Playground / Park Improvements

South Ridge Park Renovation and the

In fall 2018, the park district is submitted an application for an Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant to make major improvements to South Ridge Park. In late January 2019, HE Parks was notified that $400,000 has been awarded from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) as part of the State’s FY 2019 OSLAD program.  This project was one of 89 local outdoor recreation projects, representing approximately $28,974,500 in funding assistance approved by the IDNR for FY 2019 OSLAD grant funds.

Below is a description of the project and drawings: 

The mission of the Hoffman Estates Park District is to “offer healthy and enjoyable experiences to residents and guests by providing first-class parks, facilities, programs and services in an environmentally and fiscally responsible manner”. Quite simply as our tagline states: we are “making life fun”. Our most recent Comprehensive Master Plan, which included a community-wide survey, identified the need for a north Hoffman Estates water attraction, specifically a water play feature. As such, we have developed a major renovation plan of South Ridge Park, located on the north side Hoffman Estates, to provide such a community attraction. This grant money, along with funding from our park partner AMITA Health, special recreation dollars for ADA requirements, and reserve funds of the District (no tax increase), will enable us to complete this project. Our intent with this project is to improve the quality of life for residents on the north side of town and throughout the Village of Hoffman Estates and the northwest suburbs, by providing exciting and free outdoor recreation and wellness amenities.

The centerpiece of this park is an expansive, 4,000 sq. foot entertainment splash pad with spray effects, exploratory waterspouts, and interactive squirting displays. The splash pad will use an environmentally-friendly filtration system designed to recycle the water and will eventually pay for itself, essentially providing the water supply for free after ten years. However, this is just one of the many incredible recreational, and wellness benefits that will vastly improve the quality of life for residents in our community. The park will be free of charge and fully accessible to everyone through full ADA compliance. It will provide diverse and exciting offerings for residents of all ages and cultural interests.

Revamped sports fields will accommodate a new array of multi-cultural sports options including cricket, soccer, rugby, ultimate Frisbee, Lacrosse, field hockey and baseball. Many exciting sporting and fitness events, such as tournaments and mini-triathlons, will be held at the park.

The park will offer highly-desirable and inviting free fitness and recreation opportunities to people of all abilities. An exciting new Fitness Challenge Course will be built for adults and children that will provide athletic cross-training for all ages through a series of physically demanding obstacle-course equipment stations, similar to the popular TV show, “Ninja Warrior”. The structure will allow the park district to offer new fitness programming options in the form of group fitness classes, races, and cross-training workshops.

For those with mobility challenges, the plan includes an entertaining and inviting playground remodel with a fully-accessible artificial turf fall surface that allows wheelchairs easy access. For toddlers and those with sensory needs, an attractive and fun nature sensory play area is planned for age 2-5 that will teach kids about nature while delighting the senses with interactive exhibits and amusing play structures.

An attractive open air shelter will be built for party rentals that will include a charcoal grill and electricity and will accommodate 6-8 picnic tables. Groups attending parties at the shelter will have a full view of and access to the splash pad and Fitness Challenge Course, which will make the shelter and the park a highly desirable outdoor party venue for the community.

The park plan includes a paved, two-mile trail system that connects four of our premiere parks and offers visitors the ability to explore all four parks with just one visit. The plan includes enhancing the landscaping and supports our conservation efforts with an environmentally-friendly naturalized lake shoreline that will include native plants to encourage the growth of the Monarch butterfly habitat. Further, a variety of new trees will be planted that will qualify the park to be a certified arboretum by ArbNet. Each tree will be properly labeled and the district will offer educational programs to educate the community on the importance of trees and conservation. The trees will further enhance the beautiful surroundings and add value to the neighborhood.

An upgraded fishing pier and kayak launch will be added. The pier will further enhance our already popular fishing lessons program and support the annual Fishing Derby held by the Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce that is held at this park. The kayak launch will be a desirable new addition that will bring new appeal to the lake with the paddle sports programming we will add.

