Talking Goals: Soccer Pop-Up at the Community Playfield

On Saturday October 16th the ‘Ready Set Wilmette’ team posted up at the Community Playfield (702 Locust Road, Wilmette, IL) to connect with soccer goers, families, parents, and youth about the Village’s Comprehensive Plan. The weather was absolutely perfect – blue skies, sunshine, and crisp fall temps. Thanks to the Park District for hosting!

Scroll down to read the pop-up summary and event highlights….

Getting the Word Out + Community Involved

Residents from all over Wilmette mapped input and ideas for the future.

The event was the first pop-up as part of Ready Set Wilmette, The Village’s Comprehensive Plan. The primary focus was on getting the word out about the project and hearing from residents. Community input tools were provided in the form of idea posters, a comment map, and sign-up form for web updates. Marketing cards were shared and distributed to encourage folks to learn more and follow the project website. And dozens of conversations were had about the project, plan, process, and priorities for the future of Wilmette.

With soccer games spanning pee-wee to 8th grade, the sidelines were filled with a cross-section of the community. The consultant team spoke with a wide range of locals including new residents who just recently moved to the Village from Chicago, Evanston, and elsewhere… as well as young parents who grew up in Wilmette and decided to move back to raise their own children. Long standing residents and grandparents of soccer players who have lived in the Village for decades, also dropped by to learn and share.

In addition to connecting with a wide array of parents and families, the team chatted with Park District staff, teachers from New Trier, and even a few referees between games. And let’s not forget the plentiful youth of all ages! Soccer ball fidget spinners and squishy key chains were provided for all who shared an idea for the Village’s future, which drew a large crowd of curious littles.


Community Open House + Wilmette Talk #1

Thursday, November 11th from 6-8pm

Auditorium at the Community Recreation Center · 3000 Glenview Rd

Highlights of Community Input

  • Local parks are much loved and appreciated by parents and kids
  • Families associate / connect with each other at nearby parks and playgrounds
  • Social cohesion is built through local schools and parks
  • Downtown is great, love for the streetscape improvements and restaurant scene
  • Address vacancies on Green Bay Road / activate foot traffic / sense of place
  • Desire for continued focus on walkability / safe biking
  • Intersection of Lake and Ridge is a concern; bottleneck traffic and safety
  • Pedestrian safety around Loyola near the highway is an issue
  • Pickleball courts (underway by the Park District)
  • Permanent bathroom facilities at the Community Playfield are desired
  • Continue sustainability efforts / future focus
  • Zip line park
  • More things to do outdoors during the winter months

A Few Sound Bites + Quotes

  • “We moved to Wilmette from Chicago 2-years ago to raise our family and love it. We live on the west side near Loyola and travel outside the Village for some goods / groceries; in Northfield.”
  • “We moved to Wilmette from Evanston last year and love the access to parks, open space, and recreational ongoings…”
  • “Pop-ups like this are great, you definitely hear from a wider net of residents.”
  •  “Generate foot traffic and sense of place on Green Bay Road. Having grown up in Wilmette near there, all the vacancies are sad to see.”

Towards the end of the idea pop-up, remaining project cards were circulated to event goers who were sitting on the sidelines. The upcoming community open house was flagged, and project website and variety of online input tools promoted. Thanks to everyone who connected with us!

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