|Object Name||Print, Photographic|
Black and white photograh of Lions Park swimming pool in Lions Park, c. 1968.
In the summer of 1961, the Elk Grove Lions Club opened Lions Park and Pool as the first major recreational center of the Village. In 1968, the Lions Club signed over ownership of the site to the Elk Grove Park District.
|Collection||Schuette Biermann Farmhouse Collection|
In 1961, the Elk Grove Village Board approved a two year trial period for a new Park and Recreation Board to provide and supervise public playgrounds, athletic fields, recreation centers, and activities. The success of this trial resulted in the establishment of the Elk Grove Playground and Recreation Board in 1963.
Throughout the early 1960s, there was discussion about the formation of Elk Grove Village's own park district. Supporters of this idea drafted a referendum which included a ballot for five commissioner positions. The citizens of Elk Grove Village voted it down in 1963 due to a concern over additional taxes. Three years later, another referendum passed and the Elk Grove Park District was officially formed on May 24, 1966.
The first five Elk Grove Park District commissioners were Donald Schoen (President), Jack Brumm, Edward Hauser, Maret G. Meyer and David von Schaumburg. In 1967, they hired Jack Claes, the first Superintendent of Parks and Recreation. Since 1966, the Park District has continuously launched an array of programs, services, and facilities for the Elk Grove community, resulting in superior ratings from residents and recreation based organizations.
Due to declining attendance and community interest in more modern amenities, Park District director, Jack Claes, proposed a phased remodel of Lions Park pool into an aquatic theme park in the 1980s. In June of 1986, Rainbow Falls opened after the first phase of renovation. The second phase of construction included a batting cage and a miniature golf course. By 1987, the third phase of renovations resulted in an expanded miniature golf course, raft rides with man-made rapids, and tube slides.
By 2004, there was a $10 million campaign to renovate the park by demolishing outdated entities and adding new attractions, including an in-line hockey rink. In May of 2006, Rainbow Falls opened with a lazy river, four new slides, a community center, and zero gravity depth pool.