A recent Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) report contains impressive information regarding the role of Illinois park districts as a significant employer and contributor to the local economy, as well as highlighting the park district's efforts to rely on self-sustaining revenue options as a way to limit dependency on local property taxes.
The report found that:
- park districts, forest preserves, conservation districts, and special recreation agencies employ more than 67,000 people statewide.
- these jobs represent nearly $720 million paid in wages and compensation.
- more than 62% of an agency’s employees live within the district where they work.
- roughly half of these jobs provide important early work experience for younger adults (ages 25 and under).
- statewide, more than half of agency revenues come from non-tax sources, including earned revenue (program fees and memberships) and other sources (grants, donations, interest, etc.)