In and Around Park Forest Week of June 15, 2009


Matt Scallet of CNT Energy presents a Summer Energy Workshop last week in Village Hall. The presentation was sponsored by the Envorinment Commission. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—June 15, 2009. During these tough economic times, many of us are foregoing our usual summer vacations but there are still plenty of summer activities in Park Forest and the surrounding area that can help make this one of your most memorable summers ever. This week there are many events in your own back yard that will cost little or no money at all. Enjoy summertime in Park Forest.

Send information concerning your community activities or events during the upcoming week by e-mail to Rosemary Piser, Associate Editor, with the details. Submission deadline is noon on Friday of each week.

Village of Park Forest 2009/2010 Proposed Budget To Be Approved June 22

The final step in the Village’s lengthy budget process is for the document to be approved by ordinance on Monday June 22. Copies of the draft budget are available in the Manager’s Office of Village Hall and at the Park Forest Public Library. Contact Deputy Village Manager/Finance Director Mary Dankowski (708-748-5607) or Village Manager Tom Mick (708-748-1129) with questions regarding the 2009/2019 budget or the Village’s budget preparation process.

Village of Park Forest Commissions & Advisory Groups

The following Park Forest Commission will meet this week:

Plan Commission– Tuesday, June 16 at 7:00 p.m.

All Commission and Advisory Group meetings are held at Village Hall, 350 Victory Center. Residents are encouraged to attend.

Greening of Park Forest

Recycle Used Cell Phones and Cell Phone Accessories

The Rotary Club of Park Forest is conducting a used cell phone and accessory collection drive to benefit the families and programs of the South Suburban Family Shelter. Donated items can be placed in the collection box located in the lobby of Village Hall. For more information, call Denyse Carreras at 708-283-5603.

Order Your Rain Barrel at Village Hall

Rain barrels have become the “must have” item for Park Forest residents. The Park Forest Environment Commission and the Park Forest Recreation and Parks Department are facilitating the sale of rain barrels for $49 each. Residents interested in buying rain barrels can visit the Recreation and Parks window on the main floor of Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, to order a barrel in the color of their choice (terra cotta, gray, black or blue) and pick them up at the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, July 11th, August 1st or September 5th. You can also purchase a rain barrel at the Farmers’ Market with colors limited to the stock-on hand. Common rain barrel accessories will also be available for sale at the Farmers’ Market. Payment can be made in either cash or personal check. For further information, call Village Hall at 708-748-2005.

Go Green with a Free Tote Bag

The Village of Park Forest encourages residents to visit Village Hall to pick up an environmentally friendly canvas bag that can be used for your day-to-day shopping needs. These bags are free while supplies last with only two expectations: 1) that residents have a valid email address so that future environmentally conscious concepts can be shared by the Village’s Environment Commission; and 2) that bags are limited to one per household. For more information on this program, visit the Village Manager’s Office on the second floor of Village Hall of call 708-748-1129.

Mark Your Calendars – Park Forest Bark District Grand Opening, June 27

Opening day for the Park Forest Bark District is scheduled for Saturday, June 27 at 1:00 p.m. The Park Forest Bark District is located along the west leg of Winnebago Park at Wildwood Drive. Staff have been busy preparing for the big opening day events. Please call the Park Forest Recreation and Parks Department at 708-748-2005 for more details on the facility and/or to register.

Park Forest Community Development

This week, 186 inspections were performed. These included new construction, re-occupancy, inspector-initiated and referral/complaint. In Civil Court action on property maintenance code enforcement matters, 145 Blackhawk Drive was back in court for a status hearing. Long grass code enforcement on private properties continues to demand a great deal of the Housing Inspectors’ time with notices, citations and working with our contracted lawn services.

Park Forest Economic Development

Business Resource Guide

The 2009/2010 Business Resource Guide should be mailed to residents’ homes this week. Residents are encouraged to use the Guide as their first resource when looking for goods and services as it lists all registered businesses in Park Forest.

