One hundred and fifty years ago, the Village of Glencoe was established with a public mandate to protect the community’s gate-way with planned parks and green space. While the Glencoe Park District wasn't formally created until 1912, excellence in parks and recreation has always been at the heart of our community. As Glencoe's Sesquicentennial year comes to a close, we are proud to continue to be the community’s gateway to recreation and fun.
All abilities welcome!
We serve people of all abilities with two new universally-accessible playgrounds and annually provide over 400 hours of space to NSSRA, our special recreation association. A favorite is the Valentine’s Day Dance, which brings participants from six special recreation associations together to celebrate. Since 2016, we committed over $620,000 to our ADA Transition Plan to eliminate accessibility barriers.
Beach SAFE Promotes Lake Safety
Our free Beach S.A.F.E. (Sailing & Aquatics for Everyone) program brought kids from 3 at-risk communities to Glencoe Beach to learn water safety skills and discover Lake Michigan recreational activities. This public/private partnership reduces access barriers by providing free transportation, protective swim shirts, and instruction.
Public Beach Protection Pilot Program
Shoreline change in Illinois can be rapid and costly. Erosion throughout the region threatens key infrastructure like municipal water intake structures/roads, endangers parks/beaches, and washes away important coastal habitats. At Glencoe Beach, sand erosion significantly reduced the size of our beach. With the long-term future of Glencoe Beach in question, we needed a solution.
We enlisted a team of engineers and geomorphologists to examine the beach’s bluff and sand. Soil borings, site visual observations, and a topography study were performed. We are now making surface-water management modifications and restoring retaining walls to combat erosion.
In February, the United States Congress appropriated a highly-competitive federal grant to our four communities – Glencoe, Lake Bluff, North Chicago, and Evanston – for a pilot program we developed to address Lake Michigan shoreline issues in a sustainable, cost-effective way. This project, supported by the IDNR and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, includes dredging and sand transport, onshore sand placement, native plantings, and beach monitoring to protect 54,560 yards of shoreline at regional sites, including Glencoe Beach. While work is not expected to begin until 2021, it will serve as an important proof-of-concept of how multiple communities can amplify the collective impact of shoreline protection and will pave the way for lasting, holistic public shoreline protection around the U.S.
Honeybee Hives Thriving
Now in our second year, our apiary program continues to effect change with 100,000 bees in beehives that serve to educate our community on what they can personally do to help pollinators thrive. Our first harvest of honey is expected to be available to the public in early 2020!
Supporting our Veterans
Every Memorial Day weekend, our Veterans Memorial Park serves as the starting point for the Ruck March, an event designed to raise awareness for veteran PTSD and suicide. What started as 25 veterans and supporters walking 20+ miles in 2013 has grown to over 2,000 people in 2019.
Caring for our environment
Natural area stewardship is an important part of what we do. This year, we performed a prescribed burn at Robert Everley Wildflower Sanctuary to help manage invasive species, stimulate the growth of native plants, increase plant and animal diversity, and reduce woody growth.
As co-founder of the Glencoe Sustainability Committee, we lead by example to mitigate environmental impact on a local scale.
To restore a 2.5-mile trail, we partnered with the Friends of Green Bay Trail and committed 200 staff labor hours to help combat invasive species, improve plant health, protect habitats, and offer education. Work on the Green Bay Trail SOSA (South of South Avenue) project started in 2018 and finished in 2019.
Big Hearted Bowls
As part of the Village of Glencoe’s year-long sesquicentennial celebration, the Glencoe Park District's ceramics students created the Big-Hearted Bowl Project. Park District ceramic students and teachers crafted 150 handmade bowls in honor of the sesquicentennial, which were sold at Park District events.
To sweeten the deal for those purchasing the $20 bowls, local businesses including Apple a Day & Meg’s Cafe, Bake Homemade Pizza, Frank & Betsie’s, The Grand Food Center, Guanajuato, Guildhall, Hometown Coffee and Juice, Mariano’s, and Shanghai Garden donated $10 gift certificates which will be included with each bowl purchased. Over $2,000 from Big-Hearted Bowl sales was then donated to the New Trier Township Food Pantry.
So many people volunteer their time and ideas to the Glencoe Park District. We appreciate all who volunteer to serve on committees and task forces or be part of recreation events. Thank you.
Our Board of Commissioners, Lakefront Advisory Group, Watts Advisory Group, and Dog Park Task Force met for a combined 84 hours in 2019. These unpaid roles help guide the Park District and provide community input on important issues. We truly appreciate your dedication to the District.
Over two hundred individuals volunteered to be part of The Great Mud Run or Earth Day Clean-Up, provided feedback at focus groups or on surveys, attended community input about Watts and dog park locations, helped with dance and drama performances, or signed up to coach our youth basketball teams. Thank you for being there and being part of the Glencoe Park District.
In addition, we would like to thank all the volunteer groups that help us provide programs and services to residents, including Glencoe Community Garden, Glencoe Rotary, Glencoe Historical Society, Glencoe Sustainability Committee, Active Transportation Committee, Glencoe Junior High Project, Glencoe Youth Services, Friends of the Green Bay Trail, Women's Library Club, Glencoe Baseball Association, Family Services of Glencoe, Glencoe Boat Club, and any others we may have forgotten. Our partnerships are valuable, and a tremendous asset to our residents. Thank you.
Woodlawn Park Opening Celebration
Woodlawn Park, located at the corner of Green Bay Road and Woodlawn Avenue, is opened on December 19, 2018, but we celebrated the Grand Opening in June of 2019. The new park features a walking path, a giant swing bank, two racing zip lines, a Topsy Turny spinner, as well as a soaring play structure that reaches 10' in height with slides, play panels, and ramps. The entire park wraps around protected 100-year-old oak trees.
In 2020, Connect Glencoe will activate a series of linear parks along Old Green Bay Road. The stretch of land is 0.53 miles (approximately 2,800 feet). The trail will be 10-feet wide with a crushed limestone surface.
The project will connect five separate parks with a meandering path that takes walkers, runners, and bikers through an urban garden of mature trees. The trail will connect users to various gardens, activity amenities, a new playground, an interactive water feature, a sculpture, as well as downtown businesses, the lakefront, and the train station.
Our team successfully secured a record number of grants and a donation in 2019 for the project. The project received a Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) grant for $667,150, an IDNR Bicycle Path Grant for $200,000 and a $300,000 private donation. In addition, the project is a finalist for a $400,000 OSLAD Grant, which will be awarded in January.
Glencoe Park District