I am disappointed with recent actions of our Crystal Lake Park District administrator, banning the Crystal Lake Middle Schools from hosting their cross country meets at Veterans Acres. They stopped it several years ago, due to “neighbor complaints” and finally gave approval to them to go back. As the first time back, hosting a meet with the three Crystal Lake schools, the coaches were getting emails from the Park District due to “complaints.” And with the meet scheduled, the Park District also chose to open the playground that same day, after having been shut down all summer. With kids now in school, they all came at the time of the meet, 4 p.m.
VA is truly a course of many “champions” here within our town, as one of the toughest courses in our county. It’s also a beautiful setting and a course where spectators, family and friends can see the runners several times during the race. Lippold is a great spot, but flat and horrible for spectators, only seeing the runner at the start and the end. Unfortunately, parking is a bigger challenge at VA and spectators tend to park on local streets. The high schools who are allowed to use it can handle the parking, as their athletic budgets allow for shuttle buses for spectators who are instructed to park at the school. That is not an option for middle schools. Realize, that first meet and future, are on a weekday and last 1.5 to 2 hours max, complete by 5:30 or 6 p.m.
The streets there are public. But the middle schools are being banned from Veterans Acres, again. I am very saddened by this action.