Park Board of Park Commissioners
The seven-member, volunteer Park District Board of Commissioners is the legal governing authority of the Park District. District residents elect Commissioners to serve staggered four-year terms. Park Board meeting information is always made publicly available.
Residents elect a seven-member volunteer Board of Commissioners to establish Park District policy, strategic direction and governing ordinances. Board members serve staggered four-year terms. A professional staff led by an Executive Director handles day-to-day operations of the District.
The 17.25-square mile Park District is located in northern Cook County, about 25 miles north of Chicago, Illinois.
It lies in Northfield and Wheeling Townships and is bordered by Deerfield and Highland Park on the north, Glenview on the south, Glencoe and Northfield on the east, and Wheeling on the west. As an additional buffer, the Park District is bounded on the east and west by hundreds of acres of Cook County Forest Preserve woods. The Park District serves all of Northbrook and a small portion of unincorporated Cook County.
Based on the 2010 Census, the Park District's population is approximately 33,170, with 24% under the age of 18.
The equalized assessed value (EAV) of real estate for 2011 EAV $2.698 billion.
The tax rate for 2011 was $.424 per $100 of assessed value, or 7% of the average real estate tax bill.
Fiscal Year Budget
The Park District fiscal year begins May 1 and concludes on April 30. The total budget for 2013-14 is $22.8 million with an operating budget of $16.1 million, capital improvement budget of $3 million, and debt service of $3.7 million.
The Park District issues General Obligation Bonds occasionally for capital improvements and holds an Aaa bond rating from Moody's Investor Service on its $8.6 million outstanding debt.
The Park District holds title for its residents to 511 acres and leases 2.42 acres from the Village of Northbrook. The Park District maintains 21 parks, comprised of community parks, neighborhood parks, play lots and passive parks.
Recreational facilities include: two aquatic facilities, a community center with activity and meeting rooms, two indoor ice rinks, 36 holes of golf, a practice range, miniature golf, two sled hills, 22 tennis courts, 32 baseball diamonds, soccer fields, playgrounds, picnic areas, trails, two fishing lakes, basketball courts, two volleyball courts, a cross country ski area, football fields, turf fields for soccer or lacrosse, an outdoor skate park, Teams Challenge Course and a climbing wall.
Distinctive facilities include the Ed Rudolph Velodrome (1/4 mile, banked bike track), Sportsman's Country Club, Anetsberger Golf Course, Techny Prairie Park and Fields with the Trail Through Time, the Leisure Center with the Northbrook Theatre, and the Northbrook Sports Center with two ice rinks.
Programs and Services
The Park District provides a full range of indoor and outdoor activities. Major recreation programs include ice skating, visual arts, music, performing arts, preschool, summer camps, child care before and after school, aquatics, and athletics. Special events include Winter Carnival, Park Fest (Tuesday night concerts in the park), Touch-A-Truck, Northbrook Autumnfest, Northbrook-On-lce and other seasonal events. The Park District is affiliated with the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) to serve the needs of all residents.
The Park District has an appointed Executive Director, responsible to the Board of Commissioners, and a full-time staff of 73. The Park District also employs more than 700 part-time, seasonal and temporary employees and hundreds of volunteers. Click here to view our staff directory.
The Park District is affiliated with the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), and the Illinois Association of Park Districts (lAPD). Some Board members sit on Boards and Committees of these organizations.
Northbrook Park District History
Formed in 1927 with a budget of $1,800, the Northbrook Park District is an Illinois Municipal Corporation operating under State of Illinois statutes and providing a wide variety of programs and facilities. The Park District employs about 73 full-time staff and hundreds of part-time/seasonal staff, with an annual budget over $20 million and assets of $100 million.
The Northbrook Park District is well known for sports and cultural and leisure activities. A comprehensive year-round schedule of classes, programs, tournaments, theatrical productions and special events is designed to serve residents.
The Northbrook Park District was the first park district in the United States accredited by National Park and Recreation Association for its management, programming and operational proficiency. The District received accreditation in January of 1994. In 1996, the District received the National Gold Medal Award from NPRA, an honor presented to park and recreation departments for excellence in park and recreation management.
Over the years, the Northbrook Park District has used various methods of assessing community needs. Recreation instructors send a survey to participants at the end of each session, and special events use exit surveys to assess public attitudes. Comment sheets are available at all registration centers. Some of the facilities publish their own newsletters to communicate information and invite feedback. Residential newsletters produced in-house inform patrons about Park District news and encourage their feedback.
The primary emphasis of the District in long- and short-range planning is in the area of strategic planning. Initially, Board members and staff met for a day-long session to discuss direction for the District and identify goals and objectives. Additional follow-up meetings further defined direction for facility development, capital improvements, programming, and maintenance. The end product was a comprehensive planning document to carry the District into the 21st century.
The Park District enjoys collaborative relationships with many agencies in the community, seeking ways to share resources, maximize personnel and provide cost-sharing to minimize a duplication of services. In 2012, the Park District and School District #28 opened a new gym at Greenbriar School. This collaborative project provides more indoor recreational program space for the community. The Park District contributed funds to increase the size of the space from a typical elementary school gym (3,500 square feet) to a junior high-sized gym of almost 7,000 square feet. The community gym opened in early 2012, offering a wide range of programs for all ages.
In addition to local school districts, the Park District also assists other partners throughout the year, including the Village of Northbrook, Northbrook Chamber of Commerce, Northbrook Historical Society, Northbrook Library, Northbrook Arts Commission and Northbrook Civic Foundation, bringing a variety of events to the community. District staff provides setup, cleanup and marketing support for Field of Honor, Memorial Day and July 4th activities, Art in the Park, Northbrook Days and Shermerfest. Each year in August, the District works with the Northbrook Police Department to host National Night Out at the Meadowhill Aquatic Center. In addition, the District provides facilities and support for the North Suburban Special Recreation Association.