Explore Family Favorite Dana Colbert Park in Savoy
What you need to know about Dana Colbert Park in Savoy.
Amazing equipment, a musical path complete with game stops, lake (for fishing or rock throwing), lengthy rock path (for dog walking, strolling or running), pavilions with grills and cornhole, planes and trains (I’ll explain later), sand volleyball courts, sledding hill (or rolling hill in the warm months). This park goes on and on.
For years I lived a stone’s throw from Colbert Park. I saw it morph from nothing but open fields to an absolute outdoor-family-fun destination!
Dana Colbert Park is located at 203 East Church St., two blocks east of Route 45 in Savoy. The 55-acre expanse of land has morphed dramatically over the five years we have lived in Savoy.
The truth is—this is my favorite park. There, I said it. <Biased journalism>
Colbert Park sits on a massive amount of land. It’s positioned near lots of farmland, and it’s adjacent to new construction. It features:
- a large hill for sledding or star gazing. A bunny hill sits near the playground. Perfect for smaller sledders, or it’s good for getting height on your balls/kites.
- a large lake. You can’t swim or have a motorized boat, but you can catch-and-release fish. My sons LOVE to throw rocks in the lake. Over. And. Over. And. Over.
- a natural, thoughtful aesthetic. There are benches and stumps made from trees. They show the grain of the wood, and they look very rustic chic.
- a parking lot. There’s plenty of parking in the epicenter of the park.
- large and small pavilions available for use, or the Savoy Recreation Center can rent them if you have a more formal gathering. You can also rent the volleyball courts. The rec center is a few blocks away at 402 W. Graham Dr.
- mile-long gravel path. The path encircles the lake. Be careful with the gravel. Anything with wheels might be hard to maneuver. There’s also a lot of geese. Where there’s geese—there’s goose poop.
- portable potties and water fountains.
- unique playground pieces. The Freenotes Harmony Park is one of the more outstanding attractions. It is comprised of a series of super-sized instruments. (The only other park in the area featuring the instrument installation is Urbana’s AMBUCS Park.) This area starts your journey on the United Way-sponsored Born Learning Trail. This path is a semicircle around the playground. The short path has various stations along the way. Each station promotes an activity, game or question. The idea is to help caregivers create quality engagement opportunities with their kiddos. There’s another engagement opportunity here. I’ve only seen this feature at Hessel Park. It’s a child-parent swing. The parent sits on a traditional belt swing. This swing is connected to a baby swing. When the parent pumps their legs, the child is able to swing in tandem. The beauty of this is, the two swinging can face each other. You can see your child’s delight as you soar them higher and higher in the air.
- side-by side sand volleyball courts.
Tips for Your Trip from Other Parents
- Bring hats and sunblock. Again, not a lot of shady trees. However, the pavilions are great places for respite. There’s also a protective roof over the dock area by the lake.
- Bring kites if it’s windy. The hills are great places to launch a kite. There are also not a lot of mature trees to eat your kite.
- Bring your fishing pole and bait! If you don’t have any poles, you can check them out at the Savoy Recreation Center. You don’t need anything fancy for bait. At dusk, the fish will go crazy for stale bread.
- Take it easy on the child-parent swing. It can get nauseating. Or maybe pack Dramamine?
Is this park good for toddlers?
Yes, there are two structures. The smaller structure would be appropriate for a preschooler (ages 2 to 5). The small structure has sun catchers, smooth and wavy slides, two climbing structures and a series of vertical climbing platforms. Littles also love playing with the colorful spinner. Nearby, there are baby swings and the aforementioned child-parent swing.
The larger structure is rated for school kids (ages 5 to 12).
What amenities are offered?
Colbert Park offers many amenities, including:
- Little Free Library. Take a book, share a book. This is right at the entrance to the playground.
- Cornhole. The pavilion has a permanent, fixed game of cornhole or “bags.” Just BYOBags—unless you officially rent the largest pavilion through the Savoy Recreation Center. They will supply bags with the rental. mulch base. It doesn’t hold water after a rain, and it’s easy on kids who take spills and tumbles.
- endless playground equipment. The stained-glass suncatchers sit on the peaks of the playground equipment. On sunny days, these filter the sun and cause shapes of color on the ground. There are also two unique child-parent swings, and a castle structure that holds two intense tube slides. There’s so much equipment! While there are two main structures, the playground trickles off the main structure. This gives even more opportunities to climb and slide and play.
- planes and trains. The park is positioned close to the airport. You will most likely see planes fly low overhead. Also, the playground is next to a tree-lined slope. A safe distance away, you’ll see a train track. You can hear and see the trains clearly. I always see one or both of these transportation attractions!
How are the bathrooms?
There are a few banks of portable potties.
Are there picnic tables and grills?
Yes! There are pavilions and picnic tables scattered throughout.
Is there any shade?
There aren’t any shady, mature trees—only baby trees. However, there are many places to get relief from the sun. Pavilions, a roofed dock and the sun catchers on the equipment provide shade.
When is this park open?
Dawn to dusk
What is parking like?
There’s a large parking lot at the entrance to the park, and there’s another lot in the middle of the action—by the lake, large hill and playground equipment.
While you are in the neighborhood, check out Colbert’s sister park, Prairie Fields! It’s across Church Street, 200 Prairie Rose Ln.
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.