Residents of the Buttonwood subdivision say their neighborhood park is a hub of activity.
“There is such few areas in Naperville to just freely play,” said area resident Bridget McKernan. “It’s just a great place that we all meet. We’re all passionate about it. We all obviously care about it.”
Park Meadow Project
The Naperville Park District has named Buttonwood Park as a part of the Park Meadow Project. This means part of the 3.5 acre space will be turned into native prairie grasses that do a better job retaining excess water. Park district staff say that was the original purpose of the park.
“The fact is this is less than 10% of that basin,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “And it’s a basin so when it’s dry, yes, you can go ahead and recreate. But when it’s not, it’s hard for us to mow and it takes us awhile to get in there and take care of that.”
Residents Don’t Agree
Though the project initially planned to convert two areas of the park into low prairie grass, Buttonwood residents strongly encouraged the park district to remove the park from the plan altogether.
While park district commissioners voted 4-3 to move forward with the project, they did reduce the impacted area to include only the space south of the playground.
Yet, many residents were still disappointed in the attempted compromise.
“I have to honor the 200 signatures that we received on that petition that vehemently opposed the native grasses to be planted in Buttonwood Park. So it’s a big disappointment today,” said McKernan.
Buttonwood is one of 17 parks that have been identified for the first round of the Park Meadow initiative – details of which are available on the park district’s website.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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