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Comprehensive Planning

The Park District of Highland Park is committed to be an excellent, accountable, ethical, and sustainable organization based on its strong commitment to mission, vision, and values.  As part of that commitment, the District utilizes two planning mechanisms to stay on course and achieve these goals listed below.

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GreenPrint2014-logoGreenPrint 2024, the District’s comprehensive master plan was adopted at the December 2016 Board meeting.  It establishes a clear set of goals, policies, standards, and vision for the District.  The plan will guide our future facility and program development decisions over the next ten years.  GreenPrint 2024 in conjunction with the District’s 4-year Strategic Plans will ensure that resources are aligned with current and future resident needs, community values and changing demographics.

GreenPrint 2024 Presentation
GreenPrint 2024 Master Plan Report
Master Plan Appendices Part 1
Master Plan Appendices Part 2
Master Plan Appendices Part 3
Pellucid Golf Study 2012
Jacobson Golf Study 2012
2013 Community Survey
2009 Community Survey

 

What About the Highland Park Country Club? The Park District is now operating the Highland Park Country Club and reservations are currently being taken through 2017 for weddings, banquets, and golf outings.  For more information or to book a tee time go to highlandparkcountryclub.com.

History

In early 2013, the Park District of Highland Park began developing a comprehensive master plan to establish a clear set of goals, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApolicies and standards for all of the Park District facilities, open space, and programs. The comprehensive master plan would provide a framework for investment in the park system over the next ten years.

The Park District engaged a team of consultants, led by The Lakota Group, armed with a mission to integrate community input, the knowledge & experience of the Park District staff, and the consultant resources & expertise to provide a comprehensive plan.

The project team included:

– The Lakota Group: Project Management, Master Planning, Landscape Architecture, Community Engagement
– PROS Consulting: Programming & Services Expertise, Demographic & Recreational Trends Analysis, Identification of Funding Opportunities, Development of Implementation Strategies
– Gewalt Hamilton & Associates: Civil Engineering, Access & Circulation Planning.
– PHN Architects: a full-service architectural firm, involved in creative programming, planning and design of  Recreation, Aquatic and Golf facilities

Planning Process

The planning process was organized into four phases: Engage, Analyze, Envision, and Confirm.

Engage Phase

Throughout the Engage project phase, the project team focused on community outreach, project promotion, and dialogue facilitation. Engagement with the community was conducted through one-on-one stakeholder interviews, small focus groupOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA meetings, public open house presentations, and web-based outreach. These conversations served to provide the team with an understanding of the needs and priorities of project stakeholders and the broader community.   Highland Park residents were given several means to participate in the development of the Park District of Highland Park GreenPrint 2024 plan including:

  • 174 stakeholder interviews comprised of advisory groups, residents, agency representatives, City staff and elected officials
  • 3 Community Meetings
  • 853 resident respondents from 2009 Attitude and Interest Survey
  • 873 resident respondents 2013 Community Survey
  • Over 2,000 visits to the GreenPrint website
  • Community conversations at major Highland Park events
  • Resident email comments
  • Social Media engagement

Advisory Groups

Athletic Advisory Committee
Recreation Center Advisory Committee
Heller Nature Center Advisory Committee
Hidden Creek AquaPark Advisory Committee
Centennial Ice Arena Advisory Committee
Tennis Advisory Committee
Sunset Valley Golf Course Advisory Committee
Parks Advisory Committee
Rosewood Advisory Committee
Field sports Advisory Committee
Ice Advisory Committee
Other local agency leaders and sports organizations

Public Open Houses and Public Event Engagement

In addition to small focus groups and one-on-one meetings, the project team conducted three public open houses that corresponded to project phases: Engage, Analyze, and Envision. Input received from these events has been incorporated into the project team’s analysis. Public Open Houses 1 & 2 provided participants with an overview of the master planning process, with a focus on the Engage project phase. It was first conducted on May 2, 2013 at Heller Nature Center with a repeat open house offered on June 12, 2013 at Highland Park Country Club.

