our mission

Through exceptional experiences, we strive to build a sense of community; enhance people’s lives; and contribute to the enrichment of the individual, family, and community.

commitment to community partnership

Partnership with the Village of Glenview has resulted in stormwater improvements that alleviated flooding for 1,150 homes, provided 27.1 acre-feet of retention and land swaps, and addressed community health needs. Partnering with the Village also benefited GPD with nearly $3 million in improvements to our 18-hole golf course, playgrounds and field renovations at two parks. GPD matched these funds, adding ADA improvements and renovating a field house.

Historic Wagner Farm is not just a farm; it’s an educational hub. The Be@The Farm program is held in partnership with TrueNorth Education Cooperative, a special education association, and annually welcomes 25 student farmers ages 5 to 22 years through an intergovernmental agreement (IGA). Students develop leadership skills by supporting greenhouse operations; engaging in field work and livestock care; and planning, caring for, and harvesting 2.5 acres of produce. This mutually beneficial partnership provides unique educational experiences for TrueNorth students while supporting tasks essential to the Farm’s operations.

Our intergovernmental agreement with the Glenview library benefits our community and staff. GPD maintains library property and we, in turn, receive free services and use of the library for meetings, trainings and programming.  GPD staff receive library cards regardless of residency. The District offers unique day camp programming at the library, and we’ve hosted over ten joint events in the last three years. GPD is included in the Library of Things, where guests can “check-out” a pool pass or fitness membership in addition to a book.

GPD has renewed partnership with Endeavor Health to provide accessible community services. Endeavor provides $400,000 in lease income to house a clinic, rehabilitation center, and wellness store at our community center, home to one million annual visitors. The Endeavor Clinic is home to a new, integrative medicine clinic, where holistic-trained physicians, acupuncturists, and massage therapists provide services through over 7,500 patient visits annually. Endeavor offers specialized programming using our amenities.

The District signed a four-year sponsorship contract with Glenview Bank & Trust as a Park Partner. Their sponsorship enhances signature events throughout the year and increases access to District programs by supporting the LINK and Leisureship scholarship programs. The LINK program doubles the value of government-assisted food vouchers when used at our Farmer’s Market. Intended outcomes include expansion of the Leisureship program, maintaining the LINK program at the Farmer’s Market, and continued satisfaction of our partners to encourage continued financial support.

GPD committed to providing summer camp opportunities for 120 children in our community experiencing homelessness after identifying their needs in partnership with the school district. Partnering with our Park Foundation and Northfield Township yielded $130,000 in scholarships. The school district shared the additional costs with GPD and provided transportation, family counseling, and translation services. GPD evaluated camp experiences through surveys, and staff discreetly monitored students to provide an equitable experience.

Glenview Park District creates exceptional customer experiences through authentic relationships and accessible programming. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility are priorities. In 2022, GPD won the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) Champions of Change Award for our DEI Efforts.

Residents validated our strength in providing exceptional customer service in our 2022 Community-Wide Survey. Nearly 92% of residents rated us positively and 49% hold the District in highest regard. The District’s average esteem rating (0–10 scale) is 8.2. GPD ratings are significantly higher than the statewide benchmark (6.8 average) and average scores from nearby park districts (7.7). The most significant result from the survey was learning that 87% of residents feel they belong and are included in our parks, facilities and offerings.

GPD works to maximize taxpayer trust, value and benefits through sound financial policies and practices, resulting in financial sustainability, balanced public taxpayer investment, and enduring partnerships. For 17 years, GPD has consistently held Moody’s Aaa bond rating and the Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

Maximizing taxpayer trust is accomplished through sound financial stewardship, with only 50% of funding coming from taxes, one of the lowest tax to non-tax revenues in the state. GPD represents only 7.8% of homeowners’ taxes. Residents rate the overall value of their taxes as favorable (7.3 on a 0–10 scale). Sound revenue management has also increased GPD’s net position by 9.9%.

GPD diversifies and leverages its funding resources and partnerships. Over the last three years, the District utilized over $7 million from donations, grants, and sponsorships to acquire three acres of land, upgrade four miles of trails, build new, inclusive and accessible playgrounds, expand pickleball courts, add new museum exhibits, restore native habitat and improve stormwater management. This past year, the District received $3,675,000 in state grants, including a recent $2.8 million Park and Recreational Facility Construction grant that will be used to renovate our indoor aquatics center.

