The Park Pulse is a monthly newsletter distributed to the 157-C schools.  The newsletter features upcoming events, programs and announcements from the Park District.

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Park Perks – Summer 2024

Park District News

Town Hall Meeting for Fort Frankfort Playground Renovation Update

In February of this year, Senator Mike Hastings and Frankfort Park District Board hosted a Town Hall meeting to provide an update about the Fort Frankfort playground renovation. There were 70+ attendees at the Town Hall Meeting who were shown conceptual designs for the new playground.

Senator Hastings secured $1.7 million in funding – yes that is correct – $1.7 million in DCEO funding from the State of Illinois. The significant funding will allow for the new design to meet ADA standards considering mobility, sensory and cognitive abilities of the users. Rubber and artificial turf will be used for the play surface and ramps to the play features will be incorporated in the design to allow individuals including children and their care givers easier access to the equipment.

The Design will consider sensory and communication panels and quiet spaces to allow for inclusive play. The project includes two new picnic shelters which will create new shade opportunities. The Splash Pad that is adjacent to the playground was renovated in 2022 will not be modified in the project.

At the Town Hall meeting those in attendance could review conceptual designs and indicate components that they liked. The Park District had an online survey available that allowed for individuals to provide feedback on the design. Over 800 people participated in the online survey.

The Park District Team reviewed the feedback and is working with a landscape architect to incorporate the feedback into the design. Once the design is updated, it will be shared with residents on the District’s website and through social media. The existing Fort Frankfort playground will be available through the summer. Once the design is selected, the Park District will go out to bid and construction is anticipated for fall of 2024. Updates on the timeline will be available on the Park District website.

The existing Fort Frankfort Playground was funded and constructed by resident volunteers. The wood playground equipment is 20+ years old and the wear is becoming noticeable and is impacting maintenance. The Fort Frankfort playground has memorial bricks and park pickets with donor names. If they are not incorporated into the new design, the Park District will work to get them to the donor families. The Frankfort Park District does not currently have a playground that is accessible or is considered inclusive design. The Fort Frankfort Playground is a regional playground for the Park District located at Commissioner Park, which is a recreation hub with a splash pad, ballfields, picnic shelters, pickleball and tennis courts and a dog park.

Welcome New Superintendent of Finance Regina Ross-Ellison

The Frankfort Park District Board of Commissioners and Staff are pleased to announce and would like you to join us in welcoming Regina Ross-Ellison, our new Superintendent of Finance for the Frankfort Park District. Regina’s primary responsibilities will include the management of the financial operations, human resources, information technology and payroll for the Park District. Regina has also been involved in the Diversity Section Safe Zone Conversation with IPRA. She is a graduate of Robert Morris College. She brings 13+ years of knowledge of Finance and Accounting. She looks forward to growing with the district and serving our community.

Her passion is singing. She has performed at the Apollo Show in New York City, and several private and church events. Her latest performance was at Wiley’s Grill, in Flossmoor, where she and her sister (twin) performed for the Senior Christmas Party event.

Photo: Regina Ross-Ellison.

Looking Ahead

Over the past decade, the Park District has been carefully assessing the recreational facility needs of the community. Two significant areas of concern are the District’s aging indoor and outdoor facilities. The Park District’s funding primarily comes from property taxes, which cover the annual operational budget but do not allow for savings towards new facility construction or larger maintenance projects. In 2019, the Park District borrowed $1.8 million in non-referendum bonds to invest in park and facility projects such as playground equipment replacements, asphalt repairs, vehicle purchases, fire alarm upgrades, tennis court resurfacing, and splash pad enhancements.

Without further financial support from voters, there are limited options for borrowing funds for future maintenance or new construction projects. Over the past three years, the District has been successful in securing $2.6 million in grant funding for community park improvements.

The challenge remains in funding repairs to the existing indoor facilities, particularly the Founders Center, which is a historic building with maintenance issues that include outdated piping and structural issues. The projects that need to be addressed include roof replacements, parking lot resurfacing, HVAC repairs, and general maintenance which are estimated to cost over $1.5 million dollars. The Puent Building where the preschool and day camp programs are housed has similar issues.

Looking ahead, the Park District is consulting with community members to gather input on how to improve indoor recreation spaces in the Park District. The decision on whether to focus on repairs or invest in a new facility will be determined by the voters. Community engagement sessions and surveys will be held to engage residents to gather feedback on the issue.

As the District progresses through this process, input from residents is highly encouraged. The Park District is committed to meeting the evolving needs of the community in a thoughtful and strategic manner. Please check the District’s website and social media for opportunities to provide input as we move through this process.

Founders Community Center parking lot.
Bow string trusses.
Corroded galvanized piping.

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Frankfort Park District is looking to build partnerships with local businesses, foundations or individuals interested in supporting the District’s events and programs through sponsorship opportunities. Becoming a sponsor is an excellent way to show your support for the community while increasing your visibility throughout the Frankfort area. Please contact Julie Sullivan, Fundraising & Community Outreach Coordinator, at or call 815.469.9400 for more information.

Volunteer Opportunities

Do you need Community Service hours for school? Or do you just enjoy helping others? The Frankfort Park District is always looking for volunteers to help with various Special Events and other programs. Interested in volunteering?

Contact Cali DeBella our Recreation Supervisor at 815.469.9400 or email her at

Interested in Volunteering?

Contact Cali DeBella our Recreation Supervisor at 815.469.9400 or email her at

Thank you from the Frankfort Park District

The Frankfort Park District would like to take a moment to thank all of you who have volunteered at our events throughout the year. A lot of time and work goes into putting on a successful event, and we could not have done it without our volunteers! We appreciate your continued support!

2024 Volunteer Opportunities:

Click on the Event name to Sign-up Online for Volunteer Opportunities:

After-Hours Drop Box

For your convenience, the Frankfort Park District has an after-hours drop box located outside of the main entrance of the Founders Community Center, 140 Oak Street. Registrations placed in the drop box will be processed the following business day.

Hold your next party at the Frankfort Park District!

If you are looking for an affordable site to hold your party or event, the Founders Community Center is available for rental. Parties, weddings, showers or meetings can be held in our classrooms, gymnasium or the Founders Room. For more information, including rental rates and availability, please call the park district office at 815-469-9400.

Customer Service Statement

The Frankfort Park District is committed to providing responsive, friendly, courteous and excellent service to our customers.

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