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Streator Greenway Project coming to fruition

Trailhead park still needs a name

By the end of the next work week, Streator should have a new park.

The park board met Wednesday at the grounds south of Streator High School near the intersection of Broadway and Madison streets to see the progress and walk the Greenway Trail.

City Engineer Jeremy Palm told the board the plan is to have the park, which will serve as the trailhead for the Greenway Trail, completed by Friday, Aug. 17.

The park has a parking lot, bathrooms and a water fountain. It features a number of exercise stations, as well as a swingset and a playground.

Palm said picnic tables will be added soon. Some electrical and plumbing work still needs to be done to the bathrooms and mulch will be laid. Additionally, ComEd is clearing out low-hanging wires at the trail’s beginning.

Originally, the city was going to create Hardscrabble Park at the end of Cedar Street as the trailhead, but ComEd will need to clean up the land before that project can proceed. In order to utilize the state’s grant funding for the Greenway project, the city moved the trailhead to the park at Broadway and Madison streets.

A ceremony to open to the park is in the works with the YMCA and fitness businesses in town expected to give demonstrations at the exercise stations.

A cleanup is planned beginning at the park at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, as part of the city’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor Week activities.

The 1.47-mile Greenway Trail begins at the park and goes to the end of West First Street. There is a trail access at the end of West First Street and at the end of West Grant Street but no parking at either spot.

Solar lighting, mile markers and garbage cans line the trail. The trail is open from dawn to dusk, but the lights are aligned for those on the trail to find their way back should they stay too long into the dark.

There will be a picnic area with tables installed about a half mile from the trailhead along the Vermilion River.

A map will be displayed at the trailhead park, and security cameras will be installed and monitored by the Streator Police Department. A circular sign, like the ones at other Streator parks, will be installed.

While there are a number of other minor housekeeping items brought up by the park board for the city to complete at the park and along the trail, there was one big issue remaining.

“What do you want to name this park?” Palm asked the board. “That’s something we’ll have to discuss at the next meeting.”

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