Park district executive: Nelson Park will become a park

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A group of Decatur residents in the Nelson Park area are saying no to the idea of new stores or housing developments and Tuesday they took their fight to the Decatur Park District.

"Well Nelson Park will become a park," said Bill Clevenger, Decatur Park District Executive Director. "We'll mow it, we'll maintain it and it will be an open space usable by the public."

That is exactly what residents who live near the park wanted to hear. At first many residents were devastated by the closure of the nearly 93-year old course but soon fear replaced their grief. As rumors that a housing development project would gobble up the green.

Resident's like neighborhood watch president Rich Hunter wanted answers. So with a group of Nelson Park community members, he went to the park district for answers.

"By park district bylaws, it takes quite a bit to be sold off to put housing on so I think the people in the community will be relieved quite a bit," Hunter said.

Looking at the glass half full after a long battle to keep Nelson Park's golf course open comes to an end. For now, leaders at the Decatur Park District say they will try their best to make sure golfers who are of lower skill are welcome at the courses that remain open.

Nelson Park's public pool was also a financial casualty cut by the Decatur Park District after costly repairs were needed. The district had hoped to open an aquatic center to replace the pool but as of late those plans have been sidelined until the economy gets better.

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