 30 years.

Kennedy added that the park district has also had conversations with Temple Jeremiah and the neighbors, both she said are supportive of the pocket park.

“We have been looking for a property in that area for years, but have never gained any traction with attempts to purchase,” she said. “This right of way of roughly half an acre is exactly the type of space we are looking for, and actually better because of the connections to the nature trail and the future bike trail.”

She also said that families will benefit from the proposed park.

“I would have loved to have had something like this when we moved in 11 years ago,” Kennedy said.

While the board was only discussing, and not voting on, the proposal, all trustees who spoke voiced support for it.

“I love everything about this plan,” Village President Greg Lungmus said, adding that he has had discussions with the park district for years trying to figure out a location for a new park, saying the proposal “checks a lot of boxes.”

Trustee Charles Orth called it “a win-win for the community, the neighborhood up there, the park district, the village board, the neighbors.

“It’s long overdue.”

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Peter Kaspari

Peter Kaspari is a blogger and a freelance reporter. A 10-year veteran of journalism, he has written for newspapers in both Iowa and Illinois, including spending multiple years covering crime and courts. Most recently, he served as the editor for The Lake Forest Leader. Peter is also a longtime resident of Wilmette and New Trier High School alumnus.

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