Analyze Phase

During the second project phase, Analyze, the project team conducted a comprehensive inventory of parks, facilities, and programs owned or managed by the Park District noting needs and opportunities for further study.

Public Open House 3 focused on the initial findings of the Analyze project phase. The meeting was hosted on July 25, 2013 at the West Ridge Center.

 Envision Phase

The project team’s recommendations were presented to the Park Board in advance of the fourth public open house which took place in June 2015 which gave the community its first look at the GreenPrint 2024 plan and an opportunity for their consideration and comment.

The community feedback was presented back to the Board and the master plan document was adopted by the Board at the December 2016 meeting.

 Implementation Phase

Immediately following GreenPrint 2024 adoption, the initial Phase I projects were prioritized, budgeted, and scheduled in the District’s capital and strategic plans.

 

 

At the end of 2016, the District will complete work on its 2012-16 Strategic Plan. As one of the top park districts in the state and an “Illinois Distinguished Agency” with a wide variety of outstanding programs, events, parks and facilities it is important for the District to continue to be proactive meeting the community’s ever-changing demands for programs and facilities.

In February 2016, staff began work on development of the 2016-20 Strategic Plan which:

• Establishes a near-term future direction
• Aligns the organization with a strategic direction
• Incorporates resident needs into future planning
• Drives innovation as part of the organizational culture
• Strengthens and identifies elements of organizational culture through values
• Develops preliminary approaches to infrastructure and capital project needs

Initiatives of the new plan will be both a continuation of the 2012-16 Strategic Plan and will meet the near-term objectives identified in the District’s GreenPrint 2024 10-year master plan. The strategic plan will also incorporate new initiatives identified through a series of focus groups with staff, Board members, and community representatives.

Strategic Map 2016-2020

The Park District of Highland Park aspires to be an excellent, accountable, ethical, and sustainable organization based on its strong commitment to mission, vision, and values.”

 

Strategic Plan 2012-2016
Strategic Plan Progress Report Action Items 3-4-16

 

The Park District of Highland Park is recognized as one of the top park districts in the state and is an “Illinois Distinguished Strategic Plan ValuesAgency” with a wide variety of  outstanding programs, events, parks and facilities.  However,  community demands for programs and facilities are ever changing and the park district has a finite amount of resources available to meet these needs.  The Strategic Plan provides direction for the future allocation of resources, financial stability, staffing levels, internal support and communication, organizational culture efforts, and the capacity for learning and growth.

The Park District of Highland Park  and Heller & Heller Consulting, Inc.  worked collaboratively with Board members and staff to develop the Park District of Highland Park Strategic Plan 2012 -16, which:

• Establishes a four year future direction
• Aligns the organization with a strategic direction
• Incorporates resident needs into future planning
• Drives innovation as part of the organizational culture
• Strengthens and identifies elements of organizational culture through values
• Develops preliminary approaches to infrastructure and capital project needs
• Creates groundwork for a long-term master plan

Background

In 2009, the Park District enlisted the services of  Leisure Vision, a nationally recognized research agency to complete a series of community input meetings and  administer a statistically valid communitywide survey that addressed the needs, unmet needs, and funding priorities of the Park District of Highland Park residents. The Strategic Plan includes initiatives addressing those Strategic Plansurvey results. Subsequently, in 2011 an additional series of focus groups and public meetings were held to respond to questions validating  the District’s strategic direction.

The community research results were reviewed and incorporated into the plan through a series of  workshops with Park Board members, Department Heads, and staff.   The process included a review of the mission statement and the development of a vision statement. District values were also created.

“A strategic plan becomes a road map for your immediate future,” said Liza McElroy, Executive Director of the Park District of Highland Park.  “It is a powerful tool that supports effective decision-making and our ability to remain focused on our universal goals.”