Parks Foundation Web Top 17

The Parks Foundation is the proud philanthropic partner of the Park District of Oak Park. Check out how we support the Park District through key initiatives below.

Financial Assistance Program

The Parks Foundation provides ongoing support for the Park District's Financial Assistance programs, raising funds through annual appeals and special events such as karaoke nights.

The Park District distributes thousands of dollars annually through financial assistance to provide opportunities for residents to participate in Park District programs and facilities. The Park District funds two forms of financial assistance:

  1. Scholarships: reduce the cost of programming
  2. Childcare Discount Memberships: discount the cost of full-day Park District childcare programs

To learn more about the financial assistance program, please click the link below to be redirected to the Park District site.

Frank Lloyd Wright Races

The Parks Foundation proudly presents the Frank Lloyd Wright Races in partnership with the Park District of Oak Park. The proceeds from this race go directly toward the Park District scholarship fund, providing a significant contribution to the Park District's ability to offer recreation opportunities to residents of all ages and income levels. 

Each year, the Frank Lloyd Wright Race welcomes 2,000+ runners from Oak Park and beyond. This long-standing community tradition hosts a 10K, 5K, and Youth Mile race, and takes runners along a uniquely scenic course, featuring Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. To learn more about the race, please click the button below to be redirected to the Park District website.

Community Recreation Center Construction

The Parks Foundation recruited a group of volunteers and together launched a capital campaign seeking donations from foundations, corporations, families, and individuals to meet the needs of constructing a Community Recreation Center without needing to raise taxes. In total, the Parks Foundation raised $15.5 million of the $22 million required to build this community hub.

The Community Recreation Center successfully opened in 2023 and meets the recreation needs of Oak Park's diverse community. The CRC offers an indoor track, gymnasium, fitness center, studio, esports lounge, community rooms, child playzone, inclusive locker rooms, and the Community Mental Health Board. To learn more about the CRC, click the button below to be redirected to the Park District's website. 

Gymnastics and Recreation Center Sculpture Installation

As part of the mission to enhance existing parks and facilities, the Parks Foundation raised money to install a sculpture at the front of the Gymnastics and Recreation Center (GRC). To reach the monetary goal, the Parks Foundation hosted several fundraising events, including a GRC Open House where families got to enjoy a fun-filled evening and try out the gymnastics equipment. The final sculpture, 'Blue Woman in Twilight' by Jacqueline Willis, was unveiled on October 5, 2017.

Ridgeland Common Recreation Center Renovation

Prior to Ridgeland Common Recreation Complex's 2014 renovation, the Parks Foundation hosted 'Intermission at Ridgeland,' a farewell event to the old building. Attendees shared stories about the facility and had the chance to learn more about renovation plans. Legendary Chicago Blackhawks organist Frank Pellico provided the soundtrack for an epic Fenwick and OPRF alumni hockey game. Blackhawks mascot Tommy Hawk made an appearance, and many prizes were awarded.

Following the renovation, the Parks Foundation hosted the 'Ridgeland Reveal' as a fundraising preview event. The existing facility was reconstructed to expand the ice rink to official size, add a synthetic turf sports field, install additions to the pool including a new children's wading pool, and build out three activity rooms. Over 200 guests attended the preview event and U.S. Olympic Speed Skater, Emery Lehman, made an appearance. All proceeds went toward the Park District of Oak Park.

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The Parks Foundation is a non-profit corporation that is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)3.

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