Project Parks and Play

Help us plan the future of parks and recreation in Wilmette!

We're inviting residents to join in a Comprehensive and Strategic Planning process, Project Parks and Play: Explore the Possibilities, to help plan the future of our parks, facilities, recreational activities and operations to best meet future needs of the Wilmette community.


Wilmette Park District community survey hitting mailboxes soon

January 26, 2023 - Wilmette residents should keep their eyes open for a Wilmette Park District survey invitation arriving in their mailboxes the week of January 30. Every household will receive either a printed survey or a postcard invitation with a website and a specific pin code. All feedback is anonymous.

The survey provides an in-depth look into resident's feelings on Park District facilities and programs, impressions of efforts surrounding sustainability, recreation, accessibility and inclusion, safety, innovation and more.

"We are committed to serving the needs of our community and want to hear viewpoints from all our residents - regardless of age, gender, ability and whether or not they use Park District parks, facilities or programs," said Wilmette Park District Executive Director Steve Wilson. "This is an important opportunity for community members to share their thoughts and help shape how the District serves the community over the next decade."

The survey can be completed on paper, online or via phone, and will be available for approximately one month. The survey is the next step in gathering community feedback as part of the Project Parks and Play: Explore the Possibilities Comprehensive and Strategic Planning initiative. During November and December, residents provided feedback on all aspects of the Park District and shared ideas for future improvements through open houses, focus groups and the project's website.

Through two open houses, three community pop-up sessions, six focus groups, four feedback stations and the website feedback, we've had significant community response. On the Project Parks and Play website alone, there were more than 2,280 unique visitors and 413 comments provided. More than 200 of those ideas were for future Park District offerings.

There was also a lot of feedback regarding parks and greenspaces. "Howard Park is my favorite park in Wilmette," one resident shared on the website. "I enjoy it because it is just open fields and baseball diamonds; It's the major green space in the area." Another resident shared feedback about the Keay Nature Center. "Keep the Nature Center as is - such a wonderful place. Please continue to work on removing invasive species and add more native plants."

Comments and ideas such as these will truly help as leadership plans for the next several decades.

"The feedback we have received has been tremendous," said Mike Murdock, President of the Wilmette Park District Board of Park Commissioners. "The Board is so grateful for the time and thoughtful input folks have shared with us."

If you don't receive a survey by mid-February, adults in the household have varying opinions or you want to complete the survey by phone, please call our research partner aQity Research & Insights at 866-900-8555.

For more information on the Project Parks and Play initiative:
CLICK HERE to go to our Project Parks and Play website

Wilmette Park District seeks community feedback during open house

December 1, 2022 - Wilmette, IL - The Wilmette Park District will host its second open house for Project Parks and Play on December 10. This is the final in-person opportunity for Phase 1 engagement of The Project. Consultants leading the planning process, along with Park District leadership, will be on hand to hear directly from community members their ideas and vision for the future of Park District programs, facilities and nature spaces.

When: Saturday, December 10
Time: 10 a.m. - Noon
Where: Wilmette Park District Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Road

Residents unable to attend the open house can still share their ideas and feedback through December 15 in the following ways:

"Saturdays at the Community Recreation Center are busy with families and community members attending programs or visiting the Center Fitness Club," said Steve Wilson, Executive Director of the Wilmette Park District. "We know everyone is busy, so we located this open house at the CRC specifically so our residents can share their thoughts and experiences without needing to take extra time out of their day. We will even have a supervised kids' room available, where children can engage in an activity while their parents attend the Open House. I look forward to a large turnout and robust conversation."

The planning process is being led by BerryDunn, a consulting firm that works with clients nationally and globally. In addition to parks and recreation consulting, BerryDunn works with clients from town, local and state governments to healthcare, not-for-profit, higher education, commercial, financial services, high tech and more.

To learn more about the planning process and public meeting dates, please visit:

Wilmette community engages in visioning exercises to plan the future of Wilmette Park District

November 17, 2022 - The Wilmette Park District held its first of two open houses in the Phase 1 Engagement Process for community members to share their vision for parks, facilities and recreation programs as part of their Comprehensive and Strategic Planning initiative, Project Parks and Play: Explore the Possibilities.

Residents spoke with Park District staff and consultants leading the planning process and took part in activities to provide meaningful feedback and idea generation for the future of Wilmette Park District.

When thanked for attending, one community member said, "I'm so glad this is happening. It is so important to our future and the timing is perfect." The resident went on to share feedback on programming and ideas for additional green space. "It is necessary for us to be a part of this work for now and for our future generations."

"I'm so grateful to our community members who came out last night," said Steve Wilson, Executive Director of the Wilmette Park District. "We want to ensure Wilmette's parks and recreational activities continue to be the safe and welcoming common spaces for our residents to play, gather and recreate together. Resident involvement will help us create that."

Residents can provide ideas and feedback through December 15 in the following ways:

Park District staff and BerryDunn consultants will also be visiting local Wilmette businesses and gathering sites during the next few weeks to solicit feedback.

In the Media:

The Record North Shore: Community feedback at center of Project Parks and Play

*Project Engagement Terms of Use

Any views and comments expressed by Users on this site are those of the Users and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Wilmette Park District. Any User's reference to a specific commercial product or service does not imply endorsement or recommendation of that product or service by the Park District. All site Users are personally responsible for the content of their posts, and the Park District are not responsible for the content of external online platforms. Users are expected to communicate in a respectful, courteous, and professional manner. This is not an appropriate portal for FOIA requests.