A lot has been happening all across Fairbury, and we have the Fairbury Improvement Group (FIG) to thank for it. FIG is made up of a group of individuals who are committed to making the Fairbury community a better place. They do everything from organizing events to fixing up buildings around town.
This past year has been a very successful one for FIG. One of the biggest projects of 2018 was the Marsh Park upgrades. The basketball court was fixed up, the pavilions were rewired, security cameras were installed, and the playground equipment was repainted. All of the hard work paid off with the success of the Marsh Park Rededication: over 350 people attended the event on July 28th.
A lot of work was put into the other Fairbury parks as well: In Central Park, the city crew poured a new pad, installed a Garden Club steel bench, and repaired the gazebo lattice. You can now find Rotary planters in Central Park, and there is some new landscaping thanks to the American Legion and the Garden Club. Mini lending libraries were installed in both Marsh and North Park. Prairie Lands helped plant new trees, and a few rock walls were installed in Munz Park. Finally, a new sidewalk was installed in Sunken Park to improve access.
FIG may have gotten a lot done in the past year, but this upcoming year will be even busier. In the past few meetings, they have been developing ideas for 2019 potential projects. First of all, they are planning to continue work on the Fairbury parks, this time focusing on North Park: They’d like to add exterior light around the park, replace the screen frames and some of the window sills, repaint the picnic tables in the old north pavilion, reconfigure the baseball diamonds, and fix the basketball hoops. Some potential projects include adding disk golf, and a baseball diamond or two.
Marsh Park will continue to undergo improvements, starting with buying a new piece of playground equipment for younger children, planting new trees, and trimming the existing trees to improve the visibility for the security cameras. FIG would also like to coordinate bands to play on the weekends at the park. Central Park’s split rail fence and gazebo roof need to be replaced. In one of the parks, FIG would like to add a miniature golf course.
Another focus of attention in 2019 is the Old City Hall. The exterior needs to be repainted, and the sign outside needs to be repaired. FIG is seeking out a new purpose for the building and then remodeling it to fit its future needs. Inside the Old City Hall is a mock jail cell. It might also be renovated, possibly adding mannequins inside.
FIG is preparing to continue with its annual events including A Local Taste and Marsh Park Day, but they’re also hoping to add some new ones as well. Some potential projects include holding a library-sponsored event, an old-fashioned ice cream social, an annual cemetery walk, and even a dueling piano event. FIG is also considering holding outdoor movies in one of the Fairbury parks.
While projects for this upcoming year was the main topic of conversation in the past few meetings, there were many other items on the agenda. In the last meeting (October 23rd, 2018), FIG discussed the staining of the three North Park buildings which include the screen-in pavilion, the small volleyball building, and the restroom building. Compass Insurance suggested a volunteer workday to complete the staining. In the end, it took 12 employees 8 hours to stain the pavilion, the volleyball building, and half of the restrooms. Dale Maley finished the rest of the restroom building the following week.
FIG released a survey in January 2015 to give a better picture of what the public wanted to be done in Fairbury. The survey was very effective, so FIG is creating another one to be released in the near future. When it comes out, make sure to fill it out – the more input the better! Every response helps FIG better know what to do to make your community a better place.
The next FIG meeting will be held on November 20th, 2018, at 7 pm in the New City Hall basement. Anyone and everyone can come to the meetings, and since the members are all volunteers, they greatly appreciate new members. If you’d like to help make a big impact on Fairbury, please come to the upcoming meeting!
Your stories, ideas, and suggestions are all welcome! Send them to us by visiting Bobbi McKeon at Heart’s Desire, by calling (815) 692-4500, or by emailing fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com.