About Us

The Skokie Park District

...takes pride in its ability to serve the more than 65,000 residents of Skokie, Illinois and its customers throughout Chicagoland. Whether protecting natural resources, preserving historical sites or providing thousands of unique recreational opportunities within its more than 240 acres of parkland, the district has offered a multitude of quality programs since 1928.
 
In addition to its diverse array of programs and special events, the Skokie Park District also offers summer camps, state-licensed full-day childcare and preschool, and before- and after-school care for grades K-5. The district is a past winner of the “National Gold Medal for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.”
 
Park Resources
The district is committed to protecting its natural resources and preserving historical sites within its more than 240 acres of parkland. The district maintains 42 parks, including within them — ball diamonds, playgrounds, basketball, volleyball, pickleball, and tennis courts, a dog park, picnic areas, soccer fields, two golf facilities, parking lots, shelters and restrooms, and two butterfly gardens. The district also operates and maintains two ice rinks, two outdoor swimming pools, a community center, a cultural center for the arts, a leisure center (including a health club and gymnasium), an outdoor nature center with an interpretive center, the Skokie Heritage Museum, two childcare/preschool centers, a community theater venue, The Exploritorium (a children's indoor play and learning space), and an indoor rowing center.
 
Programs and Services
In addition to its thousands of unique programs in the areas of the arts, nature, sports and fitness, and specialized programs for tots through seniors, the Skokie Park District also offers more than 80 summer day camps, a nationally-accredited full-day childcare and preschool, and before- and after-school care for grades K-5. 
 
The Park District also offers many seasonal community special events, including the award-winning Skokie Festival of Cultures, Skokie’s Backlot Bash music and street festival, Winter Chilly Fest, a July 4th 3-D Fireworks Festival, the Scream Scene haunted house, and many more.
 
Boundaries
The Skokie Park District is bordered by Evanston to the east, Chicago to the southeast and southwest, Lincolnwood to the south, Niles to the southwest, Morton Grove to the west, Glenview to the northwest, and Wilmette to the north. The district includes nearly all of the Village of Skokie, as well as small portions of Evanston, Morton Grove and Chicago.

Five-Year Comprehensive Master Plan
District staff and Skokie residents recently worked together to identify park district needs and to prioritize action items in a manner consistent with the agency’s Mission, Vision and Values. Click here to view the park district's comprehensive master plan through 2019. 
 
Five-Year Capital Plan
Click here to view planned park district capital projects. These projects will maintain or improve the district’s infrastructure and may include: 1) the major maintenance, rehabilitation, renovation or new construction of an existing facility or park; and 2) the purchase of major equipment needed for district maintenance.
 
District Goals
Click here to view goals for Fiscal Year 2017-18.​ Click here to view updated goals for Fiscal Year 2016-17. 
 

History of the Skokie Park District

Recognition​

The District has been recognized four times as an Illinois Distinguished Accredited Agency by the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) and the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA), most recently for the period of 2016-20. The district is also a past "Gold Medal Award" recipient of the prestigious National Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management presented by the NRPA and the Sports Foundation. This award identified the Skokie Park District as one of the nation's best in serving a population of 50,000-100,000 residents. 

Customer acclaim for the Skokie Park District
 

Facts & Frequently Asked Questions

The Skokie Park District and the Village of Skokie are two different agencies.
The Skokie Park District is a government agency with its own elected board of commissioners and taxing powers. Although the Skokie Park District and the Village of Skokie share roughly the same boundaries, the Village of Skokie and the Skokie Park District are separate government agencies that provide different public services.
 
Chartered
The district was established by local referendum on February 3, 1928 as the Niles Center (now Skokie) Park District, with five elected commissioners.
 
What is a park district?
Park districts are somewhat unique to Illinois. They are municipal corporations created for the purpose of acquiring and maintaining parks, and for providing recreational programming. Park Districts are separate and distinct from the city, county or any other political entity. It is an agency through which the people of the state carry on government. This independence from the cities and villages permits better community service.
 
Real Estate, Tax Rate, Bond Rating & Fiscal Year
The estimated equalized assessed value of real estate in the district for 2013 was $2,043,505,869. The tax rate levy for 2013 was $0.581 per $100 of estimated assessed value. The district's fiscal year begins on May 1 and concludes on April 30. Moody's Rating Service rates the 2014 Bond Issue as Aa2.
 

Vision, Mission, and Core Values

Vision
The Skokie Park District envisions a community where all of its residents enjoy a high quality of life through leisure time pursuits, beautiful open spaces, and first-rate facilities.
 
