Health & Safety
Park District of Highland Park strives to provide safe parks, recreation programs, events, and facilities which balance the need to minimize risk to its participants and yet preserve the fun of the recreation experience.
Emergency Closing Information
We endeavor to keep our facilities and programs operating whenever possible. There are times, however, when weather, road conditions, or facility malfunctions dictate that programs and/or services must be cancelled or temporarily postponed or entire facilities closed.
In order to provide employees and patrons with a safe and secure environment in which to work and play, the District reserves the right to close a particular facility or cancel a program using the following criteria:
1. Whenever School District 112 (D112) cancels school due to weather conditions, all Park District activities and programs held at a school site will follow the same the procedure the entire day and/or evening. When D112 cancellations take place in the morning (prior to the beginning of school), Park District programs at Park District facilities will also be cancelled through 12pm.
2. Program cancellation will be consistent district wide unless there are facility specific reasons for cancellation.
3. When programs are cancelled:
a. Affiliate and youth groups will be cancelled.
b. Adult rental groups will be given the option to cancel without penalty so long as they follow the above time period.
c. Private lessons/training staff or clients are given the option to cancel without penalty
d. Drop in classes and/or programs will be determined by the facility manager
4. In all situations, the Park District reserves the right to adapt this procedure and make decisions based extenuating circumstances and/or on the safety of staff, patrons, and/or participants.
5. Park district facilities themselves will remain open for non-registered and/or drop-in activities (e.g. fitness and tennis club use, public skating, open gym, cross country ski rentals, etc.) unless specifically directed to close due to weather conditions.
Because weather and road conditions can change dramatically as the day progresses, the Park District will monitor weather conditions and announce closing updates throughout the day. Communication regarding any weather related closings and updates will be posted on the homepage of this website, the district Facebook & Twitter pages, and Rainout Line. The district will also post information on the Chicago Emergency Closing Center website www.emergencyclosingcenter.com. Emails will be sent to customers who have subscribed to the park district email program.
To sign up for the Rainout Line
Strike Guard Lightning Detection System
Strike Guard is a state-of-the art lightning detection system designed to track actual lightning strikes and will sound when lightning is within a 10-mile radius. Participants using outdoor facilities should take appropriate shelter when the warning signals are activated. If the weather is threatening but no warning signal is heard or seen, use good judgment and clear the area. Do not wait for the warning signal to activate.
Warning Signal to Suspend Activities and Seek Shelter: the system will sound a 15-second blast that can be heard from 2,400 feet away followed by a continuous strobe light. When this blast is heard or the strobe light is seen, park users and program participants should clear the area and seek immediate shelter.
Signal that Outdoor Activities May Resume: once the system has detected that dangerous weather has cleared, 3 short blasts will sound signaling to patrons that it is safe to resume outdoor activities.
Strike Guard systems are solar powered and are operated year-round between 7 am -10 pm. Strike Guard sensors are located at: Sunset Valley Golf Course (two sensors installed), Hidden Creek AquaPark, Deer Creek/Larry Fink Memorial Park (two sensors installed), West Ridge Park, Park Avenue Boating Facility, Centennial Ice Arena (two sensors installed), Sunset Woods Park, Recreation Center of Highland Park, and Heller Nature Center.
Lifeguards need your help too!
Parents and all adult patrons play a key role in helping us to ensure a safe and fun experience at our pools and swimming beach. Please review these important water safety tips
Policies & On-going Procedures for Safe Programs
It is Park District policy to provide safe and rewarding programs and facilities for our participants. In keeping with our mission and vision to enrich the quality of life for our community, it is a top priority to provide safe and welcoming recreational opportunities where bullying is not tolerated. Our Board approved Behavior Management Policy and Conduct Ordinance 2013; procedures; and on-going staff training promote good sportsmanship and positive attitudes in all of our programs.
- Character Counts – the District is an active participant in this national program teaching children and adults the six pillars of character: Citizenship, Caring, Fairness, Respect, Responsibility and Trustworthiness.
- Instructor & Coach Training– reinforces the positive values of friendship, good sportsmanship, celebration of achievement, and “Can Do” attitudes in all park district programs, classes and camps.
- Concussion Awareness- Keeping children and teens healthy and safe is always a top priority. Whether you are a parent, youth sports coach, school professional, or health care provider, the below link to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) site will help you recognize, respond to, and minimize the risk of concussion or other serious brain injury: http://www.cdc.gov/HeadsUp
- Member of the Highland Park Anti-Bullying Initiative – the District is an active participant in the Highland Park Anti-bullying initiative to raise awareness across the community that bullying is not tolerated.
Anti-Bullying Campaign “I Choose Kindness Pledge”
This is for me,
My friends today,
And my friends tomorrow.
I don’t support bullying,
Because I am a do something person,
Not a do nothing person.
I can help change things,
I can be a leader.
My name is _________.
And I won’t stand by,
I will stand up.
I choose Kindness.