Getting to know UPF Trustee Bill Gray

Why do you support Urbana Parks?
Our family supports the Urbana Park District and Urbana Parks Foundation because of all it has to offer.  We moved to Urbana in 1993, and at the time our children were six and three years old.  Over the years our family has participated in many programs particularly sports like soccer, basketball, dance, and we annually bought a Crystal Lake pool pass to swim and dive.  

I recall my son and I helped to build the Meadowbrook playground wood structure.  To this day we enjoy regular visits to Meadowbrook Park to meet friends, picnic, walk and ride bikes.  My daughter found the youth summer theatre productions to be the perfect place to develop her interest, hone her talents and have a great time meeting others with similar interest.   

Urbana parks hosted some of our birthday parties too. One memorable birthday was at Anita Purves Nature Center.  The park staff showed my son and his friends all the bugs and tadpoles in the water and animals and birds in the woods.  Another birthday gathering was at Blair Park for my 50th.   

The Sunnycrest Tot Lot, located at 505 Sunnycrest Ct E., has play equipment appropriate up to age five and a small picnic grove. Photo credit: Urbana Park District.

Other activities that are favorites of ours include neighborhood nights that moves to various parks around our city, the tot lot playground at Sunnycrest, the disc golf course at Lohmann Park and hoorah for the Kickapoo Rail Trail!

What makes you excited for the future of Urbana Parks?  
The beautification of Crystal Lake Park rises to the top for me.  This park is such a hidden gem in our community.  I am also very excited for the opportunity to be involved with the possibility of a new wellness center.  If the grant is received the foundation would certainly be activated into fund raising for a beautiful new facility.

What are some of your favorite aspects of Urbana Parks?  
Meadowbrook Park is such a standout.  The trails, the playground, the pavilions with water fountains and restrooms, the sculptures, the streams, the trees, the gardens, it is just a great place to be.  The many and varied program offerings to the community is a tremendous aspect of Urbana Parks.  Urbana Parks provides a very high quality of life for the citizens of our community.