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Organizing a Park District
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A Guide to Organizing a Park District

Today, there are currently more than 360 existing park districts throughout Illinois. The quality of park lands and recreational services offered by these agencies has earned Illinois its reputation of having the best public park and recreation system in the nation. This system which is more than 100 years old has a proven track record of accountability and efficiency. Your efforts to create a park district present an exciting opportunity for your community.

After you have had an opportunity to review A Guide to Organizing a Park District, please do not hesitate to contact Peter M. Murphy, IAPD President/CEO, at 217/523-4554 if you have any questions.

To download A Guide to Organizing a Park District, click here.*

To download a summary of procedures for organizing a park district, click here.

To obtain election calendars and other materials from the State Board of Elections visit IAPD's Tools webpage.

* Note that recent amendments to the Election Code, which have occurred since the last publication of this Guide, have adjusted some of the timelines set forth in the Guide and appendices as well as petition and other requirements. As indicated in the publication, the services of a competent lawyer will be required to ensure that all legal requirements are satisfied.

*For competing discussions on the information required on petition sheets for forming a park district see the Election Code as well as the following cases:

  • Organization of Greater Algonquin Park District, 103 Ill. App.3d 1056 (1982)
  • Adsit v. Sanders, 157 Ill. App. 3d 416 (1987)
  • Petition to Form a New Park District, 182 Ill. App.30 973 (1989)