Friends of Illinois Parks' Foundation Thanks Ambassador Donors
(posted February 5, 2016)
IAPD and the Friends of Illinois Parks' Foundation thanks IPARKS, the Olympia Fields Park District and Sikich LLP for its Ambassador level donation.
Their contribution will enable Friends to continue to remain active and effective in supporting worthwhile projects.
Edward Karasek Celebrates 50 Years of Service
(updated February 5, 2016)
Originally appointed to the Berwyn Park District board on March 15, 1966, Ed Karasek will meet the 50-year golden milestone at the March 15, 2016
board meeting. Commissioner Karasek attends all meetings and functions and is
very committed to volunteer public service in Berwyn. He was given the IAPD Commissioner of the Year Award in 2011.
Watch an interview with Peter Murphy and Commissioner Karasek for IAPD’s Park & Conservation
Legends Video series. Congratulations Ed
on 50 years of selfless service to parks and recreation!
Please help us surprise Ed with a ‘Card Shower!’ Even if you have never personally met Ed, he will greatly appreciate hearing from other colleagues in the field who share his commitment to making Illinois a better place to live, work and play through parks, recreation and conservation.
Mail your card of congratulations so that it is received no later than March 1st to:
Berwyn Park District
3701 Scovill Avenue
Berwyn, IL 60402
Peoria Park District Seeking Executive Director
(posted January 11, 2016)
IAPD is assisting the
Peoria Park District with the recruitment of candidates for its Executive
Director position. The deadline for applications to be received is February 12, 2016.
The Peoria Park District is the oldest park
district in the state of Illinois. The district is a four-time winner of the
National Gold Medal award and was recognized as an IAPD/IPRA Distinguished
Agency in 1995 and 2005.
The compensation range for this position is
$150,000 to $170,000. Salary and benefits will be negotiated with the board of
trustees. Please go to ILparks.org/Peoria
to download the Announcement of Vacancy brochure.
2016 PowerPlay! Beyond School Grant
Cycle Now Open!
(posted January 11, 2016)
Association of Park Districts is proud to announce that the 2016 grant cycle
for the PowerPlay! Beyond School grant program is now open.
Download the application guide and make sure
your grant proposal is postmarked no later than February
26, 2016. Grant recipients will be notified by March 18, 2016.
Congratulations to the 2015 Gold Medal Award Winners!
(posted September 15, 2015)
IAPD congratulates the Park District of Oak Park for its Class IV and the Oak Brook Park District for its Class V Gold Medal Awards!
We are proud of the Fox Valley Park District (Class II) and the Itasca Park District (Class V) for being finalists for this prestigious award.
Park District Conservation Day at the Illinois State Fair a Great Success!
(posted August 27, 2015)
Thousands of Illinois State Fairgoers were exposed to positive messages about park districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation and special recreation agencies on Park District Conservation Day, Saturday, August 22. View our photo gallery from the day.
Watch Videos from the Day
Tom Barz talks about his involvement in parks and recreation.
Adriane Johnson talks about her involvement in parks and recreation.
Illinois Chopped Competition
Find out what Tom Barz made.
Find out what Adriane Johnson made.
Who won? Find out!
And, check out video footage from our Park Pentathlon and Recreation Relay, a fun, friendly competition with the Illinois State Fair Manager's Office, Illinois Secretary of State's Office and more competing in a variety of park-related activities!
Oak Brook Park District Celebrates the Chicago Red Stars
(posted August 3, 2015)
The Oak Brook Park District hosted a small reception on Evergreen Bank Group Athletic Field to congratulate the Chicago Red Stars on their recent WPSL National Championship and to welcome 7 of the 8 Women’s World Cup players back home.
IAPD spoke to Team Captain Lori Chalupny about the importance of park districts. Listen to her interview.
Illinois Park & Conservation Legends Video Series
(updated August 26, 2015)
This video series records and memorializes the experience and dedication of citizen volunteers and park board members throughout Illinois.
Listen to Diane Main, IAPD Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees, talk about her 38-year legacy of serving as a commissioner for the Westmont Park District.
IAPD Participates in Water Safety Press Conference
(updated June 18, 2015)
Watch video of this important press conference.
IAPD President/CEO Peter Murphy participated in a press conference with representatives of the American Red Cross, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to raise awareness about water safety.
"Park districts and recreation agencies are often the heart of their communities, a place for gathering and bonding, but they also fill a critical need – education. Education is the key to combating this important issue, and we are honored to be a part of this team to share the important message about learning to swim and drowning prevention.” - Peter Murphy
IAPD's Parks Day at the Capitol Emphasize the Power of Park Districts and Forest Preserves
(posted April 29, 2015)
Nearly 400 representatives of Illinois park districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation and special recreation agencies attended IAPD's Parks Day at the Capitol, Legislative Reception and Conference.
