PG Pavilion -1
By Bob Balgemann
POPLAR GROVE – Village officials have landed a grant through the ComEd Green Region program and with the money they plan to build a pavilion at the Veteran’s Park on Poplar Grove Road.
This is a historic area, with the hotel across the street being the oldest building in town. It is more than 150 years old.
Poplar Grove was one of 23 municipalities in northern Illinois that shared almost $200,000 in support of their efforts to conserve and protect open spaces.
In making the recent announcement, Commonwealth Edison officials said the pavilion project “is part of an ongoing effort to develop an accessible, passive-use park shelter adjacent to the Long Prairie Trail.”
It is envisioned that the shelter will be used by residents, cyclists and recreational enthusiasts as a resting place and for a variety of activities.
The village’s grant amount was $5,000.
PG Pavilion 2This is the third year of the Green Region program co-sponsored by ComEd and Openlands, the latter a Chicago-based nonprofit focused on land conservation. The grants will be distributed over the next two years, with Openlands monitoring the projects to measure the impact of each one.
During those three years almost $500,000 has been distributed for various improvements. This year each applicant was eligible for a maximum grant of $10,000.
The village board voted unanimously Feb. 15, 2015, to seek the grant and budgeted $31,000 in its 2015-2016 spending plan for the project.
One of the provisions in the grant is that Village Administrator Diana Dykstra provided Openlands with reports on the progress of the shelter, which must be finished by September 2016.
Construction plans
Construction will be supervised by the village’s public works department, with the Boone County Conservation District helping out by providing engineering plans. The village will purchase materials with labor provided by a mixture of volunteers, contractors and public works department employees.
The village saved $1,125 when shingles for the roof of the 24-by-40-foot, open-sided building, were donated.
Poplar Grove will be awarded the grant during a reception this fall in Chicago.
In an unrelated project, a gazebo was built a couple of years ago by Boy Scout Jacob Dykstra and his family on land off Poplar Grove Road, also adjacent to the multi-use path. It was an Eagle Scout project for him.
Last year, North Boone High School senior Sam Maxey completed his Eagle Scout project, a storage building behind village hall that now stores village equipment.
Nearby communities that were awarded ComEd grants this year included:
* DeKalb Forest Preserve District, which is assisting the city of Genoa to connect Russell Woods Forest Preserve with a multi-use trail.
* City of Woodstock, for new wetlands walkways in the Wiliam C. Donato Conservation Area.
* Richmond-Burton High School District 157, for reconstruction of a 20-acre oak woodland that connects two fragmented woodlands, in all restoring a 160-acre oak woodland community.

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