Community Ambassadors – Application Deadline Monday, June 15

The Commission on Human Relations is looking for Park Forest residents who are interested in being Community Ambassadors. Park Forest Ambassadors will assist with promoting the Village to prospective new residents and visitors. Interested residents can find out more about the program by visiting the Village’s web site or calling or e-mailing Evelyn Sterling 708-283-5621, [email protected].

Homebuyers Workshop — Wednesday, June 17

The Village of Park Forest and the South Suburban Housing Center are co-sponsoring a Homebuyers Workshop on Wednesday, June 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Village Hall. The workshop will provide information about the federal government’s $8,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers. In addition, mortgage lenders and bankers, attorneys, insurance agents, credit counselors and others will be in attendance to answer questions. For more information and to pre-register, contact Evelyn Sterling 708-283-5621, or e-mail [email protected].

Park Forest Fourth of July Activities

Applications are now being taken on the Village Web site for those businesses or organizations who want to be part of the Fourth of July parade in Park Forest. Plan on spending the day in Park Forest. A full slate of attractions will take place including children’s activities, food booths, the annual parade, a free concert and fireworks at dusk.

Park Forest Fire Department


The Fire Department responded to 61 calls for assistance this past week. This brings the total requests to date in 2009 to 1,359, which is on pace to likely break the previous response record. Among these 61 calls were, 7 double calls, 4 aid responses to Matteson and 1 aid response to University Park. In turn, the department received aid from the Matteson Fire Department 3 times during the past week


This week, members of the career division have been wrapping up the annual hose service testing. This process involves pressurizing and testing every length of the approximately one-mile of hose within the department. This year the process has been made more difficult by the wet weather. It is not practical to test and repack hose in the rain, so the duty shifts have been rearranging their training time to adjust to the weather.

Insurance Service Office Training

Deputy Chief Ziegle and Lt. Myers recently attended a training class titled “You and ISO.” This class took the attendees through the Protection Classification. This classification helps to determine the fire insurance rates for a given community and includes the fire department, water system and dispatch capabilities. The class was sponsored by the International Fire Chiefs volunteer and combination officer group and was led by personnel from the Insurance Service Office. The department has been working diligently to improve its ISO class rating in order to assist in controlling insurance costs within the Village.

Park Forest Health Department, 350 Victory Center (lower level)

AARP Safe Driving Class — Savings on Car Insurance

The AARP Safe Driving Class will be held in the Board Room of Park Forest Village Hall on Wednesday and Thursday, July 8 and 9. The class will be from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each day. You must attend both sessions in order to become certified. The classes are under the direction of AARP and are designed to update you on the driving rules. The course can qualify seniors for a discount on the liability portion of their car insurance. The discount is good for three years. The fee for this class is $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members. Payment, by check ONLY, must be brought to class. AARP members should bring their membership cards. Call 708-748-5454 to make your reservation.

Rich Township Health Stop

On Thursday, June 25 from 10:00 a.m. until Noon, the Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus will administer a home safety screening at Rich Township Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest. After the screenings are complete, there will have a raffle for those who participate. Reservations are not necessary. For more information, call 708-748-5454.

School and “Sports Only” Physicals

Children of Park Forest and the surrounding area who are going into preschool, kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grades are required to have a school physical. The June and July physicals are compliments of the Friends of the Park Forest Health Department. Current non-HMO Medicaid recipients must show their card. The next date for physicals is:

Saturday, June 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Appointments are required. To make an appointment or for further information, call 708-748-1118.

Park Forest Public Works

Restoration Work

Davis Concrete has completed the concrete sidewalk/curb and lawn water main break restoration work around the Village. Asphalt restoration has been prepared and work is scheduled to begin this week.

Storm Sewer Televising

National Power Rodding completed storm sewer televising at Orchard Drive and Route 30. This investigative work was to identify issues for storm sewer improvements in relation to the Orchard Drive reconstruction project.