All of the events were a tremendous success! Most attendees met with their legislators and shared the message that park, recreation and conservation agencies have the power to create jobs, grow the economy, impact health and wellness and create a better quality of life for the citizens of Illinois.
Watch this great video featuring highlights from Parks Day at the Capitol.
Save Funding for Parks! Video Testimonials from the IAPD Membership
(updated April 22, 2015)
The Carbondale Park District was on track to complete a state-of-the-art outdoor municipal swimming project in May. The project was 75% complete, but construction was forced to stop by Governor Bruce Rauner. Despite promised state funding and nearly a million dollars of community contributions, there is a real threat that residents will not get to swim here this summer.
Watch this heart-felt video featuring representatives of the Carbondale Park District and the community.
Jason Brockschmidt, Director of Parks and Recreation for the Beardstown Community Park District, talks about how the community's frozen PARC grant is affecting plans to build a much needed swimming pool for the residents of his community.
Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 1-14, and the swimming pool would provide a safe place to teach swimming lessons to the youth of the community, which sits on the Illinois River.
John Curran, Director of Parks & Recreation for the Tinley Park-Park District shares a video explaining the positive impact parks have on the health and wellness of their residents.
Multiple projects conducted by agencies within the South Suburban Park & Recreation Professional Association are featured, detailing the valuable economic impact they have on their communities.
Listen to Larry Reiner, Executive Director of the Butterfield Park District, talk about how the governor's grant freeze is affecting the park district's plans to purchase a critical parcel of property and enhance parks throughout the district. These Butterfield Park District plans were approved by referendum with 70% of the vote.
Watch this compelling video of Shane Hamilton, South Elgin Parks and Recreation Supervisor, talking about the future of SEBA Park - a special needs friendly park three years in the making. Construction has been halted due to the State's suspension of funds. #saveOSLAD
Woodridge Park District Executive Director Mike Adams talks about the Athletic Recreation Center that would create jobs, improve the health and wellness of the community, revitalize the neighborhood, serve the indoor space needs for their community and so much more. This project has been halted and is now in jeopardy due to the State's suspension of funds.
Listen to Carol Stream Park District Executive Director Jim Reuter talk about how a park project in South Elgin will have devastating effects to the community and its citizens if it can't be completed.
Our members are sharing video testimony of what the suspension of State grants means to their agencies, communities and citizens. To share your story, contact Bobbie Jo Hill.
Statewide Reaction to State Grant Suspension - Trending Stories
(updated April 7, 2015)
We are monitoring media stories throughout the state regarding the suspension of all State grants, including capital grant programs such as OSLAD, PARC and Public Museum Grants. These suspensions even cover construction projects currently in progress.
Please take a moment to review some of the trending stories:
Westmont Park District Could Miss Out on $3.2 Million in State Grants
Diane Main, president of the district's Board of Commissioners, isn't giving up hope the state may allow the grants. "I think there's a lot of hope out there. I'm trying to be optimistic that it's not a dead issue."
Loss of Grants Hurt Park Projects (Chicago Tribune)
State Grant Suspensions Put Park Projects on Hold (Daily Southtown)
"To date, the district received bids for six of the construction trades, which came in approximately half a million dollars under budget. These cost savings are in jeopardy if the suspension continues past 90 days from when bids were received." - Mike Adams, Executive Director of the Woodridge Park District
"The state's suspension of grants not only means a loss of jobs but a loss of fitness and recreational amenities - activities that promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce health care costs."
