There is so much to do. The current Commissioners and Staff of the Park District have put
together an excellent plan, called the Greenprint 2024 document. While thorough, my project
manager experience tells me that every plan needs ongoing revisions as the base assumptions
of the plan change and new factors present themselves.
- A key factor is revenue. Right now, Park District revenue is split essentially 50/50 between funds from taxes and fees for services. So it simply makes sense to involve and listen to residents on how the
Park District can improve their lives.
- Another key is community input. The gaps are evident. Despite the changing
demographics of Highland Park, the Park District under-represents the needs of our
growing proportion of seniors. Given the ongoing debates about District 112 schools,
the question of land swapping is not yet clear. Infrastructure improvements in many
Park District buildings, including the Rec Center are needed. Questions about golf
course operation are also up in the air.
- Returning to the lakefront, the sunken barge that creates a protected launch area and
enables boating at Park Avenue Beach-- as well as a place for fishing, peacefully watching
the lake and other recreation -- is storm damaged and dangerous. The barge continues
to deteriorate with jagged metal protruding into the lake below the water line made
worse with every storm. Incredibly, there is no money for repair in the current budget.
Instead, citizens are blocked from the benches and walking along this lovely lakefront
In addition, commitments have been broken-- a promised long term plan for Park Avenue
Beach has yet to materialize, and there is no indication that even the early stages of planning