To control the cost of capital and reduce interest paid on debt while keeping taxes at modest levels, the District uses built-up reserves rather than debt to minimize the impact on the taxpayer. Additionally, the District has repeatedly chosen to keep short debt schedules to reduce interest rates and increase flexibility for future projects. The District chose to repay debt over 13 years instead of 20 years, saving taxpayers $10 million. Almost 51% of GPD’s revenues are non-tax, far above the national average. Glenview is one of only eleven park districts in Illinois with an Aaa bond rating.

We maintain what we have for all. A capital asset replacement program builds up reserves annually based on the useful life of assets. These accumulated funds ($20 million) are then reinvested at the end of the useful life to cover replacement costs. The District averages $4 million annually in capital replacement projects.

GPD protects the environment with wetland, prairie, and woodland restoration and implements and measures efficient energy use. GPD was the first to ban the use of coal tar and supported legislation, now law, for a statewide ban. The Illinois Association of Park Districts recognized GPD for its partnerships developed to protect The Grove, and designating 90-acres as an Illinois Nature Preserve and National Historic Landmark.

GPD converted 7.4 acres to native areas, hosted 24 zero-waste events, and decreased electric and fuel use by over 1% annually. Furthermore, GPD provides education to further historical stewardship. Overall, 98% of community members reported visiting a park or facility within the last year, of which 50% visited The Grove or Historic Wagner Farm. The Grove reported 55,890 program visits, 7,274 tour visits and 35,000 visitors to the Nature Center. Wagner Farm boasted 36,313 program visits, 6,265 tour visits and 69,908 general visits, a 7% increase in three years. These two facilities educate over 1,000 school groups annually.

GPD developed an Urban Forestry Management Plan (UFMP) to provide data-driven solutions, goals, and milestones. GPD is leading in the inventory and diversity of its trees in Illinois. GPD exceeds the “20-10-5” rule, a best urban forestry management practice that states a tree population should ideally have no more than 20% of any single family, 10% of any single genus, and 5% of any single species. “Undesirable” trees decreased annually from 483 to 451, with the District managing over 22,300 trees. GPD planted 835 trees in the last three years, surpassing the plan’s targets.

Guided by Strategic/Comprehensive Plans, our environmental team recommends and implements actions for conservation, energy efficiency, and preservation. Highlights of success across the park district include:

  • Only Illinois park district powered by 100% wind-generated electricity.
  • Built a solar-powered trailer to charge all battery-operated landscaping tools.
  • Converted pathway and parking lot lighting fixtures in parks and facilities to LED and changed court lighting from halogen to LED bulbs.
  • Reduced water consumption by 30% by replacing 44 regular flush toilets with dual flush valves; replaced the domestic water booster system with an efficient system to generate 20% energy savings.
  • Facilities built/renovated designed using LEED principles and with ComED incentives.
  • Replaced 86 wall sconces and 175 can lights with LED lights, saving 9,906 watts annually.
  • Ice center changed procedures to eliminate nightly purging of 30 gallons of water.
  • Expanded use of propane and electric mowers.
  • “No Mow Until Mother’s Day” promotion reduces mowing.

GPD works to establish a work environment that values, invests in, and empowers a high-performing and engaged workforce as guided by our employer of choice philosophy. We have exceeded minimum wage pay, increased leave and benefits for part-time employees, expanded remote work, added holidays, and funded career-path planning.

These efforts have made us the top Park District employer in the state, recognized by IPRA as a Best Workplace Award recipient. Some highlights of our communication and staff engagement efforts include:

  • GPD communicates through monthly reports, all-staff meetings, video messaging, weekly email updates and cross-functional teams.
  • GPD offers eight employee-led teams (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility [IDEA]; Customer Service; Recognition; Wellness; Safety; Environmental; Strategic Planning; and Fun) that encourage focused thought and collaboration around initiatives guided by the priorities outlined in our strategic plan. The teams, which include over 50% of full-time employees, implement and track initiatives to improve culture, service, and operational excellence. A significant outcome, measured through biannual surveys, is the 88.6% employee satisfaction rate.
  • The IDEA Team implemented staff and board training sessions, influenced new employee policies and holidays, developed an “All Are Welcome” campaign, and conducted a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) employee survey. Results from the survey led to an increase in our tuition reimbursement program and up-front access to the funds.
  • The Recognition Team amplified GPD’s Partnership, Excellence, Accomplishment, and Kindness (PEAK) recognition program. Employees who earn recognition in the four PEAK categories are eligible for a $500 bonus. Desired outcomes include inspiring employees to recognize one another, encouraging communication, and fostering a strong work culture. In three years, GPD issued 9,243 PEAK cards and awarded $24,000 to staff.

