New Proof Of Vaccination Order

Download Official Document Here






Dear Patrons,

As of Wednesday, January 12, 2022, the Oak Park Public Health Department issued two amendments to its Proof of Vaccination in Public Places order.

On January 6, an exemption was added to the order for newly turning 5-year-old children allowing them to participate in recreation programming while they are getting vaccinated:

Any individual who attains five (5) years of age on or after the effective date of the Order (January 6, 2022) shall be entitled to a grace period of six (6) weeks to allow time for the individual to become fully‐vaccinated

On January 12, a new amendment was added allowing individuals 18 years of age or younger to participate in youth athletics/programs under certain conditions:

Any individual eighteen (18) years of age or younger can participate in youth athletics or recreation if they provide either a vaccination card OR a negative COVID‐19 test administered at a proctored facility (non‐at‐home test) within forty‐eight (48) hours before participating.

The Park District of Oak Park staff will continue the protocols already in place per the Health Department order which includes confirming vaccination status prior to entering our facilities with the following changes:

Thank you for your patience and grace as we navigate these new Covid-19 mitigations.

Stay safe,

Jan Arnold, Executive Director


Dear Park District Patrons,

On Thursday, December 30, 2021 the Oak Park Public Health Department issued an ordinance mandating proof of vaccination in public places including health, fitness, and recreation centers effective Monday, January 10, 2022. That said, any individual over the age of 5 will be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated before entering any Park District facility. This includes participants and/or spectators of a class, program, or event held inside. Indoor masking is still a requirement and is included in this order.

Beginning Monday, January 10, Park District of Oak Park staff will be confirming proof of vaccination for all class participants, spectators, and visitors prior to allowing entry into the program space.

Proof of Vaccination means:

• A CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card; or

• An official immunization record from the jurisdiction, state, or country where the vaccine was administered; or

• An ‘app’ that provides a digital record of vaccinations; or

• A digital or physical photo of such a card or record that includes the individual’s name, the vaccine brand administered, and the date the vaccination was administered.

Identification to accompany vaccine proof:

• For those age 16 and older, identification must accompany vaccination proof. Identification includes a driver’s license, government ID, passport, work or school identification card, etc. that corresponds to the vaccination proof.

What constitutes fully vaccinated:

• Two weeks after their second does in a 2-dose series: Pfizer or Moderna Vaccines, OR

• Two weeks after a single dose series: Johnson & Johnson

Exemptions to this order:

• Preschools and childcare centers, which include our 2 and 3-day Preschool offerings and Clubhouse Afterschool participants.

• Those who are medically unable to receive vaccination, for any reason, if they:

(1) show proof of the exemption from a medical provider, AND

(2) show proof of a negative COVID test within 24 hours of coming into any facility. This includes providing a NEW negative Covid-19 test from a medical professional, indicating the test date and results. Please note: at-home tests are not accepted.

•Caregivers dropping children off for participation who will be in our facility less than 10 minutes.

Masks and physical distancing when possible are still required indoors:

• Masks are required indoors for any person age two or older that can medically tolerate it (regardless of vaccination status). This applies to all indoor activities and sports participants, including children, parents, coaches, officials, athletes of all ages, & spectators without exceptions.

• Physical distancing of six feet or more is required when feasible.

Helpful Tips:

✓ Have Proof of Vaccination on hand: The Park District of Oak Park will not be collecting or maintaining records of vaccination status. Park District staff will be checking vaccination status each time an individual enters a building.

✓ Have medical exemptions and testing results met before every session of a class, program, or event: This includes a NEW negative Covid-19 test 24 hours before every session of a class, program, or event.

✓ Please stay home if you are feeling sick or are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms in order to reduce community spread.

✓ Please note that food is not permitted at this time in any of our facilities.

✓ Water/Water bottles are the only drink permitted in our facilities.

✓ Please continue to follow updates on our website, social media, and through email.

✓ Feel free to contact us with questions:

Kelsey Tumpane

PDOP Risk Manager

Ann Marie Buczek

Communication & Community Engagement Manager

The Park District of Oak Park is committed to servicing the needs of our patrons. If you or a member of your household are unable to participate in a program due to this Oak Park Health Department ordinance, please contact Customer Service who will assist you in canceling your participation and providing a program fee refund. Please email us with the program/activity name, participant name, and whether you prefer a refund or Park District account credit and we will process accordingly.

We sincerely appreciate your cooperation, understanding and patience, and we look forward to providing safe and healthy programs and services for the Oak Park Community.

Stay Healthy,

Jan Arnold, Executive Director


Resources and information from the Community Mental Health Board

Park District Receives Grant Funds


The Park District of Oak Park was notified in January 2020 by the Office of Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources that our community will receive a $400,000 matching grant for the renovation of Rehm Park and a $192,000 matching grant for land acquisition near Carroll 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.

Rehm Park improvements will include a new, accessible playground and surface, a game area, a picnic gazebo, and a much-needed restroom. The entrance off of East Avenue into the playground will be moved to the north end of the playground to heighten playground safety. Park renovation is slated to begin in July and completed by the end of the year. Input for park improvements gathered in 2008 was utilized to develop the original Rehm Park site plan which was updated through a community input process in 2016. A park site plan is required for an OSLAD grant application.

The land acquired with OSLAD grant money is near Carroll Park. This property was identified for acquisition as part of the original master planning process in 2005 and was supported by the public in the master plan review in March 2014. This property will be converted to park space similar to two nearby properties purchased in 2007 and converted to green space. With only 54 acres of park land to serve over 52,000+ residents, the Park District continues to look for land acquisition opportunities to expand programs and services.

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 $592,000 will come from the Park District of Oak Park’s Capital Improvement Budget. Since the 2006, the Park District has secured over $5.2 million in grant funds from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to renovate 10 District parks including the construction of the Austin Gardens Environmental Education Center. 

In announcing the grant awards, Governor Pritzker stated “Investments in local park projects are good for families and recreation enthusiasts, helping them enjoy outdoor activities and making Illinois communities better places to live and work. Parks projects also boost local economic development efforts and spur additional investment throughout the state.”

“OSLAD grant funds allow the Park District to stretch local tax dollars to improve our parks and facilities,” Park District Executive Director Jan Arnold said upon learning of the grant award. “Grant monies from the State of Illinois have made a significant impact on the quality of life in our community. We are grateful for these grant awards and the recreation opportunities they afford the residents of Oak Park.”

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 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.