For decades U.S. Army troops trained for war at the camp grant rifle range in New Milford. Now the range is a place where the stateline seek the peace of Atwood Park.
"The fact that the military camp was here is the reason we have a park. We had the land donation and we capitalize on the history. There are still target pits and bunkers," says Rockford park district environmental program coordinator Katie Townsend.
This spring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working to remove any potentially dangerous remnants from the rifle range.
"Since this is the fourth phase of past work we don't expect to find much of anything," said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project manager Walt Perro.
Starting Tuesday they'll begin clearing brush. Next week contractors will remove any metal objects in up to two feet of topsoil.
"The challenge it will present is making sure our programming can continue and that we keep a safe distance from any kind of work that's being done," says Townsend.
This should be the end of ordnance removal but there are still some environmental concerns.
"There will be some follow-up work to make sure there was no chemical contamination from the munitions," says Illinois Environmental Protection Agency spokesperson Charlene Falco.
The park will be open during the operation. All work should be complete by Memorial Day.