Monday night will be a joint City Commission and Township of Garfield Board of Trustees study session to review the recently completed Hickory Hills Master Plan. The plan is embedded below or you can download it at the City’s website. The presentation and discussion will walk through the key findings and opportunities.
The plan identifies both winter and summer opportunities. The focus in the plan is primarily on actions that would increase use and revenue. A key decision by the City will be to what degree it expects Hickory Hills to be run as a business vs. public park.
As part of that discussion, I’ll be looking for a recognition and appreciation of what the park brings to the community in indirect and induced value. That return on investment comes in the form of things like economic activity, property values, quality of life factors, impact on public health, and even social benefits like reduced crime rates.
Some suggested improvements:
- More efficient parking area.
- A new lodge, complete with added, higher quality services.
- Expanding winter terrain
- Improving cross-country ski trails
- Adding a climbing wall
- Improving mountain bike trails and adding a skills park
- Utilizing the park for programing, including public and private events
Have an interest in Hickory Hills? Peruse through the plan, participate in Monday night’s discussion, and let the City Commission know where you see the most opportunity. Email City Commissioners at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where do you see the greatest opportunity for Hickory Hills?
Comments received here will be passed on to the City.
The Hickory Hills Master Plan was prepared by the consultant SE Group, a specialist in ski resorts. The process came out of a previous city budget discussion that almost shutdown the ski operations. Due to the regional interest of the municipally owned ski hill, Garfield Township was invited to participate and contributed half of the $32,000 needed for the plan under review Monday night.