Pickleball is a sport that has seen tremendous growth and popularity in our area, particularly with seniors. To meet this need, we will add pickleball lines to the existing tennis courts and will offer pickleball lessons in addition to outdoor tennis lessons.

Further, the existing sand volleyball court will be programmed for lessons, leagues and tournaments. The existing parking lot will be more than doubled to accommodate the many additional new visitors to the park annually. Lastly, a fully ADA-accessible restroom shelter will be built.

While the district’s park staff will perform the demolition of the playground, local contractors selected through a bid process will complete the majority of the work. The plan already has approval from the HE Parks Board of Commissioners. In addition, local residents in the neighborhood are in full support of this project and demonstrated their overwhelming enthusiasm by presenting a petition with nearly 200 signatures at a recent public meeting.

Below is a map of the proposed plan, and the links below show detailed drawings:

South Ridge Park Construction Updates

July 9, 2019
South Ridge Park enters into the final planning phases. Working with WT Group Engineering, the final construction plans are in development for submission to the Village of Hoffman Estates and MWRD (Metropolitan Water Reclamation Department. These final plans also serve as construction documents for the bidding process. Permits approvals are anticipated for August/September for September/October for MWRD permits. The public bid phase 1 for the project begins in October/November.

Phase 1 includes earthwork, utilities, and concrete/asphalt.
Phase 2 includes the installation of the play areas. Public bidding begins in December/January.

The anticipated completion date is Fall of 2020.

November 26, 2019
All construction documents and plans have been submitted to MWRD, Army Corp of Engineers and the Village of Hoffman Estates for approval.  The Village planning committee will hear the plans on December 9, 2019.  We are anticipating approval from MWRD and Army Corp in December of 2019 to allow the district to go out to bid for construction of South Ridge prior to years end.



2019 Renovations:

Triphahn Center Roof

7/18/2019 – The roof project has many challenges with the weather this year, numerous days off due to the rain events this past spring made it a challenge. The contractor was able to continue working and completing sections as mother nature would allow. At this point construction has stopped as the production of the Kalwal System Engineered Skylight is currently taking place. The Engineer on the project has been working with the contractor to make sure all specs are met to assure the district of a lasting product. The finished sections are the flat roof, insulations sections, flashing and cutters. The Kalwals are in productions and looking to arrive in 7 weeks, upon arrival the install time to finish all aspects of the roof is approximately 5 weeks. We are anticipating a completion date of October 11th.

11/26/19 – After a long delay in the roof project due to engineering concerns with the Kalwall system (skylights) and production time, the contractors begun working on the roof again 10/21/2019.  Currently the skylights are installed on all four sides of the gym, remaining still is three corners and ground level skylights.  The sheet metal roof contractors have been onsite since 11/6/2019 completing the inside seal of the skylights with new sheet metal panels and insulation and moved to the roof sheet metal on 11/25/2019.  

Playground Renovation Projects:

Birch Park

Hoffman Estates Park District is in the process of applying for an OSLAD (open space land acquisitions and development) Grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  As part of the grant application, an improvement plan is required with drawings that showcase what the park will become at the end of the project. 

Staff members from HEPD held a public information meeting at Birch Park on July 17th at 6:00 pm.  The event was attended by 44 residents.  The OSLAD Grant application process was explained along with time frames, following that a conceptual idea for the park was shown to the residents.  The residents then had the ability to voice their concerns with the conceptual plan, add ideas to it and generally discuss the layout for Birch Park.  Staff handed out surveys for residents to complete that rated the six elements of play for playground design and a rating system for all other aspects of the park project.  Resident had the ability to write in any additional features they would like to see if the park. 

All information was gathered and presented to the OSLAD committee on July 23rd.  The committee went through the survey results as well as current trends in park/recreation and location to existing parks.  The following plan is what was developed by staff. 