GPD works to optimize organizational performance through operational excellence. We focus on data-informed decision making has created efficient operations and processes, resulting in high customer and community satisfaction rates. GPD achieved Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) accreditation in 2023.

As part of the accreditation process, Glenview Park District had to demonstrate compliance with 154 recognized standards and document all policies and procedures. Often the process helps identify efficiencies and heighten areas of accountability, all of which translate into higher quality service and operation to benefit the community. We are honored to be recognized as one of only 206 park and recreation agencies who hold CAPRA accreditation nationwide and one of only nine agencies in Illinois.

Our staff-led Recognition Team developed Innovation awards for initiatives that have improved business processes, provided value to the community, or resulted in new programs and practices. This program fosters innovation, collaboration and efficiency. We received 32 implemented initiatives as submissions for the award, which showed how they saved thousands of dollars and hours.

DEI Efforts

  • Held a Safe Zone Conversation and unconscious bias training for staff and board.
  • Staff training sessions by Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
  • Created a DEI employee survey to identify areas of improvement.
  • Reviewed celebrated holidays and developed new programs to broaden GPD’s cultural lens.
  • Worked with the Center on Halsted to bring LGBTQ training to staff and encouraged using appropriate pronouns.
  • Partnered with the Korean Cultural Center.
  • Added cultural holidays with paid time off.
  • Reviewed recruitment practices.
  • Examined contractor diversity.
  • Provided increased inclusion services (12,885 hours) to individuals with special needs over three years.
  • Provided gender neutral bathrooms across facilities.
  • Offer Senior and Military discounts.
  • 85% of GPD residents have equitable access to a park within a half mile of their home.

highlights in creativity and innovation

2024 IMPACT award projects

Staff completely redeveloped the training program for camp counselors in 2024 to ensure better retention of the values and skills needed for our counselors.

see the award submission →

Park Center Health and Fitness was the host site for the exclusive Midwest Fitness Residency of Tae Bo creator Billy Blanks, bringing specialty classes and events to our members and residents.

see the award submission →

When we think of “AI” these days, people think of artificial intelligence. But in the cattle industry, AI means “artificial insemination”. Our farm manager has recently attended training and started an in-house breeding program to provide greater control of animal care and educational programming for our visitors.

see the award submission →

Historic Wagner Farm has developed an incredible strategy and plan for how to strengthen their social media presence based on past performance and testing.

see the award submission →

Several residents provided feedback that they would like to enjoy expanded access to Historic Wagner Farm in the evening. In response to this, staff scheduled one evening per month during the summer to provide later hours and programming for visitors with great success.

see the award submission →

Historic Wagner Farm has expanded opportunities for engagement with preschoolers through programs and field trips.

see the award submission →

Glenview Police reached out to Historic Wagner Farm in the help of rescuing a cow loose! While the cow was not from Wagner Farm, our staff and facility are known as experts in the area and were able to lend support to the effort.

see the award submission →

Winter tends to be a quieter time at The Grove in terms of registration for programming and overall visitation. To encourage winter engagement, they launched and hosted a new “winter fest” sort of event that ties in with the recently renovated Interpretive Center – Robert’s Yukon Adventure Day!

see the award submission →

The Glenview Community Ice Center partnered with Culver’s, Dairy Queen and Glenview Dairy Bar to transform the facility into the “Glenview Community Ice CREAM Center” during its Stay Cool at Back to School program. The program was widely successful with hundreds of residents participating and enjoying a wonderful experience, all while supporting our local business community.

see the award submission →

our vision

a community in which everyone enjoys daily happiness, health, and an appreciation for the environment.

our master plan

GPD developed this plan, shaped by the community, to guide park, facility, and program development decisions for ten years.

see the plan

our strategic plan

The strategic plan outlines GPD’s purpose, envisioned future, and strategic priority areas in which the District will invest time, talent, and resources within the next 3 years.

see the plan