Potts Park updates nearing completion

“Destination Parks” are part of Lan-Oak Park District strategy

Potts Park
This artist’s rendering shows the new playground equipment that is almost ready for use at Potts Park in north Lansing, Illinois.
by Melanie Jongsma
Potts Park
Potts Park, shown in green, is somewhat difficult to find because not all the surrounding roads are through streets. Chicago Avenue is the best way to reach Potts Park from the south.

LANSING, Ill. (September 23, 2017) – You’re unlikely to stumble across Potts Park unless you already know where it is. It’s accessible from the south via Chicago Avenue, or from the north via Oakwood Avenue, then west on 172nd Street.

It feels hidden and forgotten, and for many years it was. Acquired in 1956 and named after Dr. William Potts, the park was home to the oldest playground in the Lan-Oak Park District—until this summer. Sharon Desjardins, Senior Superintendent of Strategy & Operations, says the playground was “more than ready for replacement.”

Potts Park has already received a new asphalt entry with parking; removal of brush that blocked the entry and park sign; a new asphalt pathway connecting the playground to the basketball court; and repair, resurfacing, and re-striping of the basketball court. The playground equipment has been installed, and as of this writing should be ready for use next week, after the surrounding concrete is poured.

Potts Park Lansing, IL
New, bright-green playground equipment has been installed, and forms are in place for concrete to be poured. Potts Park should be ready for families before the end of September.

Desjardins, along with Superintendents Oralethea Davenport and Michelle Havran, has put a new strategy in place for updating Lansing’s parks. Rather than trying to make sure all parks have all the same equipment, they are thinking in terms of “Destination Parks,” with something unique about each one. Van Laten Park, for example, is the only part with a StoryWalk feature. Lions Park is the destination for pickleball.

Desjardins is hoping Potts Park will be the destination for bocce. The park is five acres, so there is plenty of room for the 90×13.1′ needed for a full-size bocce court. Desjardins is currently soliciting bids for installation of two bocce courts in the spring of 2018.

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