Butterfield Park District survey to help craft master plan
Butterfield Park District officials are seeking community feedback on a range of topics for a document that will guide their future decision-making.
Parks, facilities and programs are among the issues that will be covered by a new master plan, which will be created to help the district establish its direction for the next three to five years.
Before drafting the plan, officials want to know what residents think of the job the district has done over the past five years. They also want to know what residents expect from the district in the future.
The district serves nearly 10,000 people living in unincorporated areas near Glen Ellyn, Lombard and Downers Grove.
"Our master plan needs to be a fluid document that represents what the people need us to do," Executive Director Larry Reiner said Tuesday. "If you're going to spend money, you might as well spend it on the things the community wants."
Earlier this month, an online public opinion survey was posted at surveymonkey.com/r/Butterfield2017. The survey is available until June 5.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 225 people had responded.
The 54-question survey is divided into multiple sections -- household demographics, programs and events, parks and facilities, satisfaction and effectiveness, and future.
As part of the survey, officials hope to find out if residents are visiting their six parks more often now that the sites have been improved.
The upgrades were possible because voters in November 2014 approved a property tax increase to pay for the work. The nearly $3 million referendum also helped the district acquire a former gas station site near Glen Ellyn.
The district spent $750,000 from the referendum and $750,000 in state grant money to purchase the roughly 2.4-acre parcel at the northeast corner of Butterfield Road and Route 53.
In 2014, the district said it wanted to buy the site so it could be used for open space, trails, gardens, a nature-based playground, a park shelter and passive recreation areas.
Work on the project was delayed because the state was slow to give the district the $750,000 in grant money, which finally arrived two weeks ago. Now officials are hoping the budget impasse in Springfield will be resolved so additional grant programs can be reinstated.
"We can do some of it on our own," Reiner said, "but we can do it so much nicer if we had matching money from the state."
In the meantime, one of the survey questions asks respondents what features they would like to see in existing or new parks.
The survey results are expected to be reviewed in August by the park board. Officials hope to complete the master plan by early next year.