Barrie Park Renovation Update

Dear Neighbor,

I am writing to share with you the timeline and details of the Barrie Park renovation project. This exciting renovation will commence May 30 and is scheduled to be completed by December 1, 2023. The work included in this project is the direct result of resident input from the 2015 Barrie Park Site plan community meetings and includes repair of the north side retaining wall, sled hill improvements, a new playground and tot lot, and the addition of a natural play area and rain garden.

Here are some specific details to help you navigate the park during renovation:

  • Fencing will surround the closed areas of the park.
  • The sports fields, including baseball and soccer fields, will remain open throughout the project.
  • The tot lot will remain open until approximately August 1, when new equipment is scheduled to arrive. A fence around the tot lot will indicate that work is ready to commence.
  • The perimeter sidewalk will remain open; temporary orange fencing will indicate requisite sidewalk work is taking place.
  • The sled hill will be closed for the entirety of the project.

Our playground equipment will be donated to Kids Around the World, a non-profit that refurbishes used playground equipment and installs it in countries experiencing violence, war, or deep poverty.

We are thrilled to bring these new amenities to the community and thank you for your patience during this work. If you would like to see the specific plan details, please visit

Please feel free to reach out to Chris Lindgren, Superintendent of Parks & Planning, at with specific questions about the project.


Ann Marie Buczek

Communication & Community Engagement Manager

Park District of Oak Park

218 Madison Street

Oak Park, IL 60302



Barrie Park Renovation begins in June

Both Barrie Center tot lot and Barrie Park playground will be updated to include accessible surfacing for the enjoyment of all patrons. The Barrie sled hill will undergo repair and enhancements as well.

These areas will be closed June 1 through the end of the year. The north end of the park will also be closed during this time to rebuild the retaining wall. The fields will remain open for sports and play.

Outdoor AEDs at all Park District Comfort Stations

In case of an emergency, every comfort station in our parks is equipped with an outdoor automated external defibrillator (AED). After calling 911, start the AED and follow the automated, step-by-step instructions to aid in an emergency. When visiting a park, please take note of the location of these life-saving devices.

Park District Earns National Accreditation in Parks and Recreation


Oak Park, IL., November 16, 2020 Park District of Oak Park joins the ranks of elite park and recreation agencies across the country by earning re-accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). This distinguished accomplishment was awarded during the 2020 NRPA Annual Conference: A Virtual Experience.

CAPRA accreditation is the only national accreditation for park and recreation agencies, and is a measure of an agency’s overall quality of operation, management and service to the community.This mark of distinction indicates that an agency has met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services.

As part of the accreditation process, Park District of Oak Park had to demonstrate compliance with 151 recognized standards and document all policies and procedures. Often the process helps identify efficiencies and heighten areas of accountability, all of which translate into higher quality service and operation to benefit the community.

“The Park Board and staff of the Park District of Oak Park are extremely pleased with earning CAPRA accreditation once again. Preparation for this comprehensive review of District policies, procedures, operations, programs and facilities is a team effort,” said Sandy Lentz, Park Board President. “This achievement solidifies our District as a leader in the Parks and Recreation industry not only in the State but across the country,”

The process for accreditation involves a formal application, self-assessments, a site visit by a team of trained visitors that results in a written report, and a hearing with the commission to grant re-accreditation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s visitations were held virtually. The Park District will be recognized as an accredited park and recreation agency for a period of five years when the District will once again pursue the reaccreditation process.

The Commission is comprised of representatives from NRPA, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, the International City/County Management Association, the Academy for Leisure Sciences, the Armed Forces Recreation Network and the Council of State Executive Directors.

For more information about the Park District of Oak Park visit Additional information about CAPRA accreditation can be found at

Park District of Oak Park Awarded $400,000 OSLAD Grant for Stevenson Park

Park District of Oak Park Receives OSLAD Grant

The Park District of Oak Park was notified in February 2019 by the Office of Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Natural Resourcesthat our community has received a $400,000 matching grant for the renovation of Stevenson Park. These funds are part of the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) Grant Program which provides matching dollars for outdoor recreation space projects throughout Illinois.

Stevenson Park improvements, completed in spring 2020, include a new, accessible entryway which connects to a looped walking path and a new playground with an accessible surface. Adjacent to the playground is a game table area featuring chess and table tennis, the first table tennis in the parks system. The District also installed a hit/kick wall for lacrosse and soccer practice, a bioswale in the parkway along Lake Street and bike racks, benches and landscaping including native and ornamental trees and shrubs.

The Park District was eligible for this grant funding due to the successful passing of the “Renew Our Parks” referendum by Oak Park voters in April 2005. The local matching funds of $400,000 will come from the Park District of Oak Park’s Capital Improvement Budget. A site plan for Stevenson Park was completed in 2011 which is a requirement for an OSLAD grant application. Since the 2007, the Park District has secured over $6 million in grant funds from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to renovate 13 District parks including the construction of the Austin Gardens Environmental Education Center.

“This grant award, like the others before it, allows the Park District to improve our parks for the enjoyment and enrichment of all Oak Park residents while providing the opportunity to stretch our existing tax dollars,” Park District Executive Director Jan Arnold said. “The Park District is very grateful to Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for this grant funding.”

See the Stevenson site plan for more info.