In and Around Park Forest Week of June 22, 2009


Children play in an inflatable bounce during Saturday’s Youth Day. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– June 22, 2009. Looks like summer has finally arrived. With predictions of the thermometer nearing 90 this week, consider cooling off at the Aqua Center. In addition, one of Park Forest’s favorite family events, Main Street Nights, begins this week along with a variety of other activities 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 Commissions & Advisory Groups

The following Park Forest Commission will meet this week:

Housing Authority – Thursday, June 25 at 7:00 p.m.

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

2009/2010 Proposed Park Forest 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.

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.

Illinois City/County Managers Association (ILCMA) Conference

Village Manager Tom Mick and Assistant to the Village Manager/Director of Personnel Denyse Carreras attended professional development sessions associated with the summer conference for the ILCMA last week. The conference, “Leadership in Turbulent Times: Extreme Measure,” included sessions on leadership in times of financial or other crises. Key note speaker for the conference was Northern Illinois University Policy Chief Don Grady, who spoke of the importance of staff preparedness which was instrumental in responding to the February 14, 2008 shooting on the NIU campus in DeKalb, Illinois. Other session topics included fiscal downsizing related to program or staff reductions, communications with the public in times of emergency, and medial relations. The Village of Park Forest also presented as part of a panel in a conference session titled “High Performing Consumer-Based Health Care Approaches” which included an examination of the current health insurance industry and what two municipalities, i.e., Park Forest and Orland Park, have done to address this growing expense.

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.

Park Forest Community Development

This week, 181 inspections were performed. These included new construction, re-occupancy, inspector-initiated and referral/complaint. In Civil Court action on property maintenance code enforcement matters, Building Number 3 (By Us Construction) in the DownTown was up for a status hearing. The case was continued to August 5. Meanwhile, 6 cases were heard by the Adjudication Hearing Process. In new construction/building permit activity in the first fifteen days of June, 34 permits have been recorded. Over the past five years, the month of June has averaged 84 permits being issued. At the current pace, 68 building permits could be issued this month.

Park Forest Economic Development

Community Ambassadors – Application Deadline June 26

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].

Park Forest Fourth of July Activities

Plan on spending the holiday 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. Applications are now being taken for businesses or organizations who want to be part of the Fourth of July parade in Park Forest. Outside businesses are also invited to participate and volunteers are welcome to help out on that date. Contact Officer LaTara Chaney at 708-748-4701 for additional information.

Decorate Your Home This July 4th

Show your patriotism and pride this 4th of July by decorating your home in red, white and blue. As a community originally built for servicemen returning from war, all in Park Forest are encouraged to honor our history and celebrate our independence by decorating your home.

Park Forest Police Department

Police Athletic and Activity Center (PAAC)

The summer PAAC and East Side Club activities began this week. Applications are still being taken for school-aged students who wish to enroll.

FBI National Academy

Commander Chris Mannino returned to work this week after graduating from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. The ten-week course is for upper police managers and has attendees from each state and twenty-five other countries. Less than 1% of all police officers are selected to attend this FBI course.

New Vests

The Police Department recently purchased thirteen new bulletproof vests for the Officers. The vests were purchased with funds from a federal grant and money that was collected from the State Narcotics Fund.

Park Forest Fire Department


The Fire Department responded to 68 calls for assistance this past week. This included 1 triple call and 11 double calls. Mutual aid assistance was provided once to Richton Park and received once from Matteson. Automatic aid assistance was provided once each to the Matteson and Richton Park fire departments.


Captain Michael Wheeler attended the Illinois Risk Watch Symposium 2009 in Springfield, Il on June 17 and 18. The two-day seminar provided a variety of information dealing with the Risk Watch program which was implemented last year at Arcadia School.

On June 17, the Park Forest Fire Department played host to the monthly meeting of the Will County Fire Chiefs Association Fire Chief’s Association/Mutual Aid Box Alarm System division #27. This meeting rotates through the various departments and brings the chiefs together to conduct business and discuss items of mutual concern.

Urban Search & Rescue

Deputy Chief Ziegle attended the manager’s meeting for Illinois Task Force 1, the state’s Urban Search & Rescue Team. Deputy Chief Ziegle is a logistic manager on the Blue team for Task Force 1. This month, topics included a table topic exercise on a new main and forward Base of Operations concept, a review of the particulars for a mobilization exercise for this week, new concepts for team training and standard team business issues.

Park Forest Health Department, 350 Victory Drive (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

Street Lighting Project

The new contractor for ComEd is working at Indianwood Boulevard and Miami Street to repair a ComEd line that was hit during the Indianwood Boulevard street lighting project. Village staff attended a preconstruction meeting at IDOT for the second phase of the Indianwood Boulevard street lighting project. Work will consist of new streetlight poles from Blackhawk Drive to Monee Road.

Field Operations

This week a water main break was repaired at 311 Neola Street. The fire hydrant by the AT&T building was repaired after being hit by a car. Some trees were trimmed for better lighting, and broken/dead wood which was in immediate danger of falling was also removed. The cross-walk trees between Plaza West and East Rocket Circle were trimmed. ComEd will be repairing a broken wire feed to light up this area.

