Established in 1966, the Sandwich Park District takes pride in serving more than 7,500 residents from Sandwich and surrounding communities. Whether protecting natural resources or providing unique recreational opportunities, the Park District offers a number of quality programs and facilities for the entire community, including eight parks covering about 70 acres.
The Sandwich Park District offers a wide range of recreational facilities and amenities. Knights Park on N. Latham Street is the headquarters for the District, the home of the David A. Francis Community Center and the Park District pre-school program. Besides housing the pre-school, and administrative and programming staff, this central office building features a large multi-purpose room that is available for classes, community meetings and private rentals. Knights Park includes soccer fields, a shelter with picnic tables, a basketball court, two large playground areas and a sand volleyball court. Several blocks away, in the downtown area of Sandwich, is Veteran’s Park, with a large gazebo that hosts many activities for various community groups (such as the annual Freedom Days 4th of July weekend celebration), as well as Park District programs, memorials for area war veterans and even an occasional wedding.
The Park District also maintains two large parks on each end of town for youth sports. Milestone Park on the city’s northwest side features tennis courts, a playground, softball/raggball diamonds and a concession stand. Memorial Park, on the south end of town, boasts six baseball diamonds, which are actively occupied in the spring and summer months, with a playground and a large concession stand also there.
Patriots Park, located in the northeast part of the city, centers around a gazebo with picnic tables, but also houses a full basketball court, a playground and spacious green areas. Two smaller neighborhood parks, Henderson in the center of town and Westfield in a new west edge development also offer playgrounds and basketball courts.
The largest new addition to the Sandwich Park District is Harvey Creek Conservation Area. This natural area was developed to enhance an established 10-acre wetland that was previously privately owned. In addition to the wetland, the park now proudly displays 20 beautiful acres of native prairie planted with many of the original Illinois prairie flowers and grasses. An extensive hiking/biking trail allows residents to explore the area, and also includes a picnic shelter. In 2008, this park won a national EPA award for the preservation of natural areas.
In these eight parks and elsewhere, the Sandwich Park District offers recreational activities for all ages. A wide variety of programs are held for children from preschool through teenage years, as well as adults. In addition to the youth sports, some other programs include: the Mother Goose Club, various arts and crafts, CPR and First-Aid, swimming lessons, Summer Day Camp, “The Bus Stops Here” travel program and much more. Every year, the Park District also sponsors free community events, such as the Easter Egg Hunt, a Fall Festival, a Santa Brunch, Movies and Concerts in the Park, 4th of July Fireworks and a Civil War Encampment.
Program listings and registration are available through the District’s printed brochures and on the Web site at www.sandwichparkdistrict.org.