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Year of the Park, A to Z: Human Kinetics 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


Human Kinetics Park  


1607 N. Market St., Champaign  


Human Kinetics Park is, well, on site at Human Kinetics, which has been publishing journals, books, and studies about well, human kinetics, since 1973. If I told you that it was one of the world’s most important companies in its particular vertical, would you believe me? I sure wouldn’t! But you should! Because it is the truth. 

Here, you can read all about them here

Right now, as you can see above, there is no “park” to play in any longer. And that is a really good thing, because the founder of Human Kinetics, Rainer Martens, and his family, have gone all in on their property and with a massive donation to the park district, to create the Martens Center, which will be a comprehensive and vital resource for a piece of this community that has been neglected for far too long. This is a positive thing, for those of you counting at home. I am counting at home. I am also counting in my sleep. I am sick of people doing the wrong thing. This is not the wrong thing. This is a positive thing. 

Here, see what sort of space it will inhabit: 

a digital color rendering of the exterior of the soon to be Martens Center

Screenshot via Champaign Park District promotional video. 


Every administrator who ever administrated will have an opportunity to cement their legacy, whether by hard work or luck. Usually, it is a combination of the two. 

Our current Executive Director of Champaign Park District is going to leave his name in the history books for this project. Part of that opportunity comes from timing, but the other part comes from a life long committment to serving the people of Champaign through his work in the parks and recreation space. 

To know Joe DeLuce is to wanna squeeze him. He’s a big teddy bear if you can make him laugh, honestly. And the Martens Center will be his legacy, and for that, I am really really happy he is around to oversee its construction and debut. He deserves this, but moreover, the community that it surrounds deserves it too, and then some. 

Top image by Seth Fein. 

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