Hatchery Park is the original location of the first state fish hatchery in Illinois, constructed in 1914. Cold water springs produced the flowing water essential for hatching many types of fish. As a writer for the Fox Valley Mirror in 1932 wrote, the fish hatchery was “… a reward for the leisurely search for the unusual,” which still holds true today.
When village took ownership in 2007, the grounds and building were in disrepair. Fundraisers and grants helped turn the building into a visitor’s center with exhibits, repair and clear the ponds of weeds, build fishing piers, clear the walking paths and more.
But more work – and more funding – is needed to continue to maintain and enhance the park. “This is our Central Park,” resident and Hatchery supporter Ron Erdmann said, “It’s an absolute pearl. It’s a great place to take the little ones and teach them to fish…but this is a large project for a small town to handle.” A new pond fountain and beautiful pavilion are two most recent projects. Future projects include building permanent restrooms, continuing maintenance of the ponds and grounds, and one day connecting the park to the downtown area with a pedestrian bridge built over the Nippersink Creek.
Fundraisers are held each year and include the Fish Boil evening at Horse Fair Park in June, and a yearly wine & craft beer tasting at Hatchery Park.
Thank you for your support!