Buffalo Grove Park District offers board members a tour of $1.2M renovated Green Lake Park

The Chicago Tribune featured an article about the newly renovated Green Lake Park in Buffalo Grove. Written by Karie Angell Luc.

The Buffalo Grove Park District offered park board, village leaders, members of the community and others a tour Nov. 4, 2020 of the renovated Green Lake Park in Buffalo Grove. (Karie Angell Luc / Pioneer Press)

Buffalo Grove Park District officials offered a tour of Green Lake Park recently to park board members and community leaders.

“Because we have so much property, it’s good for the board to get out once in a while to see the parks,” said Buffalo Grove Park District Executive Director Ryan Risinger.

He said tours are scheduled regularly each year. The Nov. 4 tour had been rescheduled from October due to weather.

“We like to show them parks [where] we’ve done some recent renovations or playground upgrades, and in this case, it was a full renovation,” Risinger said.

The approximate 20-acre Green Lake Park, at 1101 N. Green Knolls Drive, was renovated at a cost of $1.2 million, with $400,000 of that amount funded by a state Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant, park officials explained.

The remaining $800,000 came from the Park District’s capital improvement budget.

Renovations began in May and were substantially completed at the end of September, according to a Park District timeline of the work.

The park features new pathways, a new playground with bouncy floor padding, a new unenclosed picnic shelter, butterfly garden, refurbished basketball and tennis courts and an area to play musical instruments, among other amenities.

According to the district, the butterfly garden provides food and shelter for butterflies throughout their life cycle.

“It’s nice. It’s our first time here, the girls are excited,” said Bob Rosenthal, of Buffalo Grove, who visited the park with his wife Courtney and their children Brooklyn, 4 and Kenzie, 1.

There is an approximately 5.5 acre pond at the park where visitors can fish. The stocked waterway includes bass, bluegill, catfish and sunfish species. Ducks were seen on the water surface near the gateway bridge.

“I’ve lived here almost 37 years and I’m thrilled, the park is fantastic, the park district’s fantastic, and the people, if you walk through here, everyone’s happy,” said park board President Larry Reiner. “And in this time of COVID … what else can we hope for is to give some people some alternatives and some hope?”

Larry Reiner, president of the Buffalo Grove Park District Board of Commissioners, tries out a musical instrument at Green Lake Park in Buffalo Grove Nov. 4, 2020 while on a tour of the park. (Karie Angell Luc / Pioneer Press)

Buffalo Grove Village Manager Dane Bragg praised the improvements to the park.

“And to see all of the people enjoying it is just a wonderful addition to the community,” he said.

Bragg said he is also a member of the local Rotary Club and mentioned the Rotary fishing pier that the Rotary Club previously partnered with the Park District to provide. The fishing pier was completed in 2018.

“So, it’s great to see all of this coming together,” he said.

The Rotary Club of Buffalo Grove contributed $20,000 for the pier with the Park District funding the remaining $74,000, officials explained.

“Since it’s been open there’s been a ton of people here just loving it,” said Tim Howe, Park District director of parks and planning. “It’s great to see everyone out in the parks enjoying them,” Howe said.

The Indian Trails Library District foundation helped with the cost of installing an area called “Story Walk” and will reimburse the district the $10,000 cost of installing concrete pads and pedestals, officials said.

Park Commissioner and state Sen. Adriane Johnson was among tour participants.

“I think this is an amazing opportunity for kids to come out,” Johnson said about Green Lake Park. “I’m really excited to see that the kids are utilizing the park and they’re out there enjoying themselves; just what parks are for, for the people.”

Risinger said with the COVID-19 pandemic, it became vital to help provide safe was for people to interact.

“And we know that one of the safest ways is outdoors,” Risinger said. “We can provide some safe places for people to be able to interact. That’s kind of what we feel like is part of our role right now of trying to keep some sense of normalcy for people.”

Karie Angell Luc is a freelancer.