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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 its mission, vision, and values.  As part of that commitment, the District utilizes two district-wide planning mechanisms to stay on course and achieve its goals: a 10-year Master Plan and a 3-year Strategic Plan.

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GreenPrint 2024 Master Plan

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 included 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. Click to learn more>

Planning staff is currently working on three planning initiatives recommended by GreenPrint: Lakefront Master Plan, Land Management Strategy Plan, Sports Field Master Plan (details listed below). 

Lakefront Master Plan

In 2007, the Park District, in collaboration with stakeholders, completed and began implementation of the 2007 Lakefront Master Plan. Since 2007, much has been accomplished along our lakefront. Now, 11 years later, our lakefront parks and community priorities have changed. As a result, the plan is being revisited and updated to better address today’s Highland Park. Click to learn more>

Land Management Master Plan

The Planning Department developed a comprehensive land management plan that addresses among other things, stormwater management, sustainability, natural areas, cultural assets, and trails across the District’s 700 + acres of owned and managed land. Click to learn more>

Sports Field Master Plan

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. Click to learn more>


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 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. Click to learn more>

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 planning@pdhp.org.

What is a 10-year comprehensive master plan?

The Park District’s 10-Year comprehensive master plan establishes a clear set of goals, policies, standards, and vision for the District.  The plan guides future facility and program development decisions over the a 10 year period.

The most rece nt 10-year comprehensive master plan, GreenPrint 2024, was adopted at the December 2016 Board meeting.  The plan was evaluated and amended in 2019 to reflect the resul

ts of the 2019 statistically valid attitude and interest survey. Links to both the original 2015 approved plan and the amendment are below.

Why complete a 10-year Comprehensive Master Plan?

The District’s 10-Year comprehensive master plan in conjunction with the District’s 4-year Strategic Plan ensure that resources are aligned with current and future resident needs, com

munity values and changing demographics.

 

Click here to read through the GreenPrint 2024 Master Plan Report

Click here to read through the GreenPrint Review Report

 

About GreenPrint 2024 10-year Comprehensive Plan

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.

GreenPrint 2024 Presentation

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
2019 Community Survey

Our lakeshore, bluffs, ravines, and public parks physically define Highland Park. The Park District maintains four lakefront properties that offer public access to this magnificent shoreline: Millard, Moraine, Park Avenue Boating Facility, and Rosewood. Each lakefront property provides a unique mix of ecological, recreational, aesthetic and educational value that is an integral part of the historical, cultural and natural resources of Highland Park.

What is the Lakefront Master Plan?

In 2007, the Park District, in collaboration with stakeholders, completed and began implementation of the 2007 Lakefront Master Plan – a roadmap for improvements at all lakefront parks, beaches, and ravine ecosystems. Since 2007, much has been accomplished along our lakefront. The updated plan builds upon recent accomplishments and ensures that the Lakefront Master Plan reflects current community prioirites, as well as the changing landscape of the lakefront.

In 2018, Park District staff collected community feedback to determine priorities at Park District Lakefront properties. Since that time, staff have evaluated the comments and considered operational and physical improvements to reflect the community’s current attitudes and interests, all while navigating and understanding the immediate complexities of our dynamic lakefront. The Lakefront Master Plan Update details the planning process, summarizes survey findings, and outlines recommended objectives and strategies to guide improvements, maintenance, and management of the Park District’s lakefront properties. The recommendations are intended to guide lakefront operations beaches, capital planning, and support possible future grant opportunities.

The Lakefront Master Plan Update was approved on October 27th, 2020.

Click here to read through the plan.

Improving Our Life On the Lake: Lakefront Accomplishments Since 2007

 

 

Sports Field Master Plan

What is the Sports Field Master Plan?

The Sports Field Master Plan addresses existing fields to meet current and projected program needs. The plan also explores potential new field configurations that would gain efficiencies in scheduling, program management, and tournament opportunities.

The Plan was approved on June 25, 2019.

Click here to read through the plan.

What is the Land Management Plan?

The Park District manages over 700 acres of park property, the land management plan outlines a consistent approach to operations and maintenance. Topics addressed include stormwater management, sustainability, natural areas, cultural assets, inventory management, support amenities, and trails.

The Land Management Plan was approved by the Park Board on August 28th, 2018.

Click here to read through the plan

 

What is a Strategic Plan?

The strategic plan focuses on the District’s operations and programs. During the strategic planning process, the District evaluates trends to align operations and offerings with community interests, needs, and the Districts mission, vision, and values. The District completes a strategic plan every four years.

 

Why complete a 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 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.

 

About the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan

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

 

To view the complete plan, click here:  Strategic Plan 2016-2020

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