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2012-16 Strategic Plan

The Park District of Highland Park aspires to be an excellent, accountable, ethical, and sustainable organization based on its strong commitment to mission, vision, and values.”

Strategic Plan 2012-2016
Strategic Plan Progress Report Action Items 3-4-16

The Park District of Highland Park is recognized as one of the top park districts in the state and is an “Illinois Distinguished Strategic Plan ValuesAgency” with a wide variety of  outstanding programs, events, parks and facilities.  However,  community demands for programs and facilities are ever changing and the park district has a finite amount of resources available to meet these needs.  The Strategic Plan provides direction for the future allocation of resources, financial stability, staffing levels, internal support and communication, organizational culture efforts, and the capacity for learning and growth.

The Park District of Highland Park  and Heller & Heller Consulting, Inc.  worked collaboratively with Board members and staff to develop the Park District of Highland Park Strategic Plan 2012 -16, which:

• Establishes a four year future direction
• Aligns the organization with a strategic direction
• Incorporates resident needs into future planning
• Drives innovation as part of the organizational culture
• Strengthens and identifies elements of organizational culture through values
• Develops preliminary approaches to infrastructure and capital project needs
• Creates groundwork for a long-term master plan


In 2009, the Park District enlisted the services of  Leisure Vision, a nationally recognized research agency to complete a series of community input meetings and  administer a statistically valid communitywide survey that addressed the needs, unmet needs, and funding priorities of the Park District of Highland Park residents. The Strategic Plan includes initiatives addressing those Strategic Plansurvey results. Subsequently, in 2011 an additional series of focus groups and public meetings were held to respond to questions validating  the District’s strategic direction.

The community research results were reviewed and incorporated into the plan through a series of  workshops with Park Board members, Department Heads, and staff.   The process included a review of the mission statement and the development of a vision statement. District values were also created.

“A strategic plan becomes a road map for your immediate future,” said Liza McElroy, Executive Director of the Park District of Highland Park.  “It is a powerful tool that supports effective decision-making and our ability to remain focused on our universal goals.”