Smile Politely

Year of the Park, A to Z: Commissioners Park, Champaign

As Year of the Park continues, we will be documenting every park in Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy, Champaign County Forest Preserves, along with other odds and ends between July 2020 and more like August or September 2021. You can see what has been covered thus far by clicking here. If you have suggestions or ideas or feedback, feel free to contact us at


Commissioners Park  


902 Glen Abbey Dr., Champaign

a basketball court and walking path in a park

Photo by Maddie Rice. 


Commissioners Park is super duper new, and was established just two years ago in 2019. I do not appreciate this park at all at this particular moment, and I am going to tell you why below. But for now, here’s what it has to offer, and let me be the first to spoil it for you, it’s the same as the rest of these types of very new suburban tract parks: 

  • a playground
  • a half basketball court
  • a soccer pitch
  • paved walking paths
  • a “small” shelter

So it is what it is. Literally, it is a park like any other. Nothing special, but never a bad thing, of course. 

a playground yellow metal car on mulch

Photo by Maddie Rice. 


Look I am not ragging on the Champaign Park District for no good reason here, and believe me, I maintain that we have a helluva parks program here in Champaign. But I guess what I am trying to figure out is why we’d spend money now — here and now — to build out a park that just speculates that the rest of this property is going to fill up with houses in the next 10-20 years. I mean, maybe? Check out the landscape here: 

Screenshot from Google Maps. 

I mean, right now, this is serving just a handful of households. And yeah, they all totally deserve a neighborhood park… eventually. Judah Christian School — which is a garbage dump of an institution — will soon move its homophobic theological indoctrination cult out this way, and it too, will get the benefit of a taxpayer funded park, built prematurely, before there is anyone living on three sides of where it was built. 

Of course, they don’t pay any taxes themselves. And how! 

I get it; we need each new tract of suburban land that is developing to have these spaces, and I think it is important. But I would also argue that given the scope of what the north side of Champaign has to work with, and how much more the center of the city could benefit from modifications and installations, this park should not have been developed yet. 

prairie grass growing in a new park with a small newly planted tree

Photo by Maddie Rice. 

C’est la vie. Que será será. Developers know how to work the angles, and they have deep pockets to get the things they want in order to deepen those pockets. That’s why they are driving the big car, and the rest of us are driving the little car, and that’s capitalism, even inside of a socialist program like a park district. Yes, collectively funding parks is socialism. 

Sorry y’all! 

And I meant what I wrote about Judah Christian School above; they can seriously go straight to hell — and by the looks of it, they may arrive there in due time. 

James 3:1. Read it and weep, cowards. Jesus wept, too. But for different reasons.

Top image by Maddie Rice. 

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