The Northbrook Park District was presented with two awards on October 15, 2021 by the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) – Best Green Practices and Arts in the Park – at the IAPD Best of the Best Awards Gala. This annual program provides a public platform to thank those who give so generously of their time, talents and resources to further the park, recreation and conservation mission.

According to award application materials, “across the state of Illinois, board members, professionals, citizen volunteers, local businesses and the media deserve to be acknowledged for going above and beyond to advance parks, recreation and conservation. The Best of the Best Awards Gala is a prestigious way to express gratitude for the countless hours they dedicate to making Illinois’ park districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation and special recreation agencies the envy of the nation.”

Best Green Practices

The IAPD Best Green Practices Award is presented to an agency that has taken the initiative to incorporate and encourage environmentally friendly business practices and policies.

The Mission of Northbrook Park District is to enhance our community by providing outstanding services, parks and facilities through environmental, social and financial stewardship. Many sustainable measures are taken, both daily and with larger capital projects, throughout the District.

Techny Prairie Activity Center is a new 44,200 square foot Net Zero Energy facility. The 833 rooftop solar panels will produce more energy than the building consumes in a twelve-month period.

Heritage Oaks Golf Club re-opened to the public after course renovations and clubhouse construction. Sustainability was front of mind, from furnishing selections to construction methods to the planting of 356 new trees on the property.

Recycling is conducted at all facilities and parks. Special attention is given to water conservation and stormwater management using permeable pavers and bioswales while LED lighting and highly efficient HVAC and mechanical systems conserve energy.

The District manages 52.5 acres of native plantings and is home to several Monarch butterfly gardens and milkweed planting areas while walking and biking are encouraged on the District’s 7.7 miles of trails.

Northbrook Park District is responsible for over 500 acres of open space; preserving this land and its assets is at the heart of what we do as a park district.

Arts in the Park

The Arts in the Park Award recognizes agencies that support the arts and partner with artists and arts organizations to enhance the quality of life in their communities.

From free outdoor community events such as concerts and movies to a wide selection of instructional programs, Northbrook Park District has provided high-quality educational and recreational programming in dance, drama, music, theatrical programming and events for over 90 years.

Built in 1986 and renovated in 2015, the 268-seat Northbrook Theatre is home to many opportunities for performers and audiences. Arts programming is offered for all ages from infants through seniors in the areas of music, art, dance and drama.

Access to the arts is enhanced through an annual scholarship program. The District also works with Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association to offer the Bright Star Theatre program for children and young adults with special needs. Sensory-friendly performance options make family theatre productions more inclusive and accessible.

To avoid duplication of services and to reach a broader audience, the Northbrook Park District works with a variety of community partners including the Village of Northbrook’s Arts Commission, the Northbrook Library and Northbrook Symphony.

The Northbrook Park District offers inclusive and accessible opportunities that promote theatrical education, teamwork and communication skills while creating community and fostering collaboration.

The Northbrook Park District is pleased to receive this recognition from one of our state associations in recognition of the hard work of our Board of Park Commissioners and our staff members.