Leal Park

Acres: 3

303 W. University Ave., Urbana, IL

About the Park:

Leal Park was initially established as Urbana’s first pioneer and Indian cemetery although the cemetery was never formally platted and was generally kept in an untended condition. Urbana Street Commissioner Thomas L. Leal was assigned by City officials to relocate identifiable remains to outlying cemeteries and the site became an Urbana City Park in 1903. It was later given to the Urbana Park District and established as a park district park in 1909. See an aerial site map. 

The historic 1852 Greek Revival Cottage was relocated to the park in 1976 and today is home to the district’s administrative offices. The park is also home to many mature oaks, among them one that was certified as a bicentennial tree by the National Association of Arborists in 1987. It has been growing on the site since at least 1787, the year of the signing of the United States Constitution.

In 2016, a Bur oak and a White Oak (also mentioned above as a bicentennial tree) were named City of Urbana Legacy Trees.

Both were selected for nomination by the Urbana Park District for their size, age and proximity to a historic structure.

It is also likely that due to the size, location and growth structure of the trees they are remnants of the Big Grove, a forest that was in much of Champaign County prior to the settlement of Urbana.

The Bur oak is roughly 57 inches in diameter at breast height [4’ off the ground].  It is 81 feet high and has a 98-foot crown spread. The White oak is also roughly 57 inches in diameter at breast height. It is 81 feet high and has a 105-foot crown spread.

 

Leal-Park

Amenities:

  • Historic Greek Revival Cottage (1852)
  • Historic Gazebo (1941)  
  • Legacy Trees
  • Open space
  • Parking
  • Paved path