Crystal Lake Park Rehabilitation Project


Crystal Lake Park Projects & Planning Feedback

On Sunday, October 3, 2021 the Urbana Park District held an Open Road Day event in Crystal Lake Park.  The event celebrated the recent updates within the park, provided a safe space for bicyclists and pedestrians to recreate in a socially-distanced manner, and gathered feedback on future planning initiatives within the park. 


Planned improvements include:

One-Way Road Transition

Dating back to the 2016 Urbana Park District Trails Master Plan, planning began to convert the Crystal Lake Park Road to one-way for vehicles.  In November of 2018, the park district held a dedicated meeting for feedback on the one-way road system. 

Half of the road will be dedicated to vehicle traffic, and the other lane will maintain use only for bicyclists and pedestrians.  A large stripe down the middle of the road, with pavement marking and signage, will be used to separate users.

Click here for more information on the one-way road transition.


UPDAC Outdoor Learning Pavilion

In 2020, the Urbana Park District was awarded a $750,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for a pavilion adjacent to the Nature Center.  It has been named to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Urbana Park District Advisory Committee (UPDAC) which is made up of Urbana community members who serve in an advisory and informative capacity to the park district.

The project includes a 30x40 foot pavilion with retractable sides for multi-season use, a fire place, and a single-user restroom.  The project also includes grills, a drinking fountain, path connections to the Nature Center and Nature Playscape, and a parking lot expansion with solar powered streetlights and rain gardens.  It will serve as the new home base of the Nature Day Camp, and will also be available for rental.

Click here for more information on the UPDAC Learning Pavilion.


Broadway Avenue Greenspace

This open space is the site of the former park district Planning & Operations Facility at 901 N Broadway Ave. After the demolition of the building in 2017, the site was restored with grass and tree plantings. It is a zone of opportunity for future planning and development.

Click here for more information on the Broadway Avenue Greenspace.


North Woods Redesign

The current North Woods pavilion is located in the center of the park, north of Crystal Lake and south of the Family Aquatic Center. Due to the old age of the pavilion and its location within the flood plain of the Saline Branch, a new pavilion and volleyball in this location is not proposed for the future.

Future possibilities include a transition to multiple small picnic zones with a soft mowed trail through a naturalized edge planted with taller grasses and wildflowers along the Saline Branch. Access to barbecue pits and space for outdoor recreational gatherings would be maintained. This pavilion had been home base for Nature Day Camp, which will be moving to the new pavilion near the Nature Center.

Click here for more information on the North Woods redesign.


Crystal Lake Park Master Plan Update

The previous Crystal Lake Park Master Plan was completed in 2007. This 2021 version is a progress update on which projects have been completed, are in progress, have been awarded grant funding, or have been completed. These projects range from the completed construction of the Nature Playscape and Family Aquatic Center, to projects in planning such as the road resurfacing and Broadway Avenue multiuse path, to future zones of development.  In addition to detailing completed and in-process projects, some additional areas of improvements are proposed.

Click here for more information on the Crystal Lake Park Master Plan Update.



Be sure to stay up to date on the Crystal Lake Park Rehabilitation Project by visiting our update page.

Since 2016, the Urbana Park District has been diligently making progress on the Crystal Lake Park Rehabilitation Project. After a year of research and public input, the Crystal Lake Rehabilitation, Access and Management Plan was completed. This document highlights an introduction to the process and history of Crystal Lake and a description of the plan development process. The next three chapters describe water and sediment quality, shoreline enhancement and habitat restoration, and public recreation. Last are the next steps and cost estimates.

 Sediment Basin Project (2017)
  • Crystal Lake takes in nearly 160 acres of urban storm water from the surrounding land uses. In a collaborative project with the City of Urbana, the sediment basin at the northern end of the lake was dredged, removing hundreds of truckloads of sediment, rocks and road grit and trash. This allows the sediment basin to continue collecting sediment and pollutants and not allowing them to spread throughout the lake.

ITEP/Carle Park St Multi-use Path (2019)
  • In 2019, a 10' wide multiuse path was installed along the south side of Crystal Lake Park, thanks to an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Project (ITEP) grant, and a generous match from Carle Hospital.
Partial Lake Edge/Access, Playground, and Pavilion Improvements (2020)
  • The park district also received an Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant award from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for $400,000. This money, combined with park district capital funds will provide an array of amenities in Crystal Lake Park. Some of these include limestone fishing outcroppings, lake edge restoration, nature-themed playground, family game area (concrete baggo and game tables), new boat dock with accessible kayak launch, pavilion replacement and two interpretive panels. The district will also restore portions of the lake edge and create more locations for water access outside of the grant; engineering is currently under way.
Park Road Resurfacing (2022)
  • In the Spring and Summer of 2022, the park district will mill and resurface the park road.  Improvements to existing lots and future parking locations are also planned.
Broadway Ave Multi-use Path and Bridge (2023)
  • The park district will receive $852,625 in grant funds to expand the Broadway Ave sidewalk between Park St and Stebbins St to a curvilinear multi-use path exactly like the new Park St path.