e Park Pulse is a monthly newsletter distributed to the 157-C schools. The newsletter features upcoming events, programs and announcments from the Park District.
Park Perks – Summer 2018
Park Improvement News
District Parks Improvements
This past winter provided for good skating weather at Main Park. The two rinks were constructed and skating was available from mid-December through February. This year, the hockey rink included boards to enhance hockey play.
As spring arrived, staff has begun working on park maintenance and spring clean ups. This year the District is planning to evaluate the existing park sites and facilities in the District which will result in Capital Asset Replacement Plan (CARP). This process will be done over the summer and into the fall. This will allow the District to estimate the funds that are necessary for the next five, ten and twenty years for maintenance and repairs to existing facilities. It is important the District understand the cost associated with maintaining current facilities allowing the District to make a plan for the future.
This year the District is looking to move forward with the replacement of the playground equipment at Heritage Knolls Park. Staff invited members of the Heritage Knolls subdivision to a meeting in the fall of 2017 asking for input on the new play equipment. The estimated timeline the District is planning to replace the playground equipment at Heritage Knolls Park is in August 2018.
Photo: Rendering of proposed Heritage Knolls playground equipment.
Commitment to Recreation goes beyond Frankfort
The Frankfort Park District Board of Commissioners is a seven member Board that is responsible for policy and planning decisions for the District. Commissioners work with a goal of improving recreation services for those who live in the community of Frankfort. During their time of service, the Commissioners attend Park District events, monthly meetings, retreats, and many other commitments. As elected officials, the Park District Commissioners have the opportunity to get involved at the state level to advocate for legislation and polices that will enhance and improve the services offered by Park Districts.
The Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD), headquartered in Springfield, has been serving park districts, forest preserves, and conservation and recreation agencies in the State of Illinois since 1928. IAPD is a grass-roots organization that is a voice for parks, recreation and conservation organizations which provides research, education, advocacy and much more for these agencies.
IAPD relies on countless volunteers to support and advocate for initiatives that enhance recreation services. This past year, Commissioner Tom Barz, who serves as the President of the Frankfort Park District Board, served as the Chairmen of the Board for IAPD. Over the past two years, Tom has spent countless hours of his time advocating and supporting initiatives for parks and recreation. This past January, at the annual IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference, Tom Barz, presided over the annual conference. Tom not only served on the IAPD Board, but for the past 5 years, he has served as a Joint Conference Chairman for Illinois Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA). Tom dedicated many hours to improve recreation services in Frankfort and throughout the State of Illinois. It was a great honor to have Mr. Barz represent Frankfort while serving as Chairman of IAPD. Thank you Tom!
At the IAPD/IPRA Conference, Tom Barz presented State Representative Anthony DeLuca and State Senator Michael Hastings with the Legislator of Year Awards for their service and commitment to Parks & Recreation agencies which include the community of Frankfort.
Photo: Tom Barz (left) and State Representative Anthony DeLuca
Photo: Tom Barz (left) and State Senator Michael Hastings
Director of LWSRA Honored
Keith Wallace, Executive Director of Lincolnway Special Recreation Association (LWSRA) was presented the Chairman’s Citation by Tom Barz at the annual IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference. Keith is an advocate and leader in the field of Special Recreation.
Photo: Tom Barz (right) and Keith Wallace
Community Service Awards presented at Frankfort Park District Board Meeting
The Frankfort Park District honored several individuals and one business at their February 13th Board meeting at the Founders Community Center, 140 Oak Street. The Board presented Susan Clark Danforth of the Frankfort/New Lenox Running Club and Dan Regan, President and Shirley Pirko, Vice President of Town Center Bank with Community Service Awards. Phil Simmons, President of Operation Playground Foundation was presented his Community Service Award at the March 13th Board meeting.
Town Center Bank has been a partner with the Park District since 2015. Town Center Bank and their employees support the District through sponsorships and volunteering at numerous events. The partnership with Town Center Bank allows the Frankfort Park District to increase services and community special events.
