Residents' input wanted

McFarland village officials will begin the planning process for a special needs park with the help of Learning Landscapes Design. A virtual open house will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, for residents to offer input into the proposed park.

“The object is to create a plan for an inclusive playground that is accessible and engaging for individuals of all abilities,” Village Administrator Matt Schuenke said.

The agenda for the open house is to provide an introduction on the project, present conceptual ideas for special needs park development, introduce the online survey and allow time for questions from the public. The meeting will be recorded and individuals not able to attend live can watch it at their leisure.

There are three locations being considered through the planning process. They are Highland Oaks Park, Cedar Ridge Park and future Community Park.

The cost and timeline for development are to be determined through the planning process, not presently listed within the village’s five-year capital improvement plan.

With input from the public, officials will create a plan that develops a play environment where individuals of all abilities can play together while still being challenged within a range of different development levels.

More information on the RFP that was solicited and ultimately proposal selected for Learning Landscapes Design can be found at

The virtual open house will be conducted as a Zoom webinar. Individuals can participate through the link or by telephone through 312-626-6799. The webinar ID is 840 1172 7340.

Officials strongly encourage participation through the Zoom webinar.

If residents are not able to participate through Zoom, there is limited seating available within the community room at the Municipal Center. Up to 10 individuals will be allowed to attend the event in person within the room. Masks and social distancing will be required.

If there are more than 10 people inside, officials will create an overflow area outside that can allow up to 25 people.

Finally, the event can be watched on the McFarland cable channel. Individuals may watch on Channel 982 on Charter, Channel 1009 on TDS or stream live through

A survey will be presented and reviewed in the meeting as an introduction. After the meeting has ended, it will go live and allow individuals to provide their public comment. The background materials will also be provided.

The survey will remain live for two weeks.

This format is mainly being conducted online, but a paper option is available in two forms. First, individuals may pick up a copy of the survey, complete it and deposit into the drop box at the Municipal Center. Second, contact Schuenke at or call 838-3153 to request a survey document be mailed to you. In both cases, background materials will be provided, and if the Municipal Center is closed, the survey materials will be made available in the entryway.

Direct any questions to Schuenke at the email or phone number listed.

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