Field Operations

This week a storm sewer line was repaired at Onarga Street and South Orchard Drive. A storm sewer inlet was completely rebuilt at 140 Warwick Street. A storm sewer casting was replaced at 143 Well Street. Asphalt was laid at 50 Monee Road to remedy a drainage problem. Grass restoration continues after a slow down because of rain.

A special thank you goes out to Commander Paul Winfrey of our Police Department for conducting a safety workshop for staff about dealing with threatening customers and bad situations.

Water Plant

The annual lime chemical bids were opened last week and are currently under review. The bid requests for well maintenance have been sent to the contractors.

Park Forest Recreation and Parks

Illinois Special Olympics State Competition

Three Park Foresters boarded busses on June 12 and headed to Illinois State University to participate in the Illinois Special Olympics State competition. Allison Dinan, Brian Bruggeman and Brian Denton joined 15 other athletes from the South Suburban Special Recreation Association at this annual event that featured competition in track and field, aquatics and bocce.

Human Interest

Donate to Troops Serving Abroad

The Village of Park Forest is currently seeking the names and addresses of local military personnel currently serving overseas so that they may receive packaged donations from Park Forest residents. If you are a Park Forest resident and have a family member from your household currently deployed or if you have recently returned from a tour of duty, please call Judi Lancaster at 708-283-5608 or stop by the Manager’s Office at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.

Shop Park Forest First!

Park Forest Farmers’ Market

The 36th Annual Park Forest Farmers’ Market will be held on Saturday’s from 7:00 a.m. to Noon through the end of October. Vendors from across Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan will have a tremendous array of fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, breads, cheese, organic eggs and meat, and the “best pork chop sandwiches in the universe.” Come early and enjoy a breakfast burrito and cup of coffee while you shop the Market. The Market is located in the parking lot of the Eagle Movie Theater at the corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Cunningham Drive in DownTown Park Forest.

Arts and Entertainment

Governors State University, 1 University Parkway

Graduate Student Art Exhibit

GSU’s Visual Arts Gallery presents “Natural or Man-Made or One in the Same,” a photo exhibition by graduate student Michael Smith. The exhibit runs through June 24. A closing reception hosted by the artist will be held on Wednesday, June 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the gallery. The Visual Arts Gallery is located in the E-Wing at GSU. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 708-534-4021.

GSU Summertime Sculpture Park Tour

A free guided tour of the GSU Sculpture Park will take place on Sunday, June 21. This tour will concentrate on the artwork in the south section. Tours begin at 2 p.m. and last from one and a half to two hours. Visitors are asked to gather on the patio outside the Hall of Governors. Comfortable footwear is recommended as there is extensive walking and occasionally the paths are uneven. For more information, call 708-534-4486.

Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University

“Into the Woods” – Tickets on Sale June 15

Tickets go on sale beginning on Monday, June 15 for the Southland Area Theatre Ensemble (SLATE) at GSU’s summer production of “Into the Woods.” The production will take place on Friday, August 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 15, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $18 to $21 and tickets for children under 16 are $16 to $19. Tickets may be purchased by calling The Center box office at 708-235-2222 or online at www.slatetheatre.org.

Cinderella – Tickets on Sale Now

Cinderella will be performed on Thursday, July 23 at 11 a.m. Summer camp groups, families and individuals are welcome. This performance provides an ideal field trip experience. Tickets are only $7 each for groups of 20 or more and $9 each for individuals. For more information or to purchase tickets, call The Center box office at 708-235-2222 or visit www.centertickets.net.

Illinois Theatre Center, 371 Artists Way

Project S.A.M. (Summer Arts Marathon) – Starts June 15

Children ages 6-12 who would like to explore the opportunity in music, art, dance, drama, and creative writing can attend Project S.A.M. being held June 15 through July 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The project culminates in an art exhibit, performing arts concert and publication of a creative writing magazine. This event will only be held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tuition is $125. For more information, call 708-481-3510.

