Naperville Park District officials are considering a $1.2 million proposal to renovate the popular Ron Ory Community Garden Plots south of downtown.

More than $500,000 of the three-phase project would be spent on replacing a multiuse gravel parking lot near Knoch Park with an asphalt lot. An additional $320,000 is earmarked for raised garden beds with an accessible walkway.

Michelle Kelly, the principal landscape architect for the park district’s contractor, Upland Design, presented the plan to the park district board at Thursday’s meeting. Board members plan to vote on the proposal at their Aug. 11 meeting.

“We’re not making the gardens smaller, and we’re not putting sports fields on the gardens,” Kelly said. “We’re here to make them better.”

Among the other improvements proposed for the garden plots are restroom enclosures, a site for compost and manure, and metal shade and seating areas at existing water spigots. The site will remain at about 500 plots, including organic and no-till plots.

The project would be completed in three phases, starting with the raised beds and accessibility walkways. The metal shade structures and other features would be added in the second phase. Restroom enclosures and metal storage bins highlight the third phase.



In preparation for creating the master plan, Upland Design officials did a site analysis and held a stakeholder meeting with gardeners. Further input was gathered through an online survey and two community meetings.

Eric Shutes, the park district’s director of planning, said the details of the project and the exact costs could be adjusted based on the bid information that’s received.

“These are ballpark figures,” said Eric Shutes, the park district’s director of planning. “We’ll have more refined numbers to share with the board before we bring contracts for consideration and approval.”



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