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New Byron park ready for the public

Byron visitors, parents, and picnickers have another park to enjoy, with more still coming.

Hamas Park, 108 E. Diamond St. and north of the Rock River, has undergone redevelopment throughout September.

According to Byron Park District Executive Director Paul Zepezauer, construction is mostly finished on the park and it is ready for public use.

Hamas Park features a regraded and landscaped site, parking lot, asphalt trails, a children’s playground, and furnishings peppered through the park, such as picnic tables, benches, and 21 additional shade trees.

Work on the lightning and fishing stations will finish in the coming weeks, and a set of boat docks, kayak launch, memorial plaza, and signs will go up in the spring.

“Every bit of it is free to the public - including the boat docks and kayak launch,” Zepezauer said. “People spending a day on the river can dock, come in to town, get what they need, and get back on the water.”

Zepezauer said he was particularly proud of the visual effect the park gives when coming into Byron from the forest preserve.

“If you’re coming in to Byron from the other side of the river, this is the first thing people are going to see as they come into town,” said Zepezauer. “It’s really a neat piece of land, which has been underutilized in the past, and is going to see some use now.”

The park district gained ownership of Hamas Park in 2014, and was awarded a $298,500 Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grant for redevelopment in 2015, with $46,700 for land acquisition.

The total budget for the new park is $650,000.