Mayor Anthony Calderone received great news last week when he received notice that the Village will be the recipient of a Technical Assistance Grant via the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program of the National Park Service. The grant will provide expert technical assistance in the development of a Cultural Park.


Envisioned to be built on the south end of the Altenheim, the Cultural Park has been widely discussed throughout the community as a fitting use for the vacant parcel owned by the Village. The idea is to construct a venue where a number of social and musical events could be held among the natural surroundings.


“We are super excited to have the National Park Service at our disposal to aid us if we move forward with this project,” said the Mayor, adding, “their expertise in this initiative will be invaluable and we are extremely grateful for this award.”


The Forest Park Cultural Park is the brainchild of resident Ralph DiFebo. Other volunteers, including residents, professional architects, and engineers have come together under an ad-hoc committee created and endorsed by the Mayor and Commissioners. Commissioner Rachell Entler is its village liaison.


In addition to this grant, the Mayor has submitted another grant application for a feasibility study offered and funded by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). The RTA/CMAP grant will help the elected officials determine if the Cultural Park can be developed. The RTA/CMAP Grant hasn’t been awarded yet but all parties involved remain hopeful.