PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria Park District Board of Trustees viewed tentative plans for a privately funded pavilion to be built in Donovan Park at their meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 29.

The non-profit group, “Pavilion in the Park,” is hoping to transform 18 acres of Donovan into a performing arts and educational center. One of the organizers, Sara Connor-James, said the project will only use 2 acres for the open-air pavilion, leaving the remaining acres as green space.

“We plan to open that green space with more than 250 trees,” Connor-James said. “Our green space is also going to include native plantings.”

Friends of Open Space have criticized the project, saying it will destroy wildlife, add light and sound pollution, and create heavy car traffic in nearby areas. They said they are still skeptical of the project even after hearing the group’s plans.

Connor-James said after consulting engineers and architects, they have determined the pavilion will not add excess noise in the area. The professionals consulted were not present at the meeting.

The executive director of the Peoria Park District said they will vote on the pavilion in October. The date is still to be determined.

The board also approved the Glen Oak Park Conceptual Reimagination Plans, renovating the park. It will add three half-court basketball courts, two picnic shelters, and an all-inclusive playground. Renovations to the Glen Oak Amphitheater have not been voted on yet.

More information about the Peoria Park District and projects can be found here.