Glenview Park District Receives IPRA's Champions for Change Award

The Glenview Park District received the Illinois Park and Recreation Association’s (IPRA) Champions for Change Award at the Soaring to New Heights annual conference awards luncheon on Friday, January 27, at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Chicago. The IPRA Champions for Change Award is presented to the top park district, forest preserve, conservation, special district or park and recreation department with unique and exemplary practices of increasing access and fostering diversity and inclusion within its community and organization.

Glenview Park District wins IPRA Champions for Change Award
Photo by Jennifer Hyde

“This award is meaningful because of the work it represents,” said Deputy Executive Director of the Glenview Park District Katie Skibbe, who is also a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee at the Park District. “The work around creating a place of belonging for all community members is ongoing. We are committed to continual improvement and learning.”

The Park District identified improving diversity, equity, and inclusion as a goal in the Comprehensive Master Plan and has offered ongoing staff training to create more inclusive spaces and programming.

“The District’s efforts require the commitment and involvement of the entire organization,” explained Board President Joe Sullivan. “Our Board started with Unconscious Bias training that was invaluable and sparked important conversations. I am so proud to see our Park District staff recognized for the hard work they have begun to make our Park District welcoming and inclusive.”

The District also established an internal committee to examine biases, encourage accountability, and find ways to advance the District’s goals. The committee created a survey for all employees to identify areas of improvement and worked with the Center on Halstead to provide LGBTQ training. The Park District is also working on translating its existing website content, program information and surveys into a number of languages and developing more opportunities to celebrate the many cultures in our community.

“We have been able to evaluate and update our policies, review how we select vendors, and even prioritize projects and services with a more inclusive and equitable approach” said Glenview Park District Executive Director Michael McCarty. “We are honored to receive this award, but the work is far from being done.”