Received the GFOA award 2020 Audit Report

“Park District of Oak Park receives GFOA award for 2020 financial audit report”

The Park District of Oak Park’s annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 has met the requirements to be awarded GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (Certificate Program) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare annual comprehensive financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal.

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.

See the award letter HERE!

PDOP’s Carroll Center Becomes Second Facility in Illinois to be Net Zero Verified

The Park District of Oak Park has announced that the New Buildings Institute has verified that the District’s Carroll Center has become the second facility in all of Illinois to have energy standards meet net zero energy performance. To meet this requirement, a building must generate as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for our Park District to both build and operate a facility that meets this verification, and we’re thrilled to receive acknowledgment of that effort,” said Chris Lindgren, superintendent of parks and planning. “We’d like to thank Tom Bassett-Dilley and Mark Nussbaum for their architectural and engineering excellence, as our goal has always been to preserve and protect the environment. This is a step in that direction, and this project accomplishment falls in line with our core values of sustainability.”

The Carroll Center was constructed using Passive House design principles, which are used to attain a quantifiable and rigorous level of energy efficiency, including superinsulation and airtight construction along with continuous ventilation to achieve a comfortable building temperature year-round while using as little energy as possible. Some additional building features that contributed to this verification include triple-glazed windows, super insulated roof/walls/slab, LED lighting, electrical load monitoring, daylighting and urban timber re-use.

“There are very few others working toward this verification in Illinois, but the initiative is growing rapidly,” said Jan Arnold, executive director. “We’re proud to be at the forefront of this movement to protect the world around us while providing for our community members, and we hope others can follow in these steps towards sustainability.”

Previously, the Park District was awarded a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to achieve Source Zero Energy Certification and Passive House Certification for the Carroll Center expansion project. The Park District has also committed to building its upcoming Community Recreation Center (CRC) as a Net Zero building through a similar grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, as well as supplemental funding from the Village of Oak Park’s sustainability funding.
For more information on the Park District’s environmental initiatives, visit https://www.pdop.org/about/environment/.

About Park District of Oak Park: The Park District of Oak Park serves the recreation needs of Oak Park’s 52,000 residents, providing nearly 3,000 programs and special events annually throughout our versatile recreation centers, 18 parks totaling 84 acres, two outdoor pools, indoor ice rink, gymnastic center, the Oak Park Conservatory, Cheney Mansion and Pleasant Home. Since 1912, our high-quality programs and well-maintained parks and facilities have dependably met residents’ diverse leisure, wellness, childcare and other needs and helped enhance quality of life. Learn more at https://www.pdop.org/.

About Park District of Oak Park: The Park District of Oak Park serves the recreation needs of Oak Park’s 52,000 residents, providing nearly 3,000 programs and special events annually throughout our versatile recreation centers, 18 parks totaling 84 acres, two outdoor pools, indoor ice rink, gymnastic center, the Oak Park Conservatory, Cheney Mansion and Pleasant Home. Since 1912, our high-quality programs and well-maintained parks and facilities have dependably met residents’ diverse leisure, wellness, childcare and other needs and helped enhance quality of life. Learn more at https://www.pdop.org/.

“The Park District of Oak Park Announced as Finalist for the 2021 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation Management”

OAK PARK, IL, MAY 11, 2021 – The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce The Park District of Oak Park as a finalist for the 2021 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Musco Lighting, LLC is proud to continue its 20+ years of sponsoring the National Gold Medal Awards program.

Founded in 1965, the National Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the United States that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. Applications are separated into six classes, with five classes based on population and one class for armed forces.

AAPRA Executive Director Jane H. Adams shared, “Each Finalist is congratulated for this prestigious award. We know local communities, state park systems, and military installations worldwide met the challenge of being responsive to the changing demands of delivering services during the COVID 19 pandemic. Park visitors and program participants have come to rely upon their service provider for physical, mental, and emotional support during this pandemic.  The Academy congratulates each Finalist for their management excellence during this unprecedented time.”

The Park District of Oak Park is a finalist in the Class 4 category (population between 30,001 and 75,000). The Park District serves the recreational needs of more than 52,000 Oak Park residents, providing over 3000 recreation and special events programs annually. The District owns an Administrative Center, two outdoor pools, an indoor year-round ice rink, the Oak Park Conservatory, Cheney Mansion, Pleasant Home, a gymnastics & recreation center, seven recreation centers plus 18 parks totaling 84 acres of parkland.

Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of community members, staff members and elected officials. The Park District of Oak Park joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for Grand Plaque which will be awarded in September.

Jan R. Arnold, the Executive Director of the Park District of Oak Park, said “We are thrilled to be recognized as one of the best in the nation. Many thanks to our board, staff, and volunteers for their commitment and dedication to serving the needs of our community each and every day.”