Mission
The Skokie Park District will realize its vision through teamwork, community partnerships, sound fiscal management, and creativity in every area of its operation.
 
Core Values
The Skokie Park District will fulfill its mission through:
• Commitment
• Service
• Integrity
• Openness
• Innovation
• Environmental Stewardship
 

Memberships

The Skokie Park District is a member agency of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD), the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) and the Park District Risk Managemant Association (PDRMA). 
 

How the District is Governed

Commissioners & Appointed Officials
The five-member Board of Park Commissioners is elected by the residents of Skokie and is responsible for setting policies and procedures that best benefit the Park District and community. The Board appoints the Executive Director, who carries out the policies of the Board and hires a staff.​ The Board adopts a budget, levies property taxes and is responsible for hiring and evaluating the Executive Director. In addition, the board selects a president and vice president and appoints a secretary, treasurer and attorney. Board members serve as liaisons between various community organizations and committees.​
 
If a resident has a question or concern, it is best to start off by contacting one of our staff members. If, after talking to staff, you still have a question with the way a policy is implemented, you should contact the Park District's Executive Director, John Ohrlund. If at this point you still feel your concern has not been addressed, then you should contact the Board of Park Commissioners. This can be done by contacting an individual board member or by attending a monthly board meeting at the Weber Leisure Center. On every agenda there is time allocated for people to speak before the Board. 
 
Board of Park Commissioners
Susan Aberman​, President
Mike Reid, Vice-President
Michael Alter, Commissioner
Khemarey Khoeun, Commissioner
Maureen Yanes, Commissioner
 
Regular Board Meetings
Regular meetings of the Board are held the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Board Room at the Weber Leisure Center, 9300 Weber Park Place or at such other date and time the Board may set.
 
Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Board may be held when called by the Secretary at the request of the President or any two commissioners. All Park District business, of whatever nature or description, may be considered and disposed of at such special meeting the same as at a regular meeting.
 
Quorum
Three Commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of businesses and it shall require the affirmative vote of the majority present to carry a motion. In case there is not a quorum present on the day of a meeting, the Commissioners present may adjourn the meeting until a quorum is obtained.
 
Ordinances and Reports to be in Writing
All ordinances, resolutions, notices, orders, reports and proceedings shall be in writing and shall be kept by the Secretary in the manner set forth in the Park District Code.
 
Order of Business
The order of business at meetings of the Board shall be as follows:
Call Meeting to Order
Pledge of Allegiance
Roll Call (approval of remote participation, if requested)
Comments from Citizens
Approval of Consent Agenda
Approval of Minutes
Bills Payable
Treasurer's Report
Attorney’s Report
Staff Reports – Action
Staff Reports – Information
Discussion Items
President’s Report
Adjournment (Executive Session if required and actions to be taken in Executive Session, if required.)
Roberts Rules of Order shall govern in questions of procedures in all cases.
 

We are ADA Compliant

The Skokie Park District welcomes the participation of all individuals in our programs, including those with disabilities. We are fully committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and providing reasonable accommodations to facilitate participation in our programs. The sooner we know about your special situation, the more time we have to make reasonable accommodations to improve you or your child's recreational experience. Parents or guardians: please contact Michelle Tuft, Superintendent of Recreation & Facilities, to make arrangements for any accommodation at the time of registration; no later than two weeks prior to the start of the program. Notification received less than two weeks prior to the start of the program may result in delayed participation in the program. If you have questions or concerns, contact Michelle Tuft, Superintendent of Recreation, at (847) 674-1500, 2181 or click here to e-mail her.
 

ADA Plan

Accessible communities benefit everyone, not just its disabled residents. Following accessibility guidelines in public rights-of-way improves access for everyone, thus improving community livability. District staff has updated the following plan to improve accessibility and to address necessary physical improvements identified in its self-evaluation. Click here for ADA Plan Update.

Skokie Park District ADA Compliance Officer
John Ohrlund
​9300 Weber Park Place, Skokie, IL 60077
(847) 674 -1500, ext. 2100.
 

Head Injury Education

From the district's Board of Park Commissioners and Administrative Policy & Procedures Manual, Section 2.12:
Proper medical treatment following a sustained head injury by a Park District patron is extremely important. An individual is often disoriented and not necessarily able to make sound decisions regarding their medical treatment after a head injury.  As such, and as encouraged by Section 8-24 of the Park District Code, the District will use reasonable efforts to make available to users of District facilities electronically or in written form, concussion and head injury educational materials which may include those produced or distributed by the Illinois High School Association, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other comparable materials.   