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

Another week filled with activities at the Park Forest Library. The following events will be held this week at the Park Forest Library:

  • Monday, June 15 at 10:45 a.m. – Morning Story Times. Stories for children 3 to 6.
  • Monday, June 15 at 2:30 p.m. – READ aloud – READ to Me. A special reading program for children.
  • Tuesday, June 16 at 8:00 a.m. – Tuesday Morning Walkers. Meet in the north parking lot.
  • Tuesday, June 16 at 3:00 p.m. – WILD Wii/Movie Day. Meet at the library for an afternoon of fun for children.
  • Tuesday, June 16 at 7:00 p.m. – Pajama Storytime for Children. Come dressed for bed.
  • Wednesday, June 17 at 10:30 a.m. – Lap Sit Story Times. For children 3 and under.
  • Wednesday, June 17 at 11:45 a.m. – Toddler Art. For children ages 2 – 4.
  • Wednesday, June 17 at 2:00 p.m. – Safari Survivor Season 2. A special program for children. Registration is required. Call Youth Services Department at 708-748-3731, extension 20.
  • Thursday, June 18 at 10:30 a.m. – Very Grand Animal Rhythm Band. The library hosts a special music project for children.
  • Thursday, June 18 at 3:00 p.m. – Fancy Nancy/Dirty Larry Explorer Club. A special program for club members.
  • Friday, June 19 at 2:30 p.m. – WILD Animal Bingo. The library hosts a special game program for children 4 and under.

For more information on these events, call 708-748-3731.

Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard (Corner of Forest & Fir)

Relive your childhood memories or show your children/grandchildren what it was like to live in the ‘good old days’ by visiting the Park Forest House Museum. The Museum is open on Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Group tours are by appointment. Call 708-748-3731.

Tall Grass Gallery, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

Landmarks: Restoration & Regeneration Through June 27

This exhibit shows close and distant views of the Earth’s natural process and formations. These inspired new works in encaustic, fiber and mixed media were created by Nikkole Huss, Heather Page and curated by Claudia Craemer. This exhibit continues through June 27th, Tuesday – Saturday, 11: 00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Educational Lectures

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

Physical Therapy Open House

GSU’s Physical Therapy Department will host an open house for individuals interested in learning more about the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (t-DPT) degree programs on Tuesday, June 16 from 4 to 7 p.m. in room D-34000. For additional information, call Mary Tracy at 708-534-7290.

This and That

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Rd.

Firefly Hike

On Thursday, June 18 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., join a naturalist on this popular night hike and discover why fireflies flash back and forth to each other. Bring a pencil flashlight. All ages, $5 per person, family rate apply. Registration recommended. Call 708-747-6320 to register or for more information.

Hope Lutheran Church, 424 Indianwood Blvd.

Outdoor Movie Night

On Friday, June 19 from 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. come and bring a lawn chair or blanket for a night of fun and a movie. For more information, call 708-748-1995.

Vacation Bible School – Begins Monday, June 22

From Monday, June 22 through Friday, June 26, join us for a week of songs, activities and fun. For more information, call 708-748-1995.

Village of Park Forest Commission on Human Relations

Good Egg Award

Do you know someone who went beyond the call of duty? The Commission on Human Relations is looking to honor an individual or individuals who have made an impact in race relations, good neighborliness, human relations, and/or is a proponent of diversity in the South Suburbs. Nomination forms are to be submitted by August 3. Nomination forms can be found on the Village of Park Forest web site (www.villageofparkforest.com), or by emailing Evelyn Sterling at [email protected], or calling 708-283-5621.

Sources: Village of Park Forest Weekly Manager’s Report; Spring/Summer 2009 Calendar of Events, Park Forest Library, Governors State University, Center for Performing Arts, and Park Forest Historical Society Web sites.