The Park Pulse is a monthly newsletter distributed to the 157-C schools. The newsletter features upcoming events, programs and announcments from the Park District.
Click here to view the September 2014 edition of Park Pulse.
Park Perks - Fall 2014
Park Improvement News
Michele Bingham Memorial Park Updates
The stone gravel parking area at Michele Bingham Memorial Park was converted to an asphalt surface this summer. A paved turn-around has been added for drivers' convenience so they do not have to enter the cemetery lot to turn their vehicles around. In addition, a walking path has been paved from the sidewalk on the east side of Elsner Road adjacent Michele Bingham Park, and will connect to the sidewalk around the new playground in the southeast corner of the park.
New GaGa Game Pit at Commissioners Park
A new GaGa game pit has been installed just west of Fort Frankfort at Commissioners Park. Gaga is a fast paced, high energy sport. Gaga is played with a soft foam ball and combines the skills of dodging, striking, running, and jumping, while trying to hit opponents with a ball below the knees. Players need to keep moving to avoid getting hit by the ball. The games move quickly and everyone gets a serious workout. The game is exciting and very popular with kids. A sign is posted at the game pit explaining the concept and rules for anyone not familiar the game. Thank you to Operation Playground for funding the GaGa pit.
Trees & Landscape Plants Replacement
Some trees and landscape plants at several of the parks did not survive the severe cold and harsh winter. Staff will be replacing the trees and many landscape plants that were lost. Additionally new landscape will be planted in many of the parks.
Prairie Burn at Jackson Creek Park
A prairie burn was conducted this past spring at the native prairie surrounding Jackson Creek Pond. The Park District occasionally conducts these burns at prairie sites to maintain a healthy native landscape: Here are some facts about controlled prairie burning:
Without occasional fire grasslands and wooded areas become overgrown. Many times the extra growth is non-native plants and shrubs that choke out the native vegetation.
Occasional fire keeps things in check. It burns away the dead material which allows new growth to take over.
The burn is conducted and monitored by a trained and licensed ecological contractor.
Burns also kill the non-native plants which are intolerant to the fire. The deep-rooted native plants are capable of withstanding the heat and are not affected.
The benefits of a natural fire far outweigh the temporary charred-earth appearance.
The blackened appearance only lasts for a week or two, but the benefits of the controlled burn last much longer. Among them are nutrient recycling, better seed germination by exposing soil to the sun earlier in the year, control of non-native plants and invasion of woody plants, and maintenance of natural habitats that animal and insect species rely on.
Spotlight on Instructor Jen Ward
The Frankfort Park District would like to welcome a new dance instructor, Mrs. Jennifer Ward to the Park District beginning this Fall. Jen began dancing at the age of 8 at a local dance studio, thinking it would be fun. She continued to dance all through high school, and then studied dance at Columbia College with a concentration in both ballet and modern dance. Jen owned and operated a private dance studio from 2007-2012. Jen is looking forward to teaching Ballet, Tap, and Hip Hop/Jazz classes in the Footlights Dance program at the Park District. Students call her "Mrs. Jen" in class. Jen is the wife of a New Lenox Fire Department battalion chief and also the mother of two children.
Short Run on a Long Day 5K Race Re-cap
Congratulations to all the runners who participated in this years Short Run on a Long Day 5K race! We had the largest number ever of registered runners this year at 578. The 1st Place winners and times are: Overall Male, Nathan Troester, 23 of Mokena, IL 16:14.7; Overall Female, Kristin Kotara, 36 of Mokena, IL 20:23.1. This is Nathan's 2nd year in a row winning 1st place overall male. Thank you to all the sponsors; Charter Fitness, Jeffery LaMorte Salon & Day Spa, BMO Harris Bank, Running Excels, Advanced Family Dental, The Creamery, Baird & Warner, Rasmussen College, Palermo’s Pizza, Lincoln Way Select Properties, Sports and Spine Chiropractic, Physicians Immediate Care, Hinckley Springs, and Jewel-Osco. Thank you to all the volunteers that helped at the Short Run on a Long Day. Thank you to the Frankfort Police Department and Frankfort Fire Protection District. Next year the 2015 race will be the 15th Annual Short Run on a Long Day and we are planning a celebratory anniversary event. Please look for more details in the Summer 2015 brochure. Sponsorship is available for next year’s run.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - Basketball Half Courts at Main Park
Operation Playground Foundation President Phil Simmons cut the ceremonial ribbon on Saturday, May 17th at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony celebrating the opening of the two new basketball courts at Main Park. More than 50 people attended the ceremony. Operation Playground Foundation funded the basketball half-courts. The two new half-courts provide another outdoor activity to be enjoyed spring, summer and fall. Each court is 45 feet by 45 feet, and are open dawn to dusk. Look for 3 on 3 Outdoor Basketball Tournaments and Contest. See pages 24, 26, 27 & 29 in the Fall brochure for more details.
Operation Playground Foundation Maintenance Day - High School Students Fix-Up Fort Frankfort
A "Maintenance Day" was sponsored by Operation Playground Foundation and the Frankfort Park District this summer to fix-up Fort Frankfort, located at Commissioners Park. Volunteers included National Honor Society students from Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln-Way North, Lincoln-Way West and Peotone High School students. The high school student volunteers alongside Operation Playground Foundation volunteers sanded and sealed all the wooden boards at Fort Frankfort, freshen up the sandbox, and spread new mulch throughout the playground.
Operation Playground Golf Outing
Operation Playground invites the public to mark their calendars for October 3, 2014 for the Second Annual Operation Playground Golf Outing. The golf tournament will be held at The Sanctuary Golf Club, 485 North Marley Road, New Lenox, 1:00 pm shotgun start. Registration includes 18 holes of golf with cart, lunch, on-course refreshments, dinner, awards and prizes. Proceeds will be used to help enhance local parks in Frankfort, working in collaboration with the community and Frankfort Park District. Projects are developed with the input of local residents, and volunteers help complete projects without spending tax dollars! Operation Playground is accepting registrations, event sponsorships and prize donations. Visit www.opfrankfort.org for additional details.
Thank you from the Frankfort Park District
The Frankfort Park District would like to take a moment to thank all of you who have volunteered at our events throughout the year. A lot of time and work goes into putting on a successful event, and we could not have done it without our volunteers! We appreciate your continued support!
Do you need Community Service hours for school? Or do you just enjoy helping others? The Frankfort Park District is always looking for volunteers to help with various Special Events and other programs. Interested in volunteering? Contact Cali DeBella our Special Events Coordinator at 815-469-9400 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in Volunteering?
Contact Cali DeBella our Special Events Coordinator at 815-469-9400 or you can email her at email@example.com.
Please click HERE to download a listing of our 2014 Fall volunteer opportunities.
After-Hours Drop Box
For your convenience, the Frankfort Park District has an after-hours drop box located outside of the main entrance of the Founders Community Center, 140 Oak Street. Registrations placed in the drop box will be processed the following business day.
Hold your next party at the Frankfort Park District!
If you are looking for an affordable site to hold your party or event, the Founders Community Center is available for rental. Parties, weddings, showers or meetings can be held in our classrooms, gymnasium or the Founders Room. For more information, including rental rates and availability, please call the park district office at 815-469-9400.
Customer Service Statement
The Frankfort Park District is committed to providing responsive, friendly, courteous and excellent service to our customers.