Grand opening for Roscoe Township Community Center at Founders Park
Many of Roscoe Township’s historic buildings are no longer standing. In 2018, Roscoe Township began development of a 17-acre parcel at 4562 Hononegah Road that included the 1840s home of Hannah and Robert Cross. In 1835 the Cross family became Roscoe Township’s first non-native settlers. Robert Cross helped organize Winnebago County and the county agricultural society. He built several schools and became one of the area's earliest representatives to the Illinois General Assembly. He was also a delegate to the convention that framed the first constitution of the State of Illinois.
With the township's help, residents formed a historical society to raise private funds to restore the Cross home. Donations can be made at RoscoeHistory.org. The home will serve as a museum.
Added to the restored historic home, the township crafted a plan to build a community center, develop the remainder of the property, and named it all Founders Park.
On Saturday, April 15 at 9:30 a.m., Roscoe Township will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand opening of the new Roscoe Township Community Center, 4562 Hononegah Road, Roscoe, Illinois 61073.
The township board applied for three state grants and received two, totaling $1,041,000. This is the largest recreational grant award in the township’s history.
A $704,000 PARC (Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations) grant in 2021 helped pay for the construction of the community center. Construction of the community center began in July. It totals 3,370 square feet and includes a small catering kitchen. The main room is 2,304 square feet and seats 183 people in rows for lectures and 117 around tables for dining.
The township is already planning a variety of activities at the community center, such as classes in gardening and personal technology. When not in use by the township, the community center is available for rental by individuals and organizations. For example, Live R.E.A.L. Foundation is holding a three-part drug education series there.
A $337,000 Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant (OSLAD) grant awarded last fall will go toward the development of the rest of the park. The township plans to complete construction of the park this year, with a multi-use pavilion, a field for outdoor markets, Native American land acknowledgment, and extensive walking paths.
With assistance from Pheasants Forever and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, volunteers planted about 13 acres of tallgrass and pollinator prairie this winter. Township trustees and community members planted more than 50 trees in October 2022.
Supervisor Bob Nowicki said, "Our board is grateful for the opportunity to help provide the community with this facility. My assistant Dawn Cassady and Roscoe architect Dan Saavedra volunteered many hours to secure the grant funding, making the park far nicer than what we could have done on our own. We look forward to seeing the people of Roscoe Township enjoy this community space."
Tap, click, or swipe on the photo below to view an image gallery of the completed Roscoe Township Community Center.