One of the goals of the Fairbury Improvement Group (FIG) has been to upgrade Marsh Park, Fairbury’s oldest park established in 1859. Under the supervision of Dale Maley, the progress of the upgrade has moved quite quickly.
The upgrade started on May 15th as planned. Some of the accomplishments so far are:
- Replacement of roof on one picnic table shelter
- Replacement of rotten facia board on south shelter
- Creation and installation of new Welcome sign
- Removal of three dead trees by the City of Fairbury
- Removal of the old drinking fountain by the City of Fairbury
- Restroom renovation – this was a HUGE project which involved a lot of study and research by Dale Maley and coordination and cooperation between various parties. Besides needing new shingles on the roof, the whole inside had to be gutted, walls studded out and new sheeting added, doorways widened for ADA compliance and new doors installed, and electrical changed. The City poured new concrete floors and ran a new waterline and a new sewer line to the restroom, and Popejoy Plumbing donated all the new below-ground plumbing! Thank you so much to all for their hard work and generous donations!
- Removal of broken electrical meter pole, replaced by new power feed to restroom with new breaker box
- Design and creation of new band stand, built with the help of Dale’s brother, Brad Maley
- Selection of color scheme for paint in the park. John Tollensdorf prepared some options. Dark brown for the main buildings with light tan accents and red poles were selected.
- Painting of the south and west shelters. Volunteers from the community and Rotarians helped with this. Thank you!
- Development of plan for keeping all the old playground equipment, but consolidating it in one mulched area. Also, allowing room for new equipment in the mulched area.
Besides Dale Maley, Brad Maley, Popejoy Plumbing, John Tollensdorf, community members, and Rotarians listed above, many others have pitched in to help – Jade Jandeska, Steve Endres, Bill Cox, Wayne Varner, to list a few. Thank you!
Originally, the cost of putting in new restrooms was estimated at $50,000. With Popejoy’s generous donation to install the new plumbing and with Dale’s volunteering the other labor, the cost of renovating the restrooms appears to be coming in less than $10,000. Besides the City’s input of the concrete, water/sewer lines, Prairie Lands Foundation is underwriting most of the hard costs of this park upgrade. This is a wonderful, wonderful donation for our community.
“Dale Maley has designed the new gazebo and has started building it. This is a complicated structure and will take a lot of time. He is estimating a completion date of July 15th,” says Bobbi McKeon owner of Heart’s Desire and coordinator of the Specialty Shops group.
“It is amazing what has been done in such a short amount of time. We appreciate everyone’s dedication and willingness to help out. What a great community we have!
“If you have a chance, go out and visit Dale and the other volunteers as they work to upgrade Marsh Park for the benefit of all of us!” concludes Bobbi.
As always, call Bobbi McKeon at (815) 692-4500 or email fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com with any stories, ideas or suggestions for interesting topics to write for our community.