Established by local referendum on December 26, 1916 as a special purpose unit of government as provided by the Illinois Park District Code.
An elected Board of Park Commissioners consisting of five members constitutes the governing board of the Park District. Commissioners are elected to serve 6-year terms. Commissioners serve without receiving any compensation.
Commissioners elect officers each year: President, Vice President and a Treasurer. These officers each serve a one year term.
Commissioners appoint an Executive Director and an Attorney/Secretary. The Executive Director serves as the chief executive officer for the Park District and carries out the policies of the Board.
Park District is approximately coterminous with the City of Waukegan. The Park District also includes most of Waukegan Township and portions of Benton, Warren, Newport, and Libertyville Townships, and portions of Beach Park and Gurnee Villages. The Park District boundaries encompass approximately 26.7 square miles.
Park District population is approximately 86,075 (2020).
Equalized assessed value of real estate for 2020 is $1,352,431,253.
Levy year 2020 – $0.876263 per $100 of assessed value.
Fiscal Year Budget
Proposed operating, debt service and capital budget for FY 21=22 is $33,710,676. The fiscal year begins on May 1 and concludes on April 30.
In 2015, Moody’s affirmed the District’s rating of Aa3 for the refinanced $8,500,000 215A Series G.O. Refunding Park Bonds. In 2015, Standard & Poor’s assigned an “AA” rating with a “Stable Outlook” for the refinanced 2015A Series G.O. Refunding Park Bonds. S&P also affirmed an “AA” rating for the District’s G.O. Limited Park Bonds and G.O. Refunding Alternative Revenue Source Bonds (ARS).
In August of 2017, S&P reaffirmed a rating of “AA” rating before our most recent G.O. Refunding Alternative Revenue Source Bond issue for $3,630,000. Bond Series 2017A was issued for the redevelopment of Corinne J. Rose Park and its outdoor aquatics facility.
The District has 53 properties and control of 742 acres of land, which includes the 18-hole Bonnie Brook Golf Course and the 9-hole Greenshire Golf Course which are managed by GolfVisions Management, Inc. Other park resources include a bird sanctuary, nature preserve, wild flower and wetlands areas. The District operates 4 recreation centers: Belvidere Recreation Center, Bevier Center, the Community Recreation Center (licensed to The Boys & Girls Club of Lake County) and the Field House Sports, Fitness and Aquatics Center at Hinkston Park, as well as the Jack Benny Center for the Arts, the Waukegan History Museum, Waukegan’s Greg Petry SportsPark, 1 rental hall (Jane Addams Center), 17 ball diamonds, 15 soccer fields, 12 tennis courts, 11 picnic areas, 5 picnic shelters, 32 playgrounds, 15 outdoor basketball courts, 1 skate park, 1 BMX track, 1 disc golf course, 4 spray parks, 1 dog exercise area, 6 pickleball courts, 1 formal garden and 14 jogging/hiking trails.
Programs and Services
Provides a full range of activities and services year round. Major recreation programs include athletics, music, visual arts, dance, drama, day camps, fitness, preschools, outdoor recreation, trips, and special events. Programs and services are provided for special populations such as senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. The District sponsors the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra and Concert Chorus.
The District employs 64 full-time and 107 part-time and more than 86 seasonal and temporary employees.
National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD), Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) and Park District Risk Management Agency (PDRMA).
The Distinguished Park and Recreation Accredited Agency from the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) and the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA); Agency Accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).