Peru’s Sunset Park receives Illinois Parks and Recreation Association award

2023 IPRA Promotes Play Initiative awarded for new playground equipment renovations

Peru Mayor Ken Kolowski announced Director of Parks, Recreation & Special Events Adam Thorson and the park board had been awarded the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association’s 2023 IPRA Promotes Play Initiative during Monday night’s council meeting.

Peru Director of Parks, Recreation and Special Events Adam Thorson and the Park Board received the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association’s 2023 IPRA Promotes Play Initiative award for improvements at Sunset Park.

The honor was announced at Monday’s Peru City Council meeting by Mayor Ken Kolowski.

Thorson thanked the members of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for the time they spent working on the project with him.

“It means a lot,” he said. “It’s a great honor for the city and the Park Board to be recognized by that highly of an organization.”

Thorson and the board were recognized with the award following Sunset Park improvements completed in October, thanks in part to a $43,001 grant from GameTime through a program developed in partnership with the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association.

It supplemented the $150,0000 in upgrades. The city paid $116,110.

Illinois Parks and Recreation Association’s 2023 IPRA Promotes Play Initiative award.

The new upgrades included new playground equipment consisting of a rock climber, a tube kids go through and a variety of other equipment. The project also included engineered wood fiber safety surfacing for the ground.

“We want to continue to keep doing these things and keep getting recognized for it.”

—  Peru Mayor Ken Kolowski on winning park award

Board Chairman Steve Michelini said the board tries to upgrade a park every year and acknowledgement of the board’s hard work is meaningful.

“A lot of credit goes to the community,” he said. “They use the park. That’s why we keep upgrading.”

Michelini said he was most proud of the improvements made to the playground, but the Park Board is looking at doing more upgrades in the future.

“We are looking at the diamonds and the lights this year,” he said.

Kolowski said it was nice to be recognized and the residents have enjoyed the improvements made at the park.

“We are seeing a lot of uptake in that park,” he said. “A lot of kids are enjoying it. We want to continue to keep doing these things and keep getting recognized for it.”