Waukegan, Illinois (July 1, 2023) – The Waukegan Park District is celebrating Park and Recreation Month, an initiative of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), to highlight the impact of parks and recreation in the community. From the Community Yard Sale to Zumba at the Park, free programs and events will be offered throughout July to celebrate.
Since 1985, the United States has celebrated July as the nation’s official Park and Recreation Month. Created by the National Recreation and Park Association, Park and Recreation Month highlights the essential and powerful role that local park and recreation agencies and their professionals play in building stronger, more vibrant, and resilient communities across the country. This year’s theme is “Where Community Grows”, celebrating the vital role park and recreation professionals play in bringing people together, providing essential services, and fostering the growth of our communities.
Jeremiah Johnson, President of the Waukegan Park District Board of Commissioners, stated, “As a former employee of the Waukegan Park District, I have seen the positive impact that parks and recreation has on communities. From parks and facilities to programs and events, parks and recreation play a vital role in bringing people together, providing essential services, and fostering growth in our community. The benefits are endless and last a lifetime.”
Jay Lerner, Executive Director of the Waukegan Park District, stated, “The Waukegan Park District builds community through parks, facilities, programs, and events. To celebrate Park and Recreation Month, we will be highlighting the importance of parks and recreation in the lives of individuals of all ages, abilities, and identities.”
The National Recreation and Park Association and Waukegan Park District encourage individuals to share how parks and recreation have improved their quality of life, and why their local parks and recreation are important to them, on social media using the hashtag #WhereCommunityGrows.
More information about Park and Recreation Month, including the free programs and events offered throughout July, is available at waukeganparks.org/july.
About the Waukegan Park District
Established on December 26, 1916, the Waukegan Park District (WPD) has 53 properties and more than 742 acres of land, including the 18-hole Bonnie Brook and 9-hole Greenshire Golf Courses. Properties are managed to the highest environmental and conservation standards. Facilities operated by the WPD include the Field House Sports, Fitness and Aquatics Center, Waukegan’s Greg Petry SportsPark, Waukegan Skate Park, BMX Track, SplashZone, Percussion Playground, recreational centers, disc golf course, dog exercise area and agility course, outdoor sports fields, picnic areas, playgrounds, splash pads, and sports courts including basketball, tennis and pickleball. A full range of programs and services are offered year-round for all ages, from infants to seniors, as well as special need populations. Healthy lifestyles, wellness initiatives, and a connection with the outdoors and nature are integrated throughout programs, services, and special events. Arts and cultural activities are provided by the Jack Benny Center for the Arts, Waukegan Symphony Orchestra and Concert Chorus, and the Waukegan History Museum. We offer something for everyone!
A member of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD), Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA), and the Park District Risk Management Agency (PDRMA), the WPD employs 73 full-time and 219 part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees and is recognized by the IPRA as an Exceptional Workplace.
Nationally accredited by the NRPA Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and State accredited through the IAPD Distinguished Agency Accreditation, the WPD has received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Triple Crown Award for receiving the GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award, and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. The WPD was awarded the NRPA National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management in 2013, and was named a Gold Medal Finalist in 2012, 2013, 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023.