QUINCY -- An amphitheater with band stand, a trail featuring interpretive signs commemorating the Lincoln-Douglas debates throughout Illinois, a small shelter and an exercise station are several ideas included in a preliminary master plan for Lincoln Park.
"Nothing is set in stone," said Quincy Park District Executive Director Rome Frericks. "We don't have any funding for any of this project. It's just a master plan where for example if someone were to write us a check, we could come up with some ideas, such as an amphitheater, a walking path or an overlook."
The public will be asked to contribute their thoughts during two open houses that are expected for January and March.
Not including any work on the Bill Klingner Trail or contingency, the estimated cost of the plan is more than $2 million.
The Park District bought the former Bayview complex and about 10 acres of land along Bonansinga Drive in 2012 for its administrative offices.
Since the previous master plan was adopted in July 2014, an inclusive playground, shelter house with restroom and a skate park have been added in Lincoln Park.
The Park Board voted in September to abandon the original master plan after several deviations have taken place, and have district staff develop a new master plan.
Some features remain from the previous plan such as an amphitheater, Lincoln-Douglas interpretive signs and a walking path.
"Lincoln Park is basically shaped like the state of Illinois, so we thought it would be nice to incorporate the history into that park along the walking path," Frericks said. "The amphitheater was included in this one as well, because that was one of the more important things that the public and park patrons asked for when we did our community-wide survey a couple years ago."
After input from the public, a final plan will be presented for the June 2020 Park Board meeting for adoption.
Another element of a new master plan would be future trailhead for the Klingner Trail.
During its August retreat, Park Board members reached a consensus to explore bringing the trail south from Parker Heights and Bob Bangert parks to Lincoln Park instead of continuing the trail further east.
A cost estimate for that extension is $3.614 million.
Frericks said it would be at least four years before the Park District could move forward with any work on trail expansion as the district has four more payments on the $2.3 million bond it sold earlier this year to fund recent trail construction.
"Especially with all the improvements we're doing at Bob Bangert right now with the wetlands project and the interpretive center -- and we're redoing the restroom there -- it's a win-win to get all that incorporated into that next section of trail," he said.