St. James Farm - Picnic Pavilion Improvements
The popular 150-person picnic pavilion at St. James Farm Forest Preserve is one of the District’s most often reserved picnic shelters. The pavilion was in need of repairs and improvements to extend its useful life to support existing and future programs at the preserve.
Plans call for replacing the cedar shake roof with an asphalt shingle roof; repairing posts and foundations to stabilize the structure; connecting both sides of the pavilion with a covered roof to protect from weather; adding a permanent grill patio to the south shelter; and providing benches and artificial turf game courts. In addition, the entire floor of the shelter and the outer plaza space will be replaced to meet accessibility guidelines and increase capacity of the shelter for larger group use (up to 200 people).
The District's Planning Department worked with a consultant to put together complete construction drawings and submitted the project for permits in summer 2020. Construction began in October 2020, but the deterioration was more extensive than expected and additional work was need to stabilize the structure. Improvements to the picnic pavilion were completed in September 2021 and it is now open to the public.
The project received a $150,000 matching grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development program. The District has allocated $155,000 toward this project.
Old picnic pavilion
New picnic pavilion