Field Park (Oak Park, Illinois)
Field Playground is a large recreational area in Oak Park, Illinois. In 2007, more than $1.4 million of taxpayer money was spent to reconfigure the ballfields at the location in response to the desires of boys' baseball and soccer commercial interests. The funds were obtained from local taxpayers and a matching grant from the Department of Natural Resources of the State of Illinois, so-called IDNR. That $399,000 was obtained under fraudulent circumstances, the grant proposal from the Oak Park Park District's executive director Gary Balling not mentioning that every old growth tree in the location was to be destroyed. A local environmentalist/whistle blower discovered the cover-up, contacted the local Illinois state senator and the press, and began a sequence of events leading to the disgrace of Mr. Balling and the landscape architect, Altamanu, a husband and wife team of John McManus and Josephine Bellalta. The controversy continues in 2017 as another $400,000 of local taxpayer money is being spent to remediate the harm of the defective original landscape design.