New Land for York Township Park (IL)

DuPAGE COUNTY, IL., 12/13/2005 – The Trust for Public Land (TPL) announced today that it has protected 6.5 acres in unincorporated Lombard from development by purchasing the property from Waste Management, Inc. TPL immediately conveyed the land to the York Center Park District.

The parcel is just west of Meyers Road and north of 16th Street. It is adjacent to the 14-acre Knolls Park, which is owned by York Township but managed and maintained by the Park District. The two parks together form a 20-acre recreational area, the largest that York Center Park District manages.

Knolls Park is near Montini Catholic High School, York Center School, and the York Township Center, so its soccer fields, the fishing pond, the sled hill and other amenities already get plenty of use. Plans for the additional land include formal gardens, winding walkways, bike paths and a senior-life fitness trail, said Park District Director Sharon Labak-Neubauer.

“We are extremely pleased with the outcome in this project,” said TPL Senior Project Manager Jeffrey Greenspan. “We worked with Waste Management, a national corporation with a strong, community-based mindset, to make the purchase happen. We helped a park district gain more land to better serve its residents. And finally, we kept one more piece of land open for recreational use rather then let it become home to more homes.”

Since the 1970s, the Park District has fought to keep pace with surrounding development, Labak-Neubauer said, but it always seemed a losing battle. Today, the district owns or manages four parks, and opportunities to purchase new parks have been both rare and expensive. Park District Board President Margaret Crotty said these facts make this acquisition special.

“The census bureau shows a 13 percent increase in the District’s population over the next few years, and we have to fill the recreation needs of this growing population,” Crotty said. “This land could’ve easily been used for one more housing subdivision. Instead, this purchase ensures for our residents a higher quality of life that only a great park can provide.”

District officials first sought to purchase the land in 2004, but needed assistance with many environmental aspects of the acquisition because the land once was a truck parking lot. TPL provided the assistance, purchased the land, protected it from development and gave the District time to apply for an Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

This purchase is part of TPL’s Parks for People Initiative. This national conservation initiative ensures that everyone – in particular, every child – enjoys close-to-home access to parks, playgrounds, and natural areas in cities and suburbs across America.

Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has worked with willing landowners, community groups, and national, state, and local agencies to complete more than 2,700 land conservation projects in 46 states, protecting more than 2 million acres. TPL specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law, to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness.

The Trust For Public Land’s other regional accomplishments include the protection of Plum Island near Starved Rock State Park in Illinois, 92 acres of land along the Kishwaukee River in Boone County, 224 acres in Elgin, a 20-acre park in Lindenhurst, numerous city parks in Chicago, and the protection of nearly 1,500 acres within the Hobart Marsh complex in Northwest Indiana. For more information on TPL, please visit

The York Center Park District offers more than 400 events and programs annually to its residents. For more information please visit