Park Avenue North Beach Access Improvements
8 Park Ave
Start Date:
Summer 2024
End Date:
Spring 2025

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.


Layout Plan

The Project scope includes (the letter corresponds with the layout plan below):

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.

Plan Details

Phase 1

This phase is funded through the OSLAD grant award and Park District capital budget. (Highlighted in the red dotted line in illustration below)

Highlights of the plan include:

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.

Phase 2:

This phase is unfunded. These elements will be designed and bid as alternates to Phase 1, and if funding is available, Phase 2 will be implemented. (Highlighted in the black dotted line in illustration below)

Highlights of the plan include:

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.

Please note: Park Ave construction begins in July. See new parking configurations.


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.

Master Plan Approved
August 24 2021
OSLAD Grant Application Submitted
August 24 2021
OSLAD Grant Award
July 2022
Review Proposals and Award Design Contract
Winter 2022/2023
Design Development/Construction Documents
April 2023
February 2024
November 2023
February 2024
December 2023
April 2024
July 2024
Fall 2024