In 2022, The Park District of Highland Park was awarded $400,000 from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) Grant program for the Park Avenue Beach Access Improvement Project. The project proposed for the grant is consistent with the Park Avenue Approved Concept Plan.
The primary objective of the Park Avenue Beach Access Improvement Project is to create a welcoming lakefront property with accessible parking, paths, and space to recreate along the shores of Lake Michigan. The proposed access improvements address improved connectivity with the Park Avenue Boating Facility, creating a lakefront park that is welcoming and inclusive to patrons of all abilities for the enjoyment of walking, biking, boating, and other passive recreational uses.
The Project scope includes (the letter corresponds with the layout plan below):
ADA accessible sidewalk connection from the roadway to the beach (D)
ADA accessible boardwalk along the beach front (H)
Resurfacing and reconfiguration of the north parking lot for improved vehicular and boat access (A)
ADA accessible fishing area (L)
Native landscaping (I)
Alternate Bid: Pergola at beach front
The Park District hired Hitchcock Design Group (HDG) to take the concept plan through to implementation.
The layout plan below builds on the approved concept plan and is based on a survey of existing conditions, dimensions, and utilities. The layout plan will be shared with the Park Board at a public meeting on October 4, 2023. HDG will then complete the construction documents for the project to be bid out this fall.
Phase 1 is funded through the OSLAD grant award and Park District capital budget. (Highlighted in red)
Phase 2 is unfunded. These elements will be designed and bid as alternates to be implemented if funding is available. (Highlighted in black)
A: Reconfigured parking lot for improved circulation, landscaping, and viewing of the Lake. D: New concrete sidewalk for easier beach access for pedestrians walking to the beach. H: New accessible boardwalk along the beach, improving access to the beach and circulation around Park Avenue Boating Facility. G: Seating along the boardwalk L: Designated Fishing Pier and ADA compliant access route.
A: The fenced boat parking will not be resurfaced as part of this project but has been identified as a future need. B: Plaza with pergola, tables, and chairs to enhance patron experience as the beach and provide space for gathering and passive use.
Comments & Questions
Have comments/questions about the layout plan? Please use the comment box below.
Park Avenue North Beach Access Improvements Comments
Districtwide planning efforts, including the Park Avenue Site Master Plan, Beach Management Plan, and the Lakefront Master Plan, support the Park Avenue Access Improvement Plan These plans were enhanced by engagement with the community and patrons of the Park Avenue Boating Facility.