The Urbana Parks Foundation (UPF) hosted their annual dinner this past Thursday, April 19th at the Urbana Country Club. Over 70 people attended the 10th annual event. The UPF was established to help meet the growing need for supplemental support by raising funds for Urbana Park District activities. The dinner recognized donors who have helped to make a significant impact on Urbana Parks. Donor’s names were noted on placards placed around the dining room and gifted a vase engraved with the UPF logo.
The event kicked off with cocktails and conversation, followed by opening remarks by UPF President Fred Delcomyn and Urbana Parks District (UPD) Board of Commissioners Vice President Bob Stewart. After a lovely dinner and dessert prepared by the Urbana Country Club, UPD Executive Director Tim Bartlett gave an exciting presentation on upcoming UPD projects. Some of these exciting projects included updates planned for Crystal Lake Park and surrounding amenities including the Lake House at Crystal Lake.
Tim also shared UPD’s vision for an enhanced corridor between the Carle Foundation Hospital campus and downtown Urbana. This natural connection spans just 11 minutes of walking time and provides a great connection to bring the Kickapoo Rail Trail (KRT) even further into Urbana’s city center. Tim provided details on additional KRT amenities including those planned for Weaver Park. They include the buildout of a proper trailhead (including parking, a bike tune-up station, restrooms, and a picnic shelter) for the KRT as well as sports fields and walking paths.
UPD Superintendent of Recreation Corky Emberson concluded the presentation with information about UPD’s new programs, partnerships, and services. Corky emphasized UPD’s tagline, You Belong Here, and how it ties into every aspect of UPD’s programming. Corky shared some of the ways UPD has expanded their outreach efforts to reach a broader audience in an effort to include more individuals from underserved segments of the community. Corky’s excitement for the future of UPD programming was illustrated throughout his presentation. Most notably, in sharing ideas for the potential buildout of new facilities in order to keep up with space needs and community demand.
You can access photos from the 2018 annual dinner on the UPF Facebook Page here and learn more about the UPF here. The next UPF event is the Roots Walk Pre-Event Mixer which will take place from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, May 18th at the Lake House at Crystal Lake Park. Keep up with all upcoming UPF events by visiting the UPF events page here.