Park Board President, Kassie Porreca, agrees, “We are truly honored to be recognized for the outstanding work of our staff, volunteers, and community members who each play a vital role in the ability of the Park District to successfully serve the residents of Oak Park.”

A panel of five highly qualified park and recreation professionals will review and judge all application materials. Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both the local and national levels.

This year’s finalists will compete for the Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and seven Grand Plaque recipients will be announced during the 2021 NRPA Conference, which will be held virtually and in person September 21-23 in Nashville, Tennessee. The presentation of both the Finalist and Grand Plaque recipients is being finalized and details will be forthcoming.

For more information on the National Gold Medal Award Program, visit www.aapra.org.

Park District Takes Top Innovation in Local Government Award

Maureen McCarthy (right), Park District Superintendent of Recreation, accepts the J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government on behalf of the Park District of Oak Park from Karen Thoreson, President of the Alliance for Innovation.

The Park District of Oak Park received this year’s J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government competition for their submission, “Launch Pad: Getting Good Ideas Off the Ground”. The District’s work was honored at the Transforming Local Government Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 21, 2017. The Park District of Oak Park successfully uses an online portal to engage employees in improving the organization. Staff uses this online portal to share their ideas, comment on other ideas and make improvements and plans to implement their ideas based on other employee feedback.

“It is truly an honor for the Park District of Oak Park to be recognized with the J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation by the Alliance for Innovation,” stated Paul Aeschleman, Park Board President. “The Park District strives to try new methods and ideas, adapt services according to trends and continually improve processes to better our organization and provide the highest quality programs and services to our community.”

The J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government was conceptualized by The Innovation Groups’ (now the Alliance for Innovation) Board of Directors to honor Bob Havlick, founder of the Innovation Group. One local government, its internal champion(s), and the innovation are honored with the J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government.

The Innovation Awards have evolved from their inception in 2004, to address a growing need to recognize and celebrate creativity, innovation and those who are pushing the bounds of creative excellence. These awards are presented each year at the Transforming Local Government Conference hosted by the Alliance for Innovation.

 “The 2017 Alliance for Innovation Award winners are shining examples of how local government leaders are advancing emerging practices in their communities,” said Karen Thoreson, President of the Alliance for Innovation. “They are making innovation work for their citizens and making their organizations more effective as they put their best ideas into practice.”

The Alliance for Innovation is dedicated to connecting thought leaders. It administers this distinguished award competition with the goal of raising the awareness of cities, counties and individuals who have made a quantum leap of creativity to make a positive impact on their community or jurisdiction.

“Some of the ideas born from the Launch Pad program include the SOOFA phone charging stations in four of our parks, the installation of cisterns in three park locations, and the Parks Passport Program to be rolled out to all school-aged kids this summer,” Park District Executive Director Jan Arnold explained. “The Launchpad Program allows the District to think outside the box and implement ideas that otherwise may not be possible.” An informational video is available at the Park District’s website at www.pdop.org/innovation/ featuring the Launchpad program. The Alliance for Innovation stands apart by offering leading-edge conferences such as TLG to challenge conventional thinking and inspire change. Award entries are judged alongside those of their peers, representing a wide variety of communities and perspectives.

Park District Wins National Gold Medal Award

Oak Park, IL., Sept 15, 2015 – Months of preparation and a commitment to the highest level of service in parks and recreation has paid off for the Park District of Oak Park. They have been awarded the 2015 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), awarded this honor to Park District of Oak Park live during the Opening Session of the NRPA Annual Conference on September 15 in Nevada. 

Park District of Oak Park has won the Grand Plaque in the National Gold Medal Award Class IV Division. Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials. The Park District’s winning application highlighted how the District meets the recreation needs of its 52,000 residents by leveraging every square foot of its 84 acres of parkland through strategic partnerships, community input, and careful planning.

“To be chosen among the elite in parks and recreation agencies across the country as the winner of the National Gold Medal Award is a proud and historic moment in Park District history,” stated Paul Aeschleman, Park District Board President. “With the support of the Oak Park community, and the hard work and dedication of the Park District staff, volunteers and Board, we’ve been able to offer innovative programming, expand our scholarship program, open doors to multiple new facilities, and lay the groundwork for future success. We’re very proud to be recognized for these efforts as a Gold Medal winner.” 

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the U.S. that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. Applications are separated into seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation communities and the State Park System Class awarded every other year.

A panel of five park and recreation professionals reviews and judges all application materials. Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks andrecreation on both the local and national levels.

This year’s proud sponsor of the Gold Medal Awards program is Musco Lighting LLC. For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit www.nrpa.org/goldmedal or www.aapra.org.