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90th Anniversary
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90 Years with the Illinois Association of Park Districts
Let's begin the Celebration!

The year 1928 was monumental. Charles Lindbergh was presented the Congressional Medal of Honor for his first trans-Atlantic flight, and Alexander Flemming discovered Penicillin. It is fitting that 1928 was also the year that the Olympic Torch was lit for the very first time, for this was the same year an entrepreneurial gentleman named A.D. McLarty changed the history of Illinois parks, recreation and conservation by igniting something as well.

McLarty, Secretary of the Illinois Municipal League, used a letter writing campaign to spark interest in creating a statewide association for park officials. His idea spread like wildfire, and the Illinois Association of Park Districts was established.

Ninety years later, we pay homage to the hundreds of thousands of board members, professionals, staff and volunteers who have carried the torch that was kindled nine decades ago for Illinois parks, recreation and conservation. IAPD was created with the goal to make citizen board members and professional staff of Illinois park districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation and special recreation agencies the very best in the nation. When we look around the state at those who have dedicated years of their lives to the mission of IAPD and to making Illinois a better place, we know that not only did we achieve this goal, but we exceeded it far beyond our founders' wildest dreams!


A.D. McLarty, Organizer, IAPD, 1928

Executive Secretary/Director