By Emily Harrington
Almost two years ago Colbert Park became a first-class park in our area. Currently, construction is underway to bump that first-class title up a notch—or two.
Dana Colbert Park is located at 203 East Church St., two blocks east of Route 45 in Savoy. You will notice a lot of action just west of the existing playground. There are multiple projects happening all at once. Each project shares a highly anticipated deadline—fall 2017.
The Village of Savoy Operations Superintendent, Jesse Stephens, provided information on the various projects happening right now.
Freenotes Harmony Park
The daughter of the park’s namesake, Dana Colbert, provided the funds needed to create this musical dimension to the park. The Inman family graciously donated money for the outdoor music ensemble. These four large instruments can be played standing up. Imagine huge xylophones. A set of drums is also included. A similar setup can be seen at AMBUCS Park in Urbana. These instruments will be footed in two circles of concrete—two instruments per circle. They will be right off the existing path to the playground. Planters, berms and landscaping will decorate the new area. Stephens said they are leaving room to grow in the future.
Born Learning Trail
United Way of Champaign County, along with other philanthropy groups, provided the means to create a teaching/learning trail (on south edge of the music park). Basically, interactive signs will dot a meandering sidewalk. These signs provide opportunities to do different tasks. For example—wiggle to the blue square or hop to the green rectangle! Stephens explained this attraction is designed for parents and kids to work together to complete the tasks. This is the first Born Learning Trail in our area!
Stephens compiled feedback from moms and parents. With this information, he decided to make a sidewalk from the south edge of the parking lot so that it’s easier to get to the playground—especially with strollers. Also, concrete sidewalks will be added around the playground. Benches will dot the sidewalks.
A smaller version of the popular mammoth hill by the lake will be between the learning trail and the playground. If your little ones have ever had hill envy, this small version will provide a safer version for them to climb, roll down and even sled on in the winter. A little plateau on top will give them a place to play.
There will be no access issues to the playground during the construction, Stephens said. Any areas of concern will be fenced off.
Emily Harrington is a Chambana townie. She left her 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. job in communications so that she could be a 24/7 mom to two busy boys. Still interested in writing, Emily uses some of naptime to practice her passion and keep her mind right. Emily is a happy wife with a happy life because she fell for a fellow townie. Emily usually finds herself engulfed in balls, blue and belly laughs.