Susan Clark Danforth is the organizer of the Frankfort/New Lenox Running Club. Susan dedicates her time to organize, engage and mentor running enthusiasts in the Community of Frankfort and New Lenox. Susan is a charter member of this club that started nine years ago. Annually, she organizes the Club’s attendance at Frankfort Park District’s Short Run on a Long Day 5K held in June. The Frankfort/New Lenox Running Club has grown from 5 members to several thousand fans on Facebook and several hundred active runners that participate in the clubs runs. Susan coordinates daily runs and every Wednesday the group meets up at the Grainery along Old Plank Trail. She often coordinates local businesses to support the club. When Susan is not running, she serves as an elementary school teacher in the area.
Phil Simmons is the President of Operation Playground Foundation. Phil’s dedication to the community of Frankfort and the Frankfort Park District is invaluable. Phil was a founding member of the Foundation and was an instrumental team leader for the Fort Frankfort playground build that took place in 2000. Since that time, Phil has led the Foundation in constructing numerous projects for the Frankfort Community. In 2006, the Foundation raised funds to build and continues to maintain the Bark Park at Commissioners Park. Additional projects funded by the Foundation include the fitness equipment at Michelle Bingham Park, basketball courts at Main Park as well as contributions to Lincolnway Special Recreation Association. The Foundation is currently working to raise funds for the Judy Herder Pumptrack.
The Frankfort Park District is honored to present these individuals for the impact and dedication they have made to the Community of Frankfort and the Frankfort Park District.
Spotlight on Instructor – Sharon Koczor
Sharon Koczor has been teaching Recreation programming for the Frankfort Park District since 2010 and “Playschool” for the Preschool in the Susan A. Puent Building as of 2014. She attended Triton College for Graphic Design and has also been a licensed cosmetologist for 30 years. She has been working at Park Districts since 2005 (Franklin Park & Frankfort Square). Sharon enjoys being creative and coming up with ideas for recreational classes for ages as young as 2-9 years old including; Jump Start Little Learners, All by Myself, Lunch & Learn Buddies, numerous “One Day Parties” and monthly baking classes. “I am always coming up with new ideas because the kids keep asking when the next party is!” In addition she works Before Care at Prairie Care and for Summer Day Camp.
Sharon got into teaching because of her love for being with kids. “Seeing the joy and excitement on their faces gives me the reason to teach! Kids seem to really enjoy all of my classes that I teach and my parties”, and “Being around children and seeing their happy faces makes every day rewarding. I love my job!” said Sharon. She grew up on the North side by O’Hare Airport and moved to Frankfort in 2007 with her husband and daughter. Her daughter Skylar, 14 @ LWE, used to attend and then began helping out at with the one day parties. “I get a lot of job satisfaction by hearing from parents and the kids about how they love going to my “Parties”! I could be at a gymnastics meet, the zoo, Church, Target, or Kiddie Land even Disney World and a parent or child will come up to me and say they “love” my parties and ask what I am teaching next? Being able to touch these kids’ lives as well as their parents and giving them life long memories makes this job so rewarding!” exclaimed Sharon.
Photo: Sharon Koczor
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!
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 Special Events Coordinator at 815-469-9400 or email her at email@example.com.
Interested in Volunteering?
Contact Cali DeBella our Special Events Coordinator at 815-469-9400 or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018 Volunteer Opportunities:
Please click HERE to download a listing of our WINTER/SPRING 2018 Volunteer Opportunities.
Please click HERE to download a listing of our SUMMER 2018 Volunteer Opportunities.
Click on the Event name to Sign-up Online for Volunteer Opportunities:
Celebrate Earth Day
Fort Frankfort Maintenance Day
June Party in the Park
Short Run on a Long Day 5k
4th of July Celebration
July Party in the Park
August Party in the Park
National Night Out
Movie on the Green
Back to School Bash
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.