Project Updates

As updates are provided we will post a description of each project with pictures

If you have questions about any of the projects listed on this page, please contact Ann Viger, Director of Planning and Development at 815.459.0680, ext. 4205 or via email.

Main Beach Stairs

Sterne's Fen Restoration Project

Lippold Park Family Golf Center Deck Replacement

Rotary Building at Veteran Acres Park

Playground Updates

2020-2021 PROJECTS

Main Beach Stairs

Main Beach: 300 Lakeshore Dr, Crystal Lake


Update: May 22, 2020

All done and anxiously awaiting the opening of the beach - fingers crossed!

Update: Apr 15, 2020

In preparation for summer beach season, a new set of stairs is being installed at Main Beach to provide better access between the playground and the beach. Concrete was poured this week and railings will be installed in the near future.

Playground Updates

Asbury Park: 550 Blackthorn Ln

Site information

Print Asbury concept drawing

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Update: July 2, 2020

The playground is complete and open to the public.


Update: June 8, 2020

The safety surfacing has been spread and the bike rack, bench and picnic table have been installed. The path is ready for asphalt when the contractor is able to pave. The safety fencing will remain in place for two more weeks since the new playground is closed until the Governor's Restore Illinois Plan allows for public playgrounds to open.

Update: May 22, 2020

The new playground project is moving along very well. The equipment has all been installed. Once the ground dries out the walking path can be paved and the safety surfacing can be installed. Unfortunately this wonderful new playground will have to remain closed until the Governor's Restore Illinois Plan allows for public playgrounds to open.

Update: May 14, 2020

Installation of the new playground and walking path at Asbury Park are proceeding quickly!

Update: Apr 15, 2020

Work has begun on the replacement of the Asbury Park Playground. The old playground was removed by Kids Around the World, a non-profit organization that salvages playgrounds from the U.S. and erects them throughout the world. The Asbury playground will soon have a new home in a needy community in El Savador.

View Video about Kids Around the World

Update: Apr 6, 2020

The existing Asbury Park playground will be removed on Th April 9. Stay tuned for updates on the timeline for installation of the new playground.

Sterne's FEN restoration project

5617 E. Hillside Rd, Crystal Lake, IL

Update: Feb 12, 2020

The contractor has finished with the tree removal at Sterne's. There are two pile of logs remaining to be removed from the parking lot, but the cutting is complete. They made to the "priority II" trees. The trail is now open for use.

Update: Feb 6, 2020

At this point the contractor is about half way through moving east to west. They are estimating being done by the end of the day on Mon, Feb 10. They have also started hauling out the timbered logs from the parking lot and hope to have the pile down to a minimum by the end of the day, Feb 7.

Update: Feb 3, 2020

A portion of the Sterne's Fen trail will be closed this week to remove unhealthy trees.

Update: Jan 25, 2020

Due to recent snowfall and ice coverage, work will resume once snow melts from path.

Update: Jan 16, 2020

Upcoming Restoration Work in Sterne's Woods and Fen

The Crystal Lake Park District will be removing several trees located along the trail system at Veteran Acres and Sterne's Woods and Fen. As a result, portions of the trails will be closed for the safety of our visitors while the work is being performed. At no time will the entire trail system be closed to the public.

Beginning next week, large aggressive trees that were allowed to establish in the absence of fire will be removed from Sterne's Woods and Fen as part of the ongoing Sterne's Fen Restoration project. This work should last approximately one week, weather permitting, and will only impact the portion of the trails at Sterne's identified in the map below.

The work at Veteran Acres will take place over the next three months and will involve the removal of several large dead or dying trees along the trail north of The Nature Center. These trees pose a potential threat to the safety of our visitors, volunteers, and staff and will be removed as weather and time permits. Detailed information regarding the schedule and location of the removals will be posted as it is available.

Please direct questions to John Fiorina, Manager of Natural Resources and Interpretive Services at or 815.321.9080.

Update: Nov 1, 2019

Upcoming Restoration Work in Sterne's Woods and Fen

In 2014 the Crystal Lake Park District began a multi-phase project to restore the hydrology of Sterne's Fen. The info below pertains to the next phase of restoration that will take place early in 2020.

