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Christine Garry


Board President for the Barrington Park District and
Former IAPD Board Trustee


IAPD Corporate Member

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Springfield, IL 62701-1186
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This Webinar Will Transform Your Agency!

Join IAPD online Thursday, July 21 from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. for our latest webinar in the IAPD Leadership Institute series: Transformational Leadership. Register today!

Park, Recreation & Conservation Agency Entertainers and Volunteers Wanted for Park District Conservation Day at the Illinois State Fair!
(posted June 8, 2016)

Join us Saturday, August 20th for the 23rd annual Park District Conservation Day at the Illinois State Fair! This is one of IAPD/IPRA's greatest statewide public awareness events. Have some fun and help promote park districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation and special recreation agencies by sending your agency's dance groups, bands, orchestras, theater troupes, zoos and more to perform at a high-traffic area on the fairgrounds. Or, volunteer in one of our various capacities. Volunteers and entertainers receive FREE admission and FREE parking on Park District Conservation Day.

Check out our discounted hotel room block!

Register your entertainment

Register to volunteer

Ask a question about the day


Congratulations to the 2016 Gold Medal Award Finalists!
(posted May 25, 2016)

IAPD congratulates our following member agencies on being a finalist for the National Gold Medal Awards!

Class III
Arlington Heights Park District

Class IV
Decatur Park District

Class V
Frankfort Square Park District
Homewood-Flossmoor Park District
Itasca Park District

IAPD Parks & Conservation Legends Video Series

(posted April 18, 2016)

Sebastian "Buzz" Puccio, Bloomingdale Park District
Listen to Sebastian "Buzz" Puccio, 18-year commissioner for the Bloomingdale Park District, discuss listening skills as one of the most important attributes of an effective board member.



Colette Kubiesa, Elmhurst Park District
Listen to Colette Kubiesa, former Commissioner for the Elmhurst Park District for more than 18 years and former Chairman of the IAPD Board of Trustees, explain to Peter Murphy, IAPD President and CEO, the advice she offers new board members is to watch, listen and learn.


Fred Hohnke, Woodridge Park District
Listen to Fred Hohnke, 26-year commissioner for the Woodridge Park District and former IAPD President of the Board of Trustees, speak about the importance of cooperation among board members and how your accomplishments are your legacy.


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.


Don't wait, join these generous donors and give to Friends of Illinois Parks today!

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)
"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

State Grant Suspensions Put Park Projects on Hold (Daily Southtown)

"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
"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 (
"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 (
"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

Read more here:
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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
"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.

Duncan: Give the Parks Back Their Money (The Southern Illinoisan)

"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)
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."

Emanuel, Parks Supporters Protest Loss of Funds (WGN TV)

" ... Chicago stands to lose $28 million earmarked for improvements to 25 parks."

Chicago Parks, Including Bloomingdale Trail Walsh Park, Hit By State Cuts (
"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 (
"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 (
"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!

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6/16/2016 » 9/22/2016
2016 IAPD Leadership Institute

Park District Conservation Day

Illinois Association of Park Districts

211 E. Monroe Street ׀ Springfield, IL 62701-1186
217-523-4554 PH
217-523-4273 FX