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Shorewood makes progress on Outdoor Park Plan projects

Commission, village staff to consider top priorities for the coming years

June 4, 2013

Shorewood — The village's Parks Commission continues to make headway on the implementation of projects outlined in their Comprehensive Outdoor Park Plan.

In an update to the Village Board on Monday, Ann McKaig, chair of the Parks Commission, highlighted the commission's significant accomplishments during the past year and disussed future projects targeted for completion.

Recent projects include collaborating with Friends of Atwater Beach to complete the design, fundraising and installation of a new beach-level playground at Atwater Beach, installing donor plaques at the north end of the Atwater boardwalk, designing signage for the Oak Leaf Trail, which has been approved by the Village Board, and collaborating with village staff and the Shorewood School District to design a brochure for the village-wide donation program, McKaig noted.

As a separate action item, the board also reviewed and approved the brochure design, pending final edits.

The brochure specifies how to donate to the Shorewood Foundation and includes a donation application, as well as images and information on items the village is seeking to purchase, such as park benches, bicycle racks, playground equipment or fireworks for the village's Fourth of July celebration.

Trustee Jeff Hanewall explained that the brochure is intended to serve as a template that could be updated as needed in the future.

The Parks Commission is also in the process of working on other projects to be completed in the near future, including pursuing a grant through the American Dermatological Society to install a shade structure at Atwater Beach. As a component of that, the village, in partnership with the North Shore Health Department, has launched Sunwise, a skin cancer prevention program, which will be promoted at events throughout the summer, McKaig said.

In addition, the commission is evaluating the design of signs throughout village and furthering plans for completion of the upper playground at Atwater and the south end of the Atwater boardwalk, a particularly significant project.

"That's a major part of the Atwater Master Plan. It's a major contribution to connectivity and to increasing access," McKaig said.

Other costly park-related improvements are on the horizon for Shorewood, McKaig added, which means the commission will need to work with village staff to consider its top priorities for the coming years. The fact that the commission and village are committed to following the Comprehensive Outdoor Park Plan puts the village in a good position for any funding it may wish to apply for, she noted.

At the suggestion of Trustee Michael Maher, McKaig said she will also plan to work with the Conservation Committee and other related groups to address the need to protect and preserve the natural vegetation along village trails.

AT A GLANCE

For more information on Shorewood parks and the Comprehensive Outdoor Park Plan, visit villageofshorewood.org, and select "Parks" from the "Quick Links" menu on the right side of the page.

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