Posted by Al Anile
Guest Speaker John Ohrlund, Club Member and Executive Director of the Skokie Park District (right) and Club President Jason Wicha.
 
John spoke to the club about the Skokie Park District. First he played of a slide show, then he went over the key points and ended with a  QA session.
 
The Skokie Park District takes pride in its ability to serve the more than 65,000 residents of Skokie, Illinois and its customers throughout Chicagoland. Whether protecting natural resources, preserving historical sites or providing thousands of unique recreational opportunities within its more than 240 acres of parkland, the district has offered a multitude of quality programs since 1928.
 
In addition to its diverse array of programs and special events, the Skokie Park District also offers summer camps, state-licensed full-day childcare and preschool, and before- and after-school care for grades K-5. The district is a past winner of the “National Gold Medal for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.”
 
Park Resources
The district is committed to protecting its natural resources and preserving historical sites within its more than 240 acres of parkland. The district maintains 42 parks, including within them — ball diamonds, playgrounds, basketball, volleyball, pickleball, and tennis courts, a dog park, picnic areas, soccer fields, two golf facilities, parking lots, shelters and restrooms, and two butterfly gardens. The district also operates and maintains two ice rinks, two outdoor swimming pools, a community center, a cultural center for the arts, a leisure center (including a health club and gymnasium), an outdoor nature center with an interpretive center, the Skokie Heritage Museum, two childcare/preschool centers, a community theater venue, The Exploritorium (a children's indoor play and learning space), and an indoor rowing center.
 
Programs and Services
In addition to its thousands of unique programs in the areas of the arts, nature, sports and fitness, and specialized programs for tots through seniors, the Skokie Park District also offers more than 80 summer day camps, a nationally-accredited full-day childcare and preschool, and before- and after-school care for grades K-5.
 
The Park District also offers many seasonal community special events, including the award-winning Skokie Festival of Cultures, Skokie’s Backlot Bash music and street festival, Winter Chilly Fest, a July 4th 3-D Fireworks Festival, the Scream Scene haunted house, the World Wiffle®Ball Championship and many more.
 
Boundaries
The Skokie Park District is bordered by Evanston to the east, Chicago to the southeast and southwest, Lincolnwood to the south, Niles to the southwest, Morton Grove to the west, Glenview to the northwest, and Wilmette to the north. The district includes nearly all of the Village of Skokie, as well as small portions of Evanston, Morton Grove and Chicago.
 
Recognition
The District has been recognized four times as an Illinois Distinguished Accredited Agency by the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) and the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA), most recently for the period of 2016-20. The district is also a past "Gold Medal Award" recipient of the prestigious National Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management presented by the NRPA and the Sports Foundation. This award identified the Skokie Park District as one of the nation's best in serving a population of 50,000-100,000 residents.