Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Leave It Better: Farming out Fun

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Leave It Better: Farming out Fun

Article excerpt

Historic farm transforms into an interactive educational facility for the community.

Project:

Bonner Heritage Farm, Lake County Forest Preserve District, Illinois

Problem:

Ten years ago, a 153-year-old farm was sold to a homebuilder, but eight of the 319 acres plus the farm's historic buildings were donated to the Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD) for leisure and preservation opportunities.

Solution:

To ensure historic preservation of the site and the utmost in public benefit, the LCFPD embarked on a three-year, multi-million dollar project that has yielded tremendous community support. The design firm sought public input from children, the park district and community representatives on how to transform the property. The result is an educational facility with a series of interactive exhibits that celebrate farm living in an accessible setting. There is also a maze of activities that depict farm life including a vegetable plot, an herb garden resembling the Scottish flag, a grazing station and hay bales. The property also has an interpretative trail that connects to the 35-mile Millennium Trail.

Cost:

Budget was $1.395 million. Project costs were covered by $1 million in bond funds and $395,000 from two separate Illinois Public Museum capital grants. …

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