Nelson Park Lakefront Enhancement Project

Within a few weeks an architectural firm will be selected to help create the master plan for Nelson Park.  In talks that I’ve had with Bill  Clevenger, executive director of the Decatur Park District, and Jack Kenny, a park board board commissioner, the public will have a chance to be part of the process.  The time is now to get your ideas sent to Mr. Clevenger directly or at an upcoming town hall meeting.  The meetings don’t have specific dates yet but I’ll post them here when I catch word of them.

More information can be found at:

I also want to thank the park district for sending a representative to our neighborhood group meeting last month.  She spoke about the proposed bike trail that will go near the Home Park and Ravina Park neighborhoods.  Hopefully funding will come through for the project.

6 Comments, RSS

  1. Parkpreserve October 9, 2009 @ 4:08 am

    Did you read page 16 of the RFQ- under Master Planning Committee – there will be a committee made up of people from the Park District, City of Decatur, Architectural Expressions, LLP and the community at large. With a maximum of 7 people. I just don’t see there being more of the community, rather than others, on this committee. Who chooses the community people – will they have at least one person from the neighborhood Nelson Park is in? What ever is done there directly affects the people in that neighborhood. Most things built will face the lake (for the view) where will the parking lots be? Will they be the new view of the people in the neighborhood? Just asking

  2. Kris

    Kris October 9, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

    I didn’t notice that on the RFQ. I’ll have to go back and take a look. I know the park district has sent people to the neighborhood association for the Nelson Park area to discuss the golf course closing and maybe some of the other development possibilities.

    I’m hoping the town halls are more than just: “Here is what we’re doing. We hope you like it. Goodbye.” If people in the community show up at these meetings, call the park district, go to the board meetings, I’m sure they’ll take notice. I’m pretty confident they do want to involve the community from what I’ve gathered.

  3. Em October 10, 2009 @ 4:07 am

    The Park Board has been to the Nelson Park Neighborhood meetings twice. Once when they closed the golf course and once to talk about the lake front development. When they talked of closing the golf course several people went to the park board meeting, they listened to what these people had to say, and voted that day to close the golf course. Their minds were already made up, before the vote. Nelson Park Golf Course lost $30,000 last year, this year they have spent $160,000.00 for new golf cart paths in Red Tail. Shouldn’t these golf cart paths been in the budget when building Red Tail and built at that time? I have been to the board meetings, in the past, and this is how it works, there is a time slot at the beginning of the meeting for public opinion, you have three minutes – so 5 people can speak for three minutes each. You do not get an answer at the meeting.
    On this design plan they have, they will have public input, will they listen – I don’t know but judging from the past and what our city council does I don’t hold much hope. The seven people on that committee will make the decisions. If there isn’t anyone on this committee, from that neighborhood (and who decides who is or isn’t) then my advise to those folks is to move because the land their homes sit on could become the parking lots. I know people who live around there and I feel sorry from them, they are at the mercy of the park district right now.

  4. Kris

    Kris October 10, 2009 @ 2:33 pm

    Closing the Nelson Park golf course really made no sense to me. I don’t see how the park district saved much money – if any at all. They still kept it mowed. Why not just keep it open? At least it would generate some revenue.

    I understand your skepticism of the city, considering its track record. I remain skeptical too. Who could blame us?

  5. Em October 10, 2009 @ 6:10 pm

    Instead of worrying about bringing in tourists, why don’t they try to get us spending our money here and draw in the people in surrounding communties.

    They could of at least kept Nelson as a nine hole, and with the “enhancement” of the lakefront it would of worked well together.

    I don’t know how many people we have talked with who now go to Moweaqua to play golf, so the district lost revenue. Because Moweaqua’s course is comparable to what Nelson was.

    During the summer the district over-seeded the putting greens. Why – because people were going over there and practicing and the district wasn’t making money and these people weren’t going to the other courses to practice. Nature would have eventually taken over the greens, there was absolutely no reason to do this. Also, there are plenty of bare patches (still) in the course which they did not touch with seeding. The greens are destroyed now and that was the goal. This kind of thing really does not make you put much faith in the park district.

  6. Em October 17, 2009 @ 6:03 am

    Thought you may be interested in reading a reply to an article which appeared in the Herald and Review. The article was “Put Park Conspiracy Theories Aside”, just click on opinion on the H & R site, scroll down to the above article, click on the article and then click on discussion.

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