Waukegan’s Greg Petry SportsPark
As more and more families plan their weekends around youth soccer games and softball tournaments, the Waukegan Park District created a 135-acre public space that draws families from near and far.
The District wanted to adequately serve all community members while becoming a Midwest destination for hosting tournaments to attract sports tourism dollars. A plan was developed to convert the golf course into a sports park for soccer, baseball, softball, football and other programs, along with ample facilities for family gatherings and recreation.
Our team was contracted to lead the design of this sports complex. We envisioned four softball/baseball fields, 14 natural turf multipurpose fields, and one synthetic turf field. Supporting amenities include concessions, numerous restrooms, a splash pad, and a maintenance facility. We identified several sustainable opportunities to put in practice, such as saving and replanting more than 100 existing golf course trees, creating a large site for stormwater management, and maintaining an existing well for back-up irrigation. About 16.5 acres of native plantings, bioswales and rain gardens provide additional beauty and enhance water quality.
SmithGroup’s design also incorporated an environmental-themed playground with equipment for multiple age groups. Perimeter trails loop the complex and connect the park to the adjacent neighborhoods and community.
Waukegan is now home to one of the largest natural turf complexes in the country that serves and supports its community members while boosting economic development. Enjoy Illinois named the SportsPark as “the top sports complex in Northern Illinois” and “a perfect place to host tournaments and events.”