By Bob Balgemann


As the transition begins in how recreationally related decisions are made, here are some of the leisure-time projects that are on the table in Poplar Grove:

Dog Park

This is being proposed as an Eagle Scout project and is still in the works. Boy Scout Ian Neibarger will get troop master approval, design it, and raise funds. While putting the park across Hill Street from village hall, the precise location has yet to be determined.

Football field

It’s still in the works but pretty much conceptual, for land behind village hall, 200 Hill St. It won’t happen until the money becomes available.

Community garden

The village has one, created in 2012 behind the Marathon station in the Countryside Mall. However, it never has lived up to expectations. It was agreed at the May 26 parks board meeting to really talk up the garden early in 2017, in an effort to increase usage.


The Knolls Homeowners Association (HOA) and village are partnering in development for the three-acre park, known as the arboretum, which was donated by the HOA. Its initial development was spearheaded by former Village Trustee Cliff Stetter and his wife, Nancy.

Poplar Woods

As finances allow, development of property in Poplar Woods that was donated last year would include a hiking trail.

West Grove Park

Village Trustee Neeley Erickson and Village Administrator Diana Dykstra are working up a list of questions to mail to residents of West Grove and include in an online survey for development of West Grove Park.

“The land was purchased many years ago and it is designated as park space,” Trustee Erickson said. “We would like the opinion of residents as to what activities they would like to see at the park.”

This will allow members of the community to participate in how some of their tax dollars are spent to provide more recreational space in Poplar Grove, she said.

Since some can’t attend meetings, she said she supports outreach by mail and online.

Among the possibilities in West Grove are a tot lot, walking path, flat green space for athletics and a half-court for basketball.


One recreational development that occurred recently was construction of an open-sided pavilion at the Veterans Park downtown. This was possible through a $5,000 grant from the ComEd Green Region program and money set aside by the village board.

It joins a leisure-time area near the Long Leaf Pine multi-use trail that includes a gazebo, an Eagle Scout project built a few years ago by Boy Scout Jacob Dykstra and his family. It is a historic location, being across Poplar Grove Road from a hotel that was built more than 150 years ago and is the oldest building in the village.




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