The OSLAD Grant is due to the IDNR on 8/16/2019.  At this point the state will go through all applicants with an expected approval time of January 2020.  If Hoffman Estates Park District is awarded the grant staff will start the planning process, bidding process and minor groundwork in 2020 with major construction in 2021.   

Hoffman Estates Park District Staff was selected to present the Birch Park Renovation project to the OSLAD approval board in Springfield, Illinois on 11/5/2019.  You are allowed 3 minutes to present your project and able to bring one poster board size display to use during the presentation. 

January 17, 2020 – Governor Pritzker awarded HEParks a $225k OSLAD grant for Birch Park Improvements.

2019 Willow and Community Park


The Hoffman Estates Park District applied for and received the IAPD/Gametime matching funds grant for both Community and Willow Park.  These parks will be National Demonstration Sites for Play On,  promoting physical activity. 

Read the full article about the construction

Willow Park

Construction at Willow Park, located north of the Northwest Tollway at 905 Norman Drive, received a different type of playground. The new playground contains exciting climbing and play structures, sensory panels and the district’s first tandem swing. This swing allows an adult and child to swing facing each other. To fulfil resident’s requests, HEParks converted an unused paved pad to a passive recreation refuge with trees, benches and grass. A new turf path links the picnic pavilion and the playground. The current basketball court were relined to include basketball, foursquare and hopscotch markings.

  7/16/2019 Playground construction completed. Park is open to the public.

Community Park

Community Park construction included reworking of the splash pad including moving the spray pad to a new location away from the street, doubling its size and adding more spray features. Surrounding the splash pad will be privacy and safety landscaping. In addition, construction involved converting existing features to an area with basketball courts, asphalt games and open green space and re-imagining of the playground structures. The new playground combines the tot and advanced play structures into one play area. Included in the plans is the District’s first arch swing which allows four people to swing together on one large swing.

Community Park was completed in August 2019

With the assistance of Community Representative Linda Dressler we applied for The Placemaking Grant through the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors.  Two new bench areas are installed around the splash pad, the existing shelter was refurbished and new tables & Gaga Ball pit were installed. These totals were in the amount of $7,000 which have all been awarded to Hoffman Estates Park District.  Please thank Linda for bringing this to our attention.  Mainstreet Organization of Realtors will be onsite at the park on December 5, 2019 for photos of the completed project. 

Highland Park 

One of the proposed play features at Highland Park.


This past April the HEParks Board of Commissioners approved closing Highland Park due to safety concerns with the playground equipment.

On May 9th, the Director of Parks, Planning and Maintenance held a public meeting at Highland Park that was attended by nine residents. Postcards were sent to 69 surrounding homes and a Notice of Public Meeting sign was placed at Highland Park on 4/25/2019 to inform residents of the public meeting. At this meeting, a conceptual plan for the park was presented. Residents raised some concerns and had some suggestions for the layout and future of the playground at Highland Park. Following the meeting, the staff has developed final plans for Highland Park that include a new Tot playground, a 5-12 structure, removal of failing retaining walls and concrete, earthwork and drainage.

The renovation at Highland Park was completed on 11/8/2019. The parks department completed the entire park project in house. It started with the demolitions of the old playground, removal of mulch and old drainage. Once this was completed all landscaping around the playground was removed. The failing wall was completed removed and after closer examination the wall was rebuilt. The reason for rebuilding the wall was due to the amount of fill that would have been required to achieve proper drainage to the pond. The wall was built with proper drainage, landscape fabric and wash stone to assure its longevity. New drainage was placed inside the playground and on the outside of the playground to catch water prior to entering the playground surface. The old concrete sitting area was removed and designed to hold one ADA picnic table with a new concrete slab. The final step was installing the 2-5 year old playground and 5-12 year play feature. This was our first in house install of equipment and staff did an awesome job with the install. To put the finishing touches on the project the grounds team sodded certain sections, planted new landscape plants and dormant seeded drain lines.


2018 Park Renovations:

The park district remodeled two playgrounds at the following schools:

MacArthur (green) & Armstrong (blue and tan)