Familiar faces will take their seats on the new park development commission for Edwardsville Township this month.
The township board of trustees opted at its September meeting to create a park development commission to guide future development of Township Community Park on Center Grove Road in Edwardsville. In recent months, the township has renovated tennis courts and restrooms, added an all-season restroom, and begun an energy efficiency plan with solar panels and an electric vehicle charger.
“The last four years have been consumed by catching up with the park’s infrastructure,” Miles said. “But moving into the future, I thought it was important to involve the community and get their input on what they would like to see in the park. [The commission] will help us look at future uses of the park… and will make the park a great place for years to come.”
Miles said the new commission will focus on developing a park master plan, along with reviewing maintenance, regulations, fees, and park-related staffing, as well as coordinating with Madison County Transit and its trail system, and soliciting input from citizens.
Miles said he sought out stakeholders from the community to find potential members of the park commission, which will be unpaid.
“I am extremely pleased with the caliber of members who have volunteered their time and talents to improve our community through this commission,” Miles said. “They represent a wide cross-section of our community, that includes recreational and community involvement experts and neighbors to our park.”
Members include: Gina Grebing of the Edwardsville Rotary Club, which funded the new disability-inclusive playground; Junior Service Club President Kelly Viehl; Jamie Goggin of Edwardsville, representing the Madison County Board; former county board member Brenda Roosevelt of Glen Carbon; and Greg Brummit, president of the Nature Preserve Foundation and Edwardsville Watershed Nature Center. Township trustee Kevin Hall will be the liaison between the township board and the park commission.
The biggest project for the township in recent years has been the restoration of the Navy plane that has “flown” on a pylon over the park for decades, earning it the nickname “Airplane Park.” The U.S. Navy A7 Corsair has been under restoration for several months, a project marred by the theft of Mabel, the pilot mannequin that long sat in the cockpit. Mabel has never been recovered, according to Edwardsville Police Chief Jay Keeven.
The plane itself is still on the ground, with its renovation underway. The original plan was to rededicate the plane - back on its pylon - on Veterans Day. Township Supervisor Frank Miles said they’re still on track for the last step: a vinyl wrap approved by the U.S. Department of Defense for planes on loan for display. The wrap will eliminate the need for painting and will preserve the plane for the future with only the need for soap and water cleaning.
The wrap also will “suggest a shadowy figure” in the cockpit, so there will be no need for a Mabel replacement, Miles said.
Next up: Miles said the township will begin work on a veterans’ monument at the base of the plane, where community members could honor a veteran or current service member with brick pavers that will be available for purchase. That program will launch after the plane is unveiled on Nov. 13, Miles said.
Meanwhile, the park commission will get started after the first of the year, Miles said. “I would hope by the spring, they’ll have some recommendations in place for us,” he said.