Memorialize a Loved One

Looking for a unique way to commemorate a birth, celebrate a birthday, remember a friend or loved one? The Tree Memorial program of the Skokie Park District has added hundreds of trees to Skokie's parks through the generous donations of individuals just like you!
 
A variety of shade, ornamental and evergreen tree species are available for planting at many of the district's park sites. Tree prices vary by species, starting at $125. The amount donated is matched by the Park District. In commemoration of your gift, a bronze plaque will be placed on the giving tree at the Weber Leisure Center. Further information about the Tree Memorial program may be obtained by calling 674-1500, 2804.
 

Our Management Team & Staff

The five members of the Board of Park Commissioners are elected by the residents of Skokie and are responsible for hiring the executive director, who in turn hires the park district staff (see organizational chart here) ​and manages all district operations. The district employs seventy-five authorized full-time staff and more than 510 part-time, year-round, seasonal and temporary employees.
 
Administrative Team – John Ohrlund, CPRP, Executive Director
Jon Marquardt, CPRP, Assistant Superintendent of Recreation
Mike Rea, APRP, Superintendent of Parks
William Schmidt, CPA, Superintendent of Business Services
Michelle Tuft, CPRE, Superintendent of Recreation & Facilities
 
Aquatics & Dammrich Rowing Center – Scott Runkle, Risk Management & Special Facility Manager
Kelly Davidson, Aquatics Supervisor
 
Business Services  William Schmidt, CPA, Superintendent of Business Services
Ahmad Ali, Enterprise Application & Desktop Support Specialist 
Sonia Cannon, Accounts Payable Clerk
David Hunt, IT Director
Vilma Matos, Payroll/Registrar Supervisor
Ann Perez, Executive Secretary
Nancy Portillo, Senior Accounting Supervisor
Lynn Seebacher, Human Resources Manager
 
Communications, Marketing & Sponsorship – Jim Bottorff, Communications and Marketing Manager
Diane Hardy, Sponsorship Coordinator
Rachel Pozner, Graphic Artist
Scott Walker, Graphic Artist
 
Devonshire Cultural Center – Robin Horwitz, CPRE, Facility Manager
Kathy Day, Customer Service Supervisor
Heidi Luksa, Preschool Director
Caryn Watson, Cultural Arts Supervisor
 
Emily Oaks Nature Center – Lee Hansen, Facility Manager
Erin Peterson, Tot & Family Program Coordinator
Cassie Schaeffer, School-Age Program Supervisor
 
Oakton Community Center & Aquatics – Crystal VanHyning, CPRP, Facility Manager
Nancy Eschker, CPRP, School-Age Program Supervisor
Mary Amato, Exploritorium & Events Supervisor
Lisa Sullivan, CPRP, Senior Adult & Teen Supervisor
Pamela Zeid, CPRP, Customer Service & Events Supervisor
 
Park Services – Mike Rea, APRP, Superintendent of Parks
Steve Ames, Landscape Supervisor
John Gacki, CPRP, Parks Supervisor
Jeff Hacker, CPSI, Operations Supervisor
Dima Kirland, CPRP, Office Manager
 
Skatium Ice Arena – Kurt von Helms, Facility Manager
Brandi Leucke, Assistant Facility Manager
Steve Glickman, Hockey Director​
Kerry Murphy, Figure Skating Director
Iris Levin, Customer Service Supervisor
 
Skokie Heritage Museum – Amanda Hanson, CPRP, Facility Manager
 
Skokie Sports Park & Weber Park Golf Course – Richard Lee, Golf Operations Manager
Chris Pytell, PGA Golf Professional
Jon Savoie, Golf Superintendent
 
Tot Learning Center – Fouzia Khan, Childcare Services Manager
 
Weber Leisure Center – Emily Guynn, Facility Manager
Jennie Bever, Fitness First Manager
Bob DeLeonardis, Athletics Supervisor
Kim Reynolds, Customer Service Supervisor
Breanne Schnoor, CPRP, Weber Center Recreation Supervisor
 

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer

The Skokie Park District under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits discrimination on the basis or race, color, national origin, age or handicap. If you believe that you have been subjected to discrimination in any program, activity or facility, or if you desire further information regarding Title IV, please write to: Office for Equal Opportunity, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240.
 

For information regarding jobs at the Skokie Park District, click here or contact Lynn Seebacher, Human Resource Manager, at 9300 Weber Park Place, Skokie, IL 60077, at (847) 933-4357 or at laseebacher@skokieparks.org.