State Grant Cuts May Put Many Aurora Area Projects on Hold (Chicago Tribune)
"The suspension not only threatens jobs that are helping to grow Illinois' economy, it creates exposure to local taxpayers for existing contractual obligations and project costs. The construction delays will also end up costing local taxpayers time and money." - Peter Murphy, IAPD President/CEO
Funding for Alton Parks in Jeopardy (5 KSDK.com)
"Governor Rauner touts these savings, say like, to the tune of $748,000 in Alton. It's not really a true savings. I don't see how the governor believes jeopardizing infrastructure, quality of life issues, and having an adverse economic impact on municipalities is going to somehow fix the state." - Alton Mayor Brant Walker
Status of Park Projects Uncertain After Rauner Grant Freeze (Chicago Tribune) - VIDEO INCLUDED
"State grants like the Open Spaces ones provide up to 50 percent of the cost of a project. Once complete, the entire state receives the benefits of wellness and after-school programs from such facilities. It's twice the return on its investment." - Jason Anselment, IAPD Legal/Legislative Counsel
State's Grant Freeze Leaves Glen Ellyn Projects in Doubt (mySuburbanLife.com)
"Part of what this kind of thing does is it negates two years of work we've done on this project. It's not like we just started planning on this last week." - Larry Reiner, Executive Director of the Butterfield Park District
State's Park Grants for East St. Louis, Edwardsville Put on Hold (BND.com)
"The tennis courts are more than 50 years old and can’t be used, except for picnics. Without the outside money, the East St. Louis Park District can’t carry out the project. We rely pretty heavily on these grants. We get little money (from) real estate taxes. "If we don’t get this grant, we can’t do this project, period,” - Irma Golliday, Director of the East St. Louis Park District
Buffalo Grove Park Upgrades on Hold After State Suspends Grants (Daily Herald)
" ... to say we cannot finish a project that we were awarded in 2013 and began construction on last year is extremely detrimental to our community." - Ryan Risinger, Executive Director of the Buffalo Grove Park District
DuPage Park Districts 'Scrambling' With State Grants Suspended (Daily Herald)
"This property needs to be preserved ... when promises are made, promises need to be kept." - Larry Reiner, Executive Director of the Butterfield Park District
"We've done a lot of sharing with our community about the changes that are going to happen at this park and the community's excited. I was heartbroken for Bloomingdale because I think the kids and the families and the people that live around here would love to have that park revitalized," - Carrie Fullerton, Executive Director of the Bloomingdale Park District
Funding Cuts Stall Park for Children With Special Needs (WGN TV) - VIDEO INCLUDED
Duncan: Give the Parks Back Their Money (The Southern Illinoisan)
"I understand the financial burdens that we have within the state. I get that. But, I also understand the burdens that our families with special needs have on a daily basis, and those touch me. Those are dear to my heart. We need to find a way to make those families enjoy this and give them a few minutes without a challenge" - Village of South Elgin representative.
"I thought there was absolutely no way Bruce Rauner would actually stop projects that are meant to enhance the quality of life throughout the state." - Dustin Duncan, Business Writer for The Southern Illinoisan
Rauner Freeze Jeopardizes Local Parks Projects (The News-Gazette)
"We're hoping this is just a temporary suspension ... I desperately hope that we don't have to put all those artifacts back in now." - Mary Ellen Wuellner, Deputy Executive Director of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District
State Grant Freeze Affects Will County Area Park Projects (The Herald-News)
Emanuel, Parks Supporters Protest Loss of Funds (WGN TV)
A $536,141 renovation project for Walker Country Estates Park is almost complete. "It's about 90 percent done," said Greg Lewis, Executive Director of the New Lenox Community Park District, adding he wanted the park ready for the late spring. "The splash pad was the only part left ... for this to happen, it's not fair."
" ... Chicago stands to lose $28 million earmarked for improvements to 25 parks."
Chicago Parks, Including Bloomingdale Trail Walsh Park, Hit By State Cuts (DNAinfo.com)
"Gov. Rauner's decision to suspend grants for new parks across Chicago and the rest of the state will hurt every child who wants to swing on a swing set or play on the monkey bars." - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
State Cuts Halt Construction of Playground for Kids with Disabilities (Chicago Tribune)
"What it does to the contractor is one thing, but to the children that will use the park. The real travesty is it's affecting the children." - Nick Sigalos of Sigalos & Associates Ltd., construction manager for SEBA Park in South Elgin
Emanuel Demands That Rauner Reverse Freeze That Threatens $28 Million in Projects at Chicago Parks (Chicago Sun Times)
"This is how you build a strong city, strong state. The fact is, parks and playgrounds are where our communities come together and where they're strengthened." - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Gov. Bruce Rauner Suspends Grants to Park Districts, Including Rockford Sports Tourism Project (Rockford Register Star)
"The state has to recognize that they're asking us to stop in the middle of a project and part of the funding has already been spent in bids, and work has already been completed. These are not expenses, these are investments in the city and the state's future." - Tim Dimke, Executive Director, Rockford Park District
Future of Mount Pulaski Pool Uncertain Due to State Grant Suspensions (State Journal-Register)
"Public health standards have changed, ADA requirements have changed, and we can't meet those basic requirements anymore. If we don't do the project, we don't have the pool. That's all there is to it." - Stuart Erlenbush, Mount Pulaski Park District Commissioner
Suspension of Funding Shuts Down Work on Carbondale Splash Park (The Southern Illinoisan)
"He has really got us out on a limb. I don't know if he realizes what a mess he is creating for local governments across the state." - Marion Mayor Bob Butler
Rauner Suspends Grants for Decatur Park District (herald-review.com)
"The impact this has, not only in the community but contractors and everyone involved, there's a lot of people involved who are hurt by this." - Rodney Buhr, Decatur Park District CFO
Local Park Projects Feel the Sting of Rauner's Freeze (Chicago Tribune) - VIDEO INCLUDED
"Those funds were earmarked specifically for these projects. The grants also have a component that requires the local agency to pay a good portion of it. So these projects aren't completely funded through the grants." - Tom Mammoser, Dundee Township Park District Executive Director
Emanuel Attacks Rauner Over Parks Funding Cut (Chicago Sun Times)
"You cannot balance the state’s budget on the backs of our neighborhoods, our families and our children. Governor Rauner, do not balance your budget on the backs of the children of Chicago — keep your hands off their dreams.” - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Emanuel, Allies Rally Against Rauner Chicago Park Money Freeze (The Illinois Observer)
"I will not stand by and let these children be harmed in the name of fiscal policy, and I join my community in demanding that this promised funding be restored,” said State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago).
