Program on parks and rec history

SYCAMORE – The golf course, swimming pool and community center are things many people in Sycamore take for granted, but that was not always the case.

The community worked hard in the early 1920s to establish the Sycamore Park District. The Sycamore History Museum will explore the history of the park district at its Nov. 1 Brown Bag Lunch. The talk will be led by students in a sports history class at Northern Illinois University.

The new exhibit, “Play: Stories, Mementos and Fun” at the Sycamore History Museum features the golf course, swimming pool, Teen Town, Sycamore youth baseball and softball and AYSO soccer. All of these activities are connected with the Sycamore Park District. As in in most exhibits, the exhibit can tell only part of the story due to a limited amount of space. The Sycamore History Museum is looking forward to presenting additional information about this important part of the community.

“Last spring, Dr. Stanley Arnold from NIU contacted me to see if his fall sports history class could work with the museum on this new exhibit,” museum executive director Michelle Donahoe said. “It would be too late to have students create part of the exhibit, but I explained we are always looking for people to help with programs.

“The park district was one of those topics we wanted to include as a Brown Bag Lunch – there was so much information we could do a whole exhibit on their history. I met with the students a few weeks ago, and several were interested in the project. I am looking forward to hearing about their research during the talk.”

The program will be held at noon at the Sycamore Park District Club House, 940 E. State St. – not at the Sycamore History Museum. It is free and open to the public. Bring a lunch; coffee and cookies will be provided.

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