The Parks Foundation of Highland Park has received a grant from the Highland Park Community Foundation. These funds will support the Park Foundation’s “Foundation For Youth” (FYI) Scholarship Program. FYI offers Highwood residents of lesser financial means the opportunity to participate in recreational programs, including swimming lessons and summer camps.

Though the Highwood families attend the same schools as Highland Park residents, Highwood is not within the tax-body bounds of the Park District of Highland Park, and residents cannot take advantage of the Park District’s resident scholarship program.  Highwood also does not have a park district, and the City of Highwood offers limited recreational programs for residents. 

The Park’s Foundation FYI Scholarship Program was introduced in 2019 and currently funds approximately 100 learn-to-swim lessons for low-income Highwood children. FYI summer camp scholarships were also made available to Highwood residents with financial constraints during the COVID-19 pandemic. For families facing increased financial hardship due to the pandemic, recreational activities are often the first expenses cut out of a household budget. At the same time, outlets for exercise and enrichment are more critical than ever in promoting physical, social, and emotional health. Further, the need for greater equity and inclusiveness motivates a primary organizational goal of the Parks Foundation to boost funding so that more Highwood residents may enjoy access to Park District programs. The FYI Scholarship program reaches low-income preschool and school-aged children, predominantly Latino Highwood residents.

“The Parks Foundation is grateful for the Highland Park Community Foundation’s generous support for our FYI Scholarship program. Highwood is an important part of our community – our children go to school together,” says Rafael Labrador, the Parks Foundation Board of Directors president. “FYI helps level the playing field for Highwood families.”

About the Parks Foundation of Highland Park: The Parks Foundation of Highland Park is an independent, community-led, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2016 to support access to the world-class Park District programs and facilities that enhance community life in Highland Park. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants and donations that help keep taxes and program fees in check and bridge the gap between public resources and the funding needed to maintain our vibrant park system. We are committed to providing the resources for everyone in our community to participate in a wide variety of Park District offerings. Scholarship funds raised by the Foundation have allowed Highland Park/Highwood residents of all ages to enjoy athletic and recreational programs and summer camps. In cooperation with government entities, private enterprises, nonprofit partner organizations, and local families, we enrich current and future generations by supporting the open space and recreational programs that bring our community together. For more information and to donate, visit

About Highland Park Community Foundation: The Highland Park Community Foundation was established in 1992 at the request of the City of Highland Park to build and maintain a permanent endowment fund. As the philanthropic heart of the community, the HPCF improves and enriches people’s lives with annual grants to nonprofits that provide educational, human service, and cultural programs for Highland Park and Highwood residents. The Foundation’s avowed purposes are to expand opportunities and address the unmet needs of the community – needs that are not met by governmental or other sources.

The Highland Park Community Foundation annually awards grants though a competitive application and review process. For more information, visit

parks foundation logo

Restoration to the lake bluff at Millard Park has begun with the re-routing of park pathways by Parks crews. New connections will allow visitors to walk in the popular upper park at most times during this project. The first construction phase is anticipated to start in November and continue through the winter and early spring of 2023.

To create a healthier and more stable environment, there will be significant removal of trees not historically found on our lake bluffs. These can contribute to the erosion of the bluff face as they prevent soil-stabilizing plants from growing and tear up soil when they fall during storms.

Restoration will also include grading at the top of the bluff to eliminate current steep drop-offs to establish a more stable 2:1 slope. Grading will not occur in areas where historic trees are protected.

Some temporary paths will become permanent as an adaptive strategy to move walkways away from the bluff’s edge. Some paths close to the edge will now be closed and planted with appropriate native plants to provide a natural buffer to protect these vulnerable areas.

Learn more about the project.

For more information, contact Rebecca Grill, Natural Areas Manager, at

The National Parks & Recreation Association (NRPA) and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation have awarded the Park District of Highland Park a $600 pack of supplies to help the Park District establish additional pollinator habitats at The Preserve of Highland Park. The award is part of NRPA & Scotts “Parks for Pollinators” national campaign to raise public awareness of the pollinator crisis and encourage local action through public parks and recreation.

As participants in the campaign, Park District staff and volunteers successfully documented a variety of pollinators throughout September at The Preserve. They demonstrated the significance of the newly created habitat at The Preserve and all of the pollinators it supports.

Findings included:

“This information will help us understand how we can better protect pollinators and other important wildlife in our community,” said Elizabeth Ricketts, Natural Areas Program Volunteer Coordinator. Learn more about The Preserve of Highland Park.

In support of the Highland Park community that has been through so much this past summer, the Wadsworth Golf Charities Foundation is underwriting a full day of golf for Highland Park residents at the Sunset Valley Golf Club on Wednesday, October 12.

Includes an 18-hole round and a golf cart (carts are limited and available on a first-come basis).

Book your tee time now.
Click the Wadsworth Golf Outing button.
(Please show your ID at check-in)

Crews are removing the flagstone path and retaining walls and began stabilization work at the toe of the slope. The boardwalk sections are being fabricated offsite. Additional equipment and materials will be delivered over the next several days. Once received, on-site work will resume.

