Park board to consider new signs for park entrances

A sign welcoming parkgoers to Evergreen Hollow Park in Effingham shows signs of wear at the entrance of the park at West Evergreen Avenue and Pelican Street. Dawn Schabbing photo

EFFINGHAM — The Effingham Park Board heard this week there is a need for some new signage. Officials are looking at a digital and programmable sign in at least one location for the park district.

Jeff Althoff, director and secretary for the park district, said weather over the past several years has taken a toll on signs at all of the parks in Effingham. New signs are needed at Evergreen Hollow Park and Community Park and a new face of a sign is needed at Hendelmeyer Park.

“They’ve outlived their lives,” said Althoff on Thursday. "Right now we are just in the beginning stages of looking at designs and costs."

There was no action taken on the matter during a board meeting Wednesday.

Althoff said he'd like to upgrade the sign at Evergreen Hollow Park with a digital, programmable one. If approved by the city, the sign would be placed at Evergreen Avenue and Maple Street.

“I’d like to look at getting an updated sign with a message board,” said Althoff. “There are always banners out there and sometimes it looks tacky. This would be something us and the sports complex could use – and even the hospital could use, since they are in (the sports complex).”

If approved by the city, he’d also like to get a partnership with HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital to help share the costs. His estimate for the cost would be at least $20,000 for the electronic sign.

In other matters, Althoff said Evergreen Hollow Park ball diamond has a drainage problem, especially in the left field area. Althoff said cutting a ditch behind the fence to help with the drainage would cost about $20,000. So instead the park crew will look at regrading the outfield and possibly adding dirt to the left field area.

Looking ahead even further, Althoff said he wants to pursue a design and cost estimates for improvements at the Evergreen baseball diamond.

“I’d just like to see some prices and ideas on paper of what it would take to fix up that diamond,” said Althoff. “We’d be looking for donors for that ballpark project.”

Board members Ron Mietzner and Angie Kronewitter were absent from this month's meeting.

In other business, the board:

• Heard from Patti Smith and Leah Ritter with the Richard E. Workman Sports & Wellness Complex about memberships and programs. Total memberships are up by 11 since last month, with July coming in at 2,392.

• Heard Junior NBA has started for kindergarten and junior high age groups this week, but registration remains open.

• Heard that Workman Sports Complex raised $585 for Relay for Life at this year’s event.

• Heard Althoff wants to trade in a 2009 Dodge Dakota for a newer used truck. He’s been looking at local dealerships for the best deal.

• Heard that Sunday is the last day for the Kluthe Memorial Pool to be open for the season.

Contact Dawn Schabbing at or 217-347-7151, ext 138