Moroney Park’s Weil Tot Lot is now open for play!

Over the next month, a few finishing touches will take place on and near the playground. 

The Park District anticipates the playground may close for a day to complete these finishing touches and an update will be posted on the website prior to the temporary closure.

The existing stairs leading to the Moraine Beach boardwalk are scheduled for repair beginning late fall.

The Park District of Highland Park has an opportunity to establish an agreement with HillCo Investment Properties to build a parking lot that would serve Sunset Woods Park users and residents of the neighboring apartments at 700 Park Ave W. The proposed parking lot would cross lot lines and be partially on the North-East section of Sunset Woods Park and partially on HillCo’s property. The Sunset Woods Park Master plan proposes activating the Northeast section of the park with a garden. The intent of the Park District in considering this opportunity is to provide vehicular and ADA access to this section of the park and to provide more parking spaces during events.

The proposal is expected to appear before the Plan and Design Commission in September.

Join us on Monday, August 21 at 6pm to learn more about the proposed project and share your feedback.

Meeting Information

Date: Monday, August 21, 2023

Time: 6pm

Location: West Ridge Center (636 Ridge Rd., Highland Park, IL 60035)

The Park District heard the neighborhood’s concerns over losing a 5-12 playground due to the sale of Lincoln School. As such, the Park District of Highland Park is going back to the drawing board to develop plans for Lincoln Park that consider the inclusion of a 5-12 play space. The comments and data collected through the survey will be integrated into the plans for the improved 2-5 playground. There will be other opportunities to get involved in design as the Park District proceeds with planning. While the Park District will continue with the planning effort, the addition of a 5-12 playground is not currently budgeted in the Park District’s capital plan.

This change of direction will impact improvements scheduled for 2023. The tot lot, repaving of the path, and the patch/color of the basketball court planned for 2023 will be deferred to a future year and incorporated into the new plan.

The Park District will continue to follow the School District’s plans to coordinate efforts.

Please direct questions and comments to [email protected].

Grading work is now complete on the bluff. Native seeds and plants have been installed on the bluff; these deeply rooted plants will help in the re-establishment of the bluff’s native plant communities in the three grading zones. Additionally, a buffer of native seed was installed along the top of the bluff, and grass seed was installed in the upper park. This area will remain fenced off to allow the plants to establish.

For more information, contact Liz Ricketts, Natural Areas Manager, at [email protected].

Update: Monday, May 15

All pickleball courts and the adjacent four tennis courts (south bank) at Danny Cunniff Park will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, May 16, starting at 7am and through the remainder of the week for construction. 

To accommodate the growing demand for pickleball courts and to assess usage patterns, the Park District is converting four tennis courts at Danny Cunniff Park into ten new temporary pickleball courts. The new courts will be adjacent to the six existing pickleball courts, featuring heavy-duty portable nets and sound reduction screens on the surrounding fencing. Two banks of five pickleball courts will replace the existing tennis lines. The current tennis nets will separate the banks.  Construction of the new courts is expected to be completed by Memorial Day weekend.

“We are excited to add the new temporary courts at Larry Cunniff Park for the growing community of pickleball players,” said Robyn Zullo, Tennis Recreation Manager. “The temporary courts will allow us to assess the court layout and usage patterns over the upcoming season.”

Should you have any questions about the project, please feel free to reach out to Robyn Zullo, Tennis Recreation Manager, at [email protected] or Amy Murrin, Director of Recreation & Facilities, at [email protected].

An open house was held on May 6, 2023 to discuss the West Ridge Park Building and Site Preliminary Planning Efforts. The preliminary planning study is a direct response to recommendations from the Green Print Master Plan. The study focused on understanding need and the site to develop an approach to address the West Ridge Center. The District welcomes comments to guide future steps. This is the first of many opportunities to collaborate on the project to redevelop the West Ridge Center and Park.

The boards presented at the open house are posted below.

Why are we here?

Image 1 of 4

This project is rooted in the Park District’s GreenPrint Master Plan which supports addressing the aging West Ridge Building. The GreenPrint Update confirmed the recommendation and highlighted the need for multi-use space to be flexible to better serve the community. Holabird and Root modeled three different schemes through the preliminary planning study. The scheme to build new is recommended as the most cost-effective scheme to achieve the goals of the Park District within the project budget.

Calling all art critics!

The semi-finalists have been chosen, and now it is your turn to weigh in on the design you believe best suits the two concrete structures at Moraine Beach. Residents will have until Tuesday, April 11, 2023, to vote, and the Park District Board of Commissioners will determine the final winning design.

Design Contest Background

In February, the Park District of Highland Park and The Art Center Highland Park began seeking submissions to decorate the two concrete structures at Moraine Beach. Artists were invited to submit their family-friendly concepts/designs for the two installations. A panel of judges from the Park District of Highland Park and The Art Center selected the semi-finalists, whose designs are now being shared with the community for feedback. The Park District of Highland Park Board of Commissioners will choose the final winning design. The Park District Highland Park will award a stipend of $250, and The Art Center Highland Park will award a $250 tuition credit for the winner(s).

Calling All Artists and Designers!

After being closed for some much-needed repairs, the Moraine Park Dog Beach is scheduled to re-open in Spring 2023. As great as the new area will be there is still one thing that needs to be done and you’re invited to participate.

The Park District of Highland Park and The Art Center Highland Park are seeking submissions to decorate the two concrete bunkers located on the beach. These structures are now just bare concrete and we’re looking for ideas to make them an added feature attraction.

To enter: Artists are welcome to submit their concepts/designs for the two installations (see picture inset) from February 3 through March 6, 2023. Designs must be family-friendly but otherwise can be proposed in any style or concept you can imagine. A select panel of judges from the Park District of Highland Park and The Art Center will select the finalists and share them via social media. The final five favorites will be posted on both organizations’ websites and the public will have an opportunity to submit their feedback for the winning design. Winning designs will be selected by the Park District of Highland Park Board of Commissioners.

Guidelines: Artists/designers can submit as many ideas and concepts as they want. Submissions should be made as PDF attachments and emailed to [email protected]. Winning submissions will be notified via email by April. The Park District of Highland Park will reimburse for paint and provide access to the location. The artist is responsible for realizing the design of the structures, weather permitting, on a date to be arranged with the Park District Highland Park and the selected artist.

The Park District Highland Park will award a stipend of $250, and The Art Center Highland Park will award a $250 tuition credit for the winner(s).

After 30+ years, the time has come to say farewell to what remains of the gazebo and fishing pier at Danny Cunniff’s pond. Once grander in scale, the fishing deck’s pier was removed in an effort to prolong the gazebo’s life for a few more years. This extended lifespan has now reached its end and the Park District plans to remove what remains of the gazebo and fishing deck in the next few months. 

For any questions or comments, please contact [email protected].