Vern Thelen Park Renovations Near Completion


I’m thrilled to bring you the latest developments on the evolution of Vern Thelen Park. For over two decades, this 30-acre property has remained vacant, and now, it’s on the brink of a vibrant transformation into a recreational haven for all.

Through planning and community input, we’ve tailored Vern Thelen Park to cater to every demographic and interest. Here’s a glimpse of the features and amenities awaiting you:

  • Basketball Courts
  • Birdwatching Area
  • Disc Golf Course
  • Naturalized Plantings
  • Obstacle Course
  • Overlook to Rookery
  • Pavilion Overlooking Water
  • Pickleball Courts
  • Play Area
  • Slope/Sledding Hill
  • Sports Shelter
  • Volleyball Court
  • Walking/Hiking Trail

I’m also delighted to share another exciting piece of news: the acquisition of the Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church building. This acquisition marks a significant milestone for our community, as it signifies the revitalization of an underutilized building and the consolidation of Township services under one roof.

After thorough consideration and exploration of alternatives post-referendum, the opportunity to acquire Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church emerged as a strong possibility. These projects are being funded in part by General Obligation Bonds along with an OSLAD Grant (Open Space Land Acquisition and Development) to help fund some of Vern Thelen Park phase 1. We will be applying for the next round of OSLAD grants to help us begin and complete Thelen phase 2.

We have also applied for CPF (Community Project Funding) available through Congressman Brad Schneider and the House Appropriations Committee. Additionally, we will be applying for a RDMS Grant (Rebuild Downtown Main Street grant) to help with the needed ADA accessibility requirements and repurposing expense needed to occupy our ‘new to us’ purchase of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church.

As we embark on these transformative endeavors, rest assured that we’re committed to keeping you informed every step of the way. Together, we’re forging a brighter, more vibrant future for our community.

Warm regards,
Tom Shaughnessy