Boulder Hill picnic aims to restore neighborhood unity

By Ericka Wurst for Chronicle Media

: Boulder Hill residents listen to law enforcement address crime and gang issues in the neighborhood at a March town hall meeting. (Chronicle Media photo)

Forget your traditional block-party.

Boulder Hill resident Rob Delong is upping the ante this summer and is extending a party invitation to every resident in his neighborhood.

Nearly 200 people are expected to show up, shake hands with their neighbors, and enjoy food, fun, games and prizes at Boulder Hill’s first community picnic, scheduled for Aug. 5.

Delong’s goal is to bring back the hometown community feel of Boulder Hill, and make it a place where everyone knows their neighbor. His push to do so came in the wake of an uptick in crime and shootings throughout the Oswego Township community.


“After the shootings and the crime going up, everybody was afraid to go outside or let their kids walk to the park,” Delong said. “If you know who your neighbors are and who’s around you, you’re not going to be afraid. It’s all a part of taking Boulder Hill back and making this a close community again.”

So, Delong made a simple Facebook post asking if there would be interest in a community-wide picnic this summer. Enthused residents piped-up and cheered the idea on.

Sponsors, including local realtor Melissa Yackley, Jacobsen Lawn Care, Zoomieboy Fabrications and Machine Repair, and the Select Restaurant have helped Delong secure hundreds of hamburgers, hotdogs, buns, condiments and drinks for the event. Others are asked to bring grills, side dishes to pass and snacks. Don’t forget blankets and chairs, as seating is limited.

There will be games for kids to play and door prizes to win for simply showing up.

“One person agreed to sponsor, and then there was another and another, and pretty soon, the whole picnic was paid for,” Delong cheerfully said.

Long Beach Elementary School gave Delong permission to use its grounds for the event, which will be held from 1-4 p.m.

Several local government officials are expected to attend, including Oswego Township Trustees  Allyson Jacobson, Donna Stanley, and Diane Selmer. Kendall County Board members Scott Gryder and Lynn Cullick will also be in attendance.

“The whole idea just really took off,” Delong said of the event. He’s encouraging Boulder Hill residents who want to attend to RSVP on the “What’s Happening in Boulder Hill” Facebook page.





—- Boulder Hill picnic aims to restore neighborhood unity —-