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.

Oakwoods Lodge Parking Lot Renovation Project

Sterne's Fen Restoration Project

Shamrock Hills Park Development

Racket Club Parking Lot ADA Accessibility Project

Lippold Park Family Golf Center Deck Replacement

Rotary Building at Veteran Acres Park

2020-2021 PROJECTS

Sterne's FEN restoration project

5617 E. Hillside Rd, Crystal Lake, IL

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.

----20 sternes notice priority 1-16.jpg

2019-2020 Projects


Route 176 & Second St, Crystal Lake

Update: Dec 2, 2019

The parking lot is complete and is now open to the public for use.

Update: Oct 3, 2019

The base material for the new parking lot was installed before the big rains hit. Unfortunately, because of the persistent rains, the pond and lower bowl area of Veteran Acres are flooded. The project is on hold until the waters recede.

Update: Sept 5, 2019

The project will begin sometime next week (week of Sept 9) and will take approximately two weeks (with no rain) to complete. During construction the driveway will be closed. Programs scheduled for this building may be rescheduled for relocated. The building can only be accessed from the east door (facing the Nature Center). The west door (facing the parking lot) will not be usable. A portion of the path on the east an west sides of the parking lot will also be closed.

Sterne's FEN restoration project

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

Shamrock Hills Park development

Shamrock Hills Park, 6204 Hillside Rd, Crystal Lake

Update: Dec 2, 2019

The permanent driveway and parking areas are now open to the public.

Update: Oct 3, 2019

The rain has delayed construction of the new driveway and parking area. Recently the front stoop and handicap accessible ramp were installed. New lights have been installed along the driveway and sidewalks.

Update: June 20, 2019

Work continues at Shamrock Hills where the driveway is being widened and parking spaces being installed. Underground storm sewers are being installed to handle storm water runoff.

Visitors to the park are asked to park in the temporary lot provided off Hillside Road. Turn in the first driveway east of Walkup on the north side of Hillside Road. Please be aware that this is an active construction zone and stay away from open excavation and equipment.

Main driveway at Hillside Road
Looking east toward the new parking area

Update: June 14, 2019

Work continues on the driveway, parking and drainage improvements. Please access the park from Walkup Avenue during construction and park in the grass (out of the construction zone.)

Update: May 29, 2019

Driveway and parking improvements are now underway at Shamrock Hills Park. During construction the main driveway entrance on Hillside Road will be closed much of the time. Please enter off of Walkup Avenue and park in the grass outside of the construction zone. Thank you for your patience and cooperation!

Update: May 23, 2019

Construction will begin the week of May 28. The public is asked to use the Walkup Avenue entrance to the park during construction.

Update: May 6, 2019

The driveway and parking improvement project is expected to begin around June 1. The Hillside Road driveway access will be closed during construction.

Update: March 8, 2018

The first phase of development at Shamrock Hills Park is improving the driveway and adding parking spaces. This work will provide public access to the park which is located at the NE corner of Hillside Road and Walkup Avenue. Construction is expected to begin in May or June.


9101 S. Route 31, Algonquin, IL

Update: Dec 2, 2019

Work continues on the new exterior sidewalks. Construction will wrap up soon for the season. Restoration will be completed in the spring.

Update: Nov 7, 2019

The exterior concrete sidewalks and patios between the building and the courts are being replaced to provide handicap accessibility. This will include the installation of railings along ramped sections of the sidewalks and a new location for the upper patio. Work will continue through the upcoming winter months as weather permits.

picture of concerete patio installation

picture of new lighted racket club sign
Update: June 14, 2019

Phase 1 of the handicap accessibility improvements is complete except for final landscaping. The front building entrance is now open again. Phase 2 is expected to begin in late fall.

Update: May 23, 2019

The project got underway on May 20. Asphalt has been removed and yesterday new concrete curbs were poured. This project is expected to take two weeks to complete. Signage is posted around the construction site directing members to parking and the building entrance.

Update: May 6, 2019

The contractor expects to begin this job on May 20. It will take two weeks to complete, during which time patrons will enter through the locker room doors. The pavement around the front entry doors will be removed and replaced. Handicap accessible parking spaces will be relocated across from the front door.

Update: April 8, 2019

Late April, early May (weather permitting) construction will begin for our ADA Accessibility Improvement Project. This project is required to bring us up to date with ADA regulations.

What will be changing:

The handicap parking spots will be relocated from east of the front entrance to directly across the driveway from the front doors. Also, new sidewalk paving directly at the front doors and just east of the front doors will take place.

What to expect during the project:

During the project, the front entrance will not be accessible and parking to the west of the front door may be closed or extremely limited. The exterior locker room doors will be open for you to enter and exit the club for indoor club activity. For your convenience there will be signage posted to assist with the location of the temporary entries and exits. Please check in at the front desk as you normally would.

We do apologize for the inconvenience and ask you to please plan accordingly to allow yourself enough time when parking. We will also keep you up to date on any changes in the progress of the project.

Thank you for your patience during this time.

Lippold Park Family Golf Center Deck Replacement

1251 W. Route 176, Crystal Lake

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: 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

monthly schedule


Sidewalk replacement for handicap accessibility at the Racket Club

Replacement of two retaining walls at the Rotary Building in Veteran Acres

Replacement of the clubhouse deck at the Lippold Park Family Golf Center