President's Message

Winter 2015

The Wilmette Park District is ready to implement a Lakefront Master Plan that has been six years in the making. As a resident and taxpayer the first thought you might ask is “why?” Why do we need to embark on a major renovation project at Gillson and Langdon Parks?

     The answer: Because crumbling infrastructure and rotting buildings do not reflect the standards of this community. Responsible stewardship won’t allow the Board of Park Commissioners to let Gillson and Langdon Parks/Beaches go to seed and fall into disrepair. I believe it is time to bring all the parts into good working order and lay the groundwork for the next generation. Check out the current situation:

  • The Gillson Park Beach House was built in 1972. After 42 years in a harsh lakefront environment the walls are cracked and crumbling, the roof support beams are rotting, and washrooms are barely functional. A new beach house with adjoining pavilion would address the failing structure and provide an additional shade structure for beach-goers.
  • The Sailing Beach “shack” was built as a temporary structure 35 years ago. A new structure would include replacement office space, lockers and add needed washrooms.
  • Entry into Gillson from the north end (near the village water plant), or at the south end (near the harbor) is hazardous as cars, bikes and pedestrians all converge on the same paved roads to access different areas of the park. The new plan would separate cars, bikes and walkers with paths and striped roads.
  • Langdon Park has become a destination for residents since efforts to control access to the beach were put into place seven years ago. To address the needs of our families, a small beach house would be built into the existing bluff to efficiently supply washrooms, an office and nominal equipment storage. A green roof would provide seating and lake views from the upper park which would also gain a new tot lot.
  • The storm sewers and roads in Gillson Park are past their prime. The roads, built in the early 1900s, have deteriorated. The storm sewers are collapsing and many are no longer able to handle rain runoff, resulting in flooding. The plan would address infrastructure repairs throughout the park.

     Because the Wilmette Park District is the guardian of our most valuable public asset, every resident of this community can say they own a little lakefront property. And because we take our responsibility seriously, the Board is committed to a Lakefront Master Plan based on sound fiscal management that preserves our natural resources, protects the valuable assets of our facilities and provides excellent recreational opportunities.

     As always, I encourage you to provide the Board with feedback on any concerns you might have. Please do not hesitate to contact me at

James P. Crowley
Board of Park Commissioners

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