Human Interest

Cell Phone Drive to Benefit Victims of Domestic Violence

State Representative Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago heights) has launched a cellular phone drive in conjunction with Verizon Wireless to support the national HopeLine Program which benefits victims of domestic violence. Used or unwanted cell phones can be donated at one of the drop boxes at the following locations:

  • Park Forest Village Hall – 350 Victory Drive, Park Forest, IL;
  • Chicago Heights City Hall – 1601 Chicago Road, Chicago Heights, IL;
  • South Chicago Heights Village Hall – 3317 Chicago Road, South Chicago Heights, IL;
  • Steger Village Hall – 35 W. 34th St., Steger, IL; and
  • Crete Village Hall – 524 W. Exchange St. Crete, IL.

Items will be accepted through Saturday, August 1. For more information, call 708-672-0200.

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.

Main Street Nights

Grab a blanket, pack a snack and position yourself in the Park Forest DownTown Village Green (Cunningham and Main Streets) for seven FREE nights of entertainment. Refreshments will be sold. Performances last approximately 45 – 60 minutes. In the event of rain, performances will be moved to Dining on the Green, 349 Main St. Call 708-283-5647 for weather-related changes. For additional information, call the Recreation office at 708-748-2005.

Wednesday, June 24

7:00 P.M. – Pink Panthers

The Pink Panthers Double Dutch Team, twice Gold Medalists of the international Junior Olympic Games open the 2009 Main Street Nights in high-energy style and fun.

7:45 P.M. – Dave Rudolf’s Beach Party

Take a musical cruise with Dave Rudolf and the Coconuts featuring Dave’s original songs. Dave’s concerts involve an abundance of audience participation including the limbo and hula hoops, all set to tropical music.

Arts and Entertainment

Governors State University, 1 University Parkway

Graduate Student Art Exhibit — Closes June 24

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.

Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University

“Into the Woods” – Tickets on Sale Now

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

Free Shakespeare on the Village Green

“The Merry Wives of Windsor” will be featured on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 26, 27, and 28 at 7:30 p.m. 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 22 at 10:45 a.m. – Morning Story Times. Stories for children 3 to 6.
  • Monday, June 22 at 2:30 p.m. – READ aloud – READ to Me. A special reading program for children.
  • Monday, June 22 at 3:00 p.m. – Wilderness Survival Skills. This special workshop is for boys and girls age 8 and older. Registration is required. Call 708-748-3731, extension 20 to register.
  • Tuesday, June 23 at 8:00 a.m. – Tuesday Morning Walkers. Meet in the north parking lot.
  • Tuesday, June 23 at 3:00 p.m. – WILD Wii/Movie Day. Meet at the library for an afternoon of fun for children.
  • Tuesday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m. – Pajama Storytime for Children. Come dressed for bed.
  • Wednesday, June 24 at 10:30 a.m. – Lap Sit Story Times. For children 3 and under.
  • Wednesday, June 24 at 11:45 a.m. – Toddler Art. For children ages 2 – 4.
  • Wednesday, June 24 at 2:00 p.m. – WILD About Bugs. A special Thorn Creek Nature program for children. Registration is required. Call Youth Services Department at 708-748-3731, extension 20.
  • Thursday, June 25 at 10:30 a.m. – Very Grand Animal Rhythm Band. The library hosts a special music project for children.
  • Friday, June 26 at 2:30 p.m. – Animoku Challenge. The library hosts a special program for children 9 and older.

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

Social Worker Degree Program – Informational Session

GSU’s Bachelor’s in Social Work degree program will hold an information session on Tuesday, June 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Triton College, 2000 Fifth Avenue, River Grove, Illinois. Prospective students are encouraged to attend this session. For more information, call 800-478-8478, extension 4099.

Self-Defense Workshop

GSU’s Recreation and Fitness Center is sponsoring “Inner Strength Solutions, A Comprehensive Education in Self-Defense,” a special two-hour workshop on June 23, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Hall of Honors. This interactive program will teach participants various ways of facing and defending themselves in potentially dangerous situations. The registration fees are $5 for current GSU students and $10 for non-GSU students. For more information or to register, call 708-534-4556.

Master of Public Administration and Undergraduate Business and Criminal Justice Program – Informational Sessions

GSU will host degree program informational sessions on Thursday, June 25, from noon to 2 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m., at the university’s Kankakee Education Center, 187 South Schuyler Avenue, Kankakee, Illinois. Advisors and administrators will be on hand to discuss the Master of Public Administration and undergraduate Business and Criminal Justice program. This free event is open to the public. For more information, call 800-478-8478, extension 4099.

This and That

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Rd.

Trail Work Day

On Saturday, June 27 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., give back to Thorn Creek Nature Center and join the Thorn Creek Trail Crew in maintaining Thorn Creek Preserve. Wear sturdy shoes. Ages 15 years and up. Community groups welcome. Call 708-747-6320 for more information.

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.