Learn more about the project.

Work continues to remove the existing barge breakwater in preparation for the installation of the new breakwater and boat ramp.

About the Project

At the April 27 meeting, the Park Board approved construction of Phase 1 of the Park Avenue Breakwater Project in the amount of $2,221,890.  The base scope of this project includes removal of the existing barge breakwater and boat ramp, stockpiling and salvaging existing breakwater fill and armor stone, construction of a new steel sheet pile breakwater with a concrete crown wall and construction of a new concrete boat launch.   Funding for the project includes $2,000,000 from the Park District’s capital fund and $400,000 from the Parks Foundation of Highland Park, made possible from community donations. Construction began as scheduled on Sept 6, 2022. Learn more.

Demolition of the rink floor and concrete trench have been completed. Installation of under-floor drainage will begin soon.

About the Project

Centennial Ice Arena is temporarily closed, and ice programs will not be offered in Fall 2022 due to an unexpected and necessary replacement of the rink floor. 

An unknown issue was uncovered on the rink floor during our regular annual maintenance in June. Since then, the Park District has acted swiftly to conduct an exhaustive investigation of the facility and ice flooring system with an engineering firm. The findings confirmed that the building is structurally sound. However, the rink floor has been compromised and will require complete replacement.   Learn more.

We are batty for Halloween and have a spooktacular lineup of fun events for you and your family.

Highland Park Hauntings(Fri., Oct 21, 5:30-8pm, Larry Fink Memorial Park) Kick off the season with a frightful walk along our haunted trail. Look out for spots along the way for Halloween treats to calm your nerves. This spooky event includes live characters, moving props, and spooky music. Fee: $20/$25 per person (resident/non-resident). Learn more & register.

Drive-in Movie: Hocus Pocus(Thu., Oct 27, 7:30-10:30pm, Recreation Center of HP Parking Lot) Amok! Amok! Amok! Hop in the car and cruise on over for this classic Halloween movie. Fee: $30/car. Learn more & register.

Scary Miniature Golf(Sat., Oct 29, 8am – 5pm, River’s Edge Mini Golf) Wear your costume and receive a free round of miniature golf! Learn More.

West Ridge Trunk or Treat – (Mon., Oct 31, 10:30 – 11:45pm, West Ridge Center) Welcome all little ghosts, superheroes, pop stars and professionals! Our preschool trunk or treat will take place in the West Ridge Parking lot and lots of goodies will be shared! Fee: $2 Learn more & register.

April 4, 2023 Consolidated Election Petition Packets

The Park District of Highland Park has petition packets for one open Park Board Commissioner seat (6-year term) for the April 4, 2023, Consolidated Election. Those interested in running for a Park District of Highland Park Commissioner seat must be a registered voter and have been a resident of Highland Park for at least one year prior to the election. Please review the Election Calendar here

To download the petition packet, please click here.

If you wish to have the petition packet mailed to your home or schedule an appointment for pick-up, please contact Roxanne Hejnowski, Executive Coordinator, at 847.579.3190 or  

Circulation Period / September 20, 2022 – December 19, 2022

The circulation period for the Consolidated Election on April 4, 2023, will be open until December 19, 2022.

Filing Period for Petition Packets / December 12 – December 19, 2022

The filing period for petition packets is December 12 – December 19, 2022. Petition packets must be hand-delivered to the Executive Coordinator at the West Ridge Center Administrative Office, 636 Ridge Road, Highland Park, IL 60035, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. No petitioner packets will be accepted before or after the stated dates and times. The Park District of Highland Park staff cannot provide any election or legal advice for any petitioners. Petitioners are encouraged to contact the Lake County Clerk’s Office.

Election Cycle

Consolidated Election

Voter Registration Locations for the Consolidated Election
City Hall, 1707 St. Johns Ave.
Weekdays from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Moraine Township Office, 800 Central Avenue
Weekdays from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

West Deerfield Township, 601 Deerfield Road
Weekdays from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Voter Eligibility 
You may register to vote if: 

Note: You must register again if your name or permanent address has changed. Voter registration requires two forms of identification, including one with a current address (new residents may use a utility bill, checkbook, etc.). 

The Park District of Highland Park begins construction at Park Avenue Boating Facility to replace the Breakwater and Boat Ramp as planned on September 6, 2022. Construction hours will be 7 am to 4 pm Monday – Friday. The anticipated reopening of the new Park Avenue Breakwater and Boat Ramp is Spring 2023.

During the project, the concrete and sand ramps will not be available. Communication has been sent out to our boating community, providing launching options through the remainder of the season. Boat launching is not allowed on the North Beach at Park Ave.

Pedestrian access is permitted from the sidewalk on the west side of the Water Plant during construction. Vehicles will not have access to the Park Avenue Boating Facility south parking lot on weekdays beginning September 6, 2022. Non-boater vehicle access and parking will only be available at the North Beach parking lot.

Learn more about this project.