Font: (-) / (+)

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.

Select A Page:

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


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.



 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 Park District of Highland Park to continue to be proactive meeting the community’s ever-changing demands for programs and facilities.  Ongoing near-term strategic plans provide the means for the Park District to fulfill those evolving needs. 

The 2016-20 Strategic Plan is a continuation of the District’s 2012-16 Strategic Plan and meets the near-term objectives identified in the District’s 10-year master plan — GreenPrint 2024.  In addition, the strategic plan incorporates new initiatives identified through a series of focus groups with staff, Board members, and community representatives that were conducted as part of the strategic planning process:

• Establish a near-term future direction
• Align the organization with a strategic direction
• Incorporate resident needs into future planning
• Drive innovation as part of the organizational culture
• Strengthen and identify elements of organizational culture through values
• Develop preliminary approaches to infrastructure and capital project needs

Initiatives of the new plan are:

Strategic Map 2016-2020

For a look at the 2012-16 Strategic Plan click here.

GreenPrint 2024 Master Plan: Putting the Park District Plans to work!

The Park District planning department is making headway on planning initiatives recommended in GreenPrint. See the plan descriptions below along with expected timelines and how you can get involved.


The Park District’s GreenPrint 2024 plan completed in 2015 serves as a community vision for the Park District of Highland Park. The Plan used input gathered from the community and staff to develop recommendations under three initiative categories: Capital Plan Initiatives, Green Print Capital Development Initiatives, and Green Print Planning Initiatives.

GreenPrint 2024 Planning Initiatives include the development of long and short-range plans intended to address community, staff, and board priorities, support GreenPrint master-planning goals as well as the Park District’s mission, vision and values. Once completed, these plans will support implementation of operational improvements and priority capital developments to improve Park District parks and facilities and provide quality service to residents of Highland Park.

Planning staff is currently working on three planning initiatives recommended by GreenPrint:

  • Lakefront Master Plan Update
  • Land Management Strategy Plan
  • Sports Field Master Plan

Lakefront Master Plan Update

The Park District Planning Department is completing preliminary planning to begin the process to update the Lakefront Master Plan completed in 2007.

In 2007, the Park District in collaboration with citywide stakeholders, completed the Lakefront Master Plan. The Plan addresses all lakefront parks, beaches and ravine eco-systems:

  • Rosewood Park and Beach
  • Millard Park and Ravine Drive Beach
  • Central Park and Park Avenue Park and Beach
  • Moraine Park and Beach

Each of these parks and beaches is a unique and special community asset that offer opportunities for both active and passive recreation. The 2007 Lakefront Master Plan outlines recommended improvements at these locations.

The first major project guided by the 2007 Lakefront Master Plan, the implementation of the Rosewood Beach Improvement Plan, was completed in 2015. The Rosewood Beach implementation strategy included effective partnerships and funding strategies to maximize return of the community’s investment. The new award-winning Rosewood Beach hosts a range of active and passive amenities geared towards lakefront recreation, environmental stewardship, and environmental education.

Since 2007, community priorities have changed, and the plan is being revisited and updated by the District’s Planning Department.

Check back for updates on the planning effort and for opportunities to get involved.

Land Management Master Plan

The Planning Department is developing a comprehensive land management plan that will address among other things, stormwater management, sustainability, natural areas, cultural assets, and trails across the District’s 700 + acres of owned and managed land. The intent of the plan is to assess and define land management practices, policies, and strategies to develop a unified and relevant approach to guide practice.

The completed plan will be presented to the Park District board in 2018 and will be made available to the public. Check back here for updates.

Sports Field Master Plan

The Park District provides both informal and programmed competition level sports fields at locations throughout the community. The District’s Planning and Athletics Departments are developing a comprehensive sports field master plan that will address existing fields to meet current and projected program needs as well as explore potential new field configurations that would gain efficiencies in scheduling, program management, and tournament opportunities; ancillary amenities and infrastructure; maintenance; storm water management, lighting and utilities; as well as improved parking management strategies.

Updates on these planning initiatives will be provided on this page as they come available. For more information on the District’s planning initiatives, please contact the Park District Planning Department at