Pool Money Frozen (WAND TV) - VIDEO
Watch footage from a WAND TV interview with Mt. Pulaski Park Commissioner Stuart Erlenbush
Emanuel Calls on Rauner to Reverse Cuts on Park Funding (WGN-TV.com)
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel is calling on Governor Bruce Rauner to reverse an "immediate freeze” on state funding of dozens of parks across the city."
Rauner Indefinitely Suspends State Grants for Park Projects (FOX 2 St. Louis)
"Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked in a Thursday news release that Rauner restore the parks grants. The release says Chicago would lose out on $28 million in funding for 27 projects at city parks."
Rauner Freezes Park District OSLAD Grant (Forest Park Review)
"I am hoping that when the Governor sees the OSLAD grants are an investment in our communities, which indeed help the state, he will release the funds." - Larry Piekarz, Executive Director of the Park District of Forest Park
Open Letters to the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Rauner
(posted March 16, 2015)
IAPD is collecting letters sent to the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Rauner, urging them to save funding for parks and lift the suspension of State grants for critical projects. Send copies of your letters to Peter Murphy, IAPD President/CEO.
Please review this sampling of compelling letters.
Berwyn Park District
Bloomingdale Park District
Buffalo Grove Park District
Butterfield Park District
Dundee Township Park District
Forest Preserve District of Will County
Golf Maine Park District
Hampshire Township Park District
Hoffman Estates Park District
Homewood-Flossmoor Park District
Macomb Park District
Memorial Park District
Mokena Community Park District
Park District of Highland Park
Rockford Park District
Roselle Park District (correspondence to legislators)
Roselle Park District (correspondence to governor)
Schaumburg Park District
Skokie Park District
Sycamore Park District
Woodridge Park District
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
(posted March 20, 2015)
IAPD member agencies are sharing photos of their ongoing OSLAD grant. These photos represent projects that are prescriptions for many of the State's ailments.
- These agencies offer facilities and programs that provide affordable afterschool and summer school programs for working families;
- They provide children with constructive activities to aid in their learning and development;
- Afterschool and summer programs have a greater impact in reducing youth crime and violence than hiring more police officers - long term, these programs help reduce the demand for costly correctional facilities;
- Convenient and affordable access to fitness facilities promotes health and wellness and helps reduce Medicaid and other physical and mental health care expenses that are major cost drivers in the State budget
1.Alleghany Park in Grayslake is a 40-acre sports complex with 4 soccer fields, 5 baseball/softball fields, bathroom/concessions/storage building, manmade lake for managing storm water and irrigating the fields, and two tennis courts.
See more pictures and project descriptions!
Investments in Local Construction Projects Suspended
(posted March 12, 2015)
We have learned that every State grant recipient is receiving a letter indefinitely suspending all State grants until further notice. This suspension includes capital grant programs such as OSLAD, PARC, and Public Museum Grants. These suspensions even cover construction projects that are currently in progress.
With construction season upon us, this decision could not come at a worse time. The suspension not only threatens jobs that are helping to grow Illinois’ economy, it creates exposure to local taxpayers for existing contractual obligations and project costs. The construction delays will also end up costing local taxpayers time and money.
Click here to learn more and for specific actions items.
Parks & Forest Preserves Bring Value to Our Communities
(updated September 15, 2015)
Read all about the highlights of our latest research study, conducted by Market Probe in 2013. The overall message is clear: the citizens of Illinois know that park districts and forest preserves have significant impact on the well-being of a community and on the state of Illinois.
Download the brochure.
Order printed copies of the brochure for just a $1 each!
Illinois Park District Law Handbook
(updated September 15, 2015)
This fully updated 7th edition of the Illinois Park District Law Handbook consolidates this body of law into a single user-friendly volume that explains the complex laws and codes that govern local park districts. Thousands of bills have been signed into law since IAPD published the 6th edition in 2010.
Order Your Copy Today!