Sterne's Fen Nature Preserve is dependent upon an uninterrupted and unaltered flow of groundwater. Currently, a series of invasive trees located primarily along the toe of the slopes adjacent to the walking path are intercepting that groundwater flow. It has been estimated that through transpiration each large tree wicks away approximately 700 gallons of groundwater daily. The goal of this project is to remove the trees that are responsible for this great loss of groundwater. The project is being funded through the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County via a stewardship grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

Four areas have been identified for removal and are ranked by priority. The exact scope of the project will be determined once bids are received for the tree removal.

map of sternes woods and fen detailing invasive tree removal priority areas

Print map

This project will be started once the ground is well frozen in order to lessen disturbance in the removal areas. It is anticipated that the work will take place in January or February of 2020.

This project has received the approval of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and the Crystal Lake Park District. Prior restoration projects at Sterne's Woods and Fen have yielded very positive results in a very short amount of time. Just recently, the reintroduction of sunlight to the soil has allowed a dormant bank of native seeds to flourish during the 2019 growing season.

We will continue to post updates on this page. As always, feel free to contact the park district with questions.

Update: March 29, 2019

As soon as the weather is appropriate, the fen will be seeded with native plants. Invitations to the April 23 open house were mailed to neighbors earlier this week. A notice about the open house is also on our website, on Facebook, on our lobby monitors and posted in several buildings.

Update: March 21, 2019

Removal of invasive trees and undergrowth is complete. When weather permits native seed will be spread throughout the restoration area. An open house is being planned for April 23 at 6 PM at Sterne's Woods and Fen to discuss the renovation project and tour the site. Watch for further details.

Update: March 8, 2019

The removal of invasive trees and shrubs that damage the sensitive fen is nearing completion. When weather permits, native seed will be spread to encourage healthy development of the fen.

Update: February 19, 2019

The removal of invasive trees and shrubs along Hillside Road is underway. These plants are undesirable because they remove a large amount of water from the area and shade the ground nearby, therefore endangering the high quality native plants within the fen. Weather permitting, the tree removal is expected to last for several days.

Update: December 14, 2018

The check dams have been installed. Clearing/burning of buckthorn and other invasive species continues.

Update: December 7, 2018

Work continued all week in the fen. A crew is busy removing buckthorn and other invasive trees from the fen. The material is being piled and then burned so there is a few constant plumes of smoke over Sterne's every day. Four of the six check dams have been installed.

Crew at work at Sterne's Woods
Work continues at Sterne's Woods

Update: November 28, 2018

The Crystal Lake Park District will begin another phase of the Sterne's Fen Restoration Project in early winter. Similar to the most recent phase of restoration, this phase will concentrate on rehydrating the fen by removing invasive trees and brush, installing check dams in channelized streams, and ongoing management of vegetation. The project will include approximately 4.5 acres of invasive/weedy tree removal in the park and along Hillside Road.

The project is being funded through McHenry County's Wetland Restoration Fund and in cooperation with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.

Questions may be directed to John Fiorina, Manager of Natural Resources and Interpretative Services, at or Ann Viger, Director of Park Development and Interpretive Services at

Lippold Park Family Golf Center Deck Replacement

1251 W. Route 176, Crystal Lake

Update: July 2, 2020

The project is complete and Lippold Family Golf Center is open to the public.

Update: Apr 15, 2020

The new deck on the clubhouse building at the Lippold Park Family Golf Center is nearly complete and will be ready for opening day! There are just a few details to finish up with the handrails and landscaping. This will be a wonderful amenity for users of the mini golf and driving range facilities this summer. As a bonus, the new deck provides handicap accessibility to the clubhouse.

Update: Jan 22, 2020

The job site has closed up for the season. Work will resume when weather permits.

Update: Dec 2, 2019

The old deck has been removed and new footings have been installed. Work on the new deck will continue into the winter months.

Update: Nov 7, 2019

A project will begin soon to replace the wood deck on the clubhouse building. The existing deck was built when the clubhouse opened in 1996. The facility is closed for the season so this project will not affect the public. (Before photo below)

golf center deck prior to construction starting

Rotary Building at Veteran Acres Park

431 N. Walkup Ave, Crystal Lake

Update: Apr 16, 2020

The new railings along the retaining walls at the Rotary Building are complete.

Update: Jan 22, 2020

Guardrails for atop the new walls are being fabricated and will be installed soon.

Update: Dec 2, 2019

The east retaining wall is nearly completed. Work will begin on the south wall in the near future.

golf center deck prior to construction starting

Update: Nov 7, 2019

Two retaining walls adjacent to the Rotary Building are being replaced. They were installed when the building was constructed in 1993 and have failed. The areas adjacent to the walls will be fenced during construction for safety purposes. Park patrons are reminded to stay out of the construction zone. (before photo below)

picture of retaining wall prior to construction starting