Wilmette Park District
Board Brief
Updates of interest from your Wilmette Park District Board of Park Commissioners
Following are highlights from the June 13 regular monthly meeting of the Wilmette Board of Park Commissioners, held in the Council Chambers of Wilmette Village Hall.

NOTICE: First "Committee of the Whole" Meeting Scheduled for June 27; Open to Public
On Monday, June 27, at 6:3o p.m. the Board will hold its first Committee of the Whole meeting in lieu of previous separate standing committees. The meeting will be held in room 106 at the Community Recreaton Center, 3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette.

While this is not the first Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting the Board has held, it is the first as an outright replacement of the standing committees. Park District staff have been working with the Board on a format to make the meetings productive and efficient, and a process which makes project planning more transparent and deliberate. They are designing an operational reporting process to allow for monthly operational updates, with intervals of more robust operational reports several times a year.

In the COW meetings, final votes aren’t taken, but votes to recommend a course of action are. The Wilmette Board of Park Commissioners regular monthly meeting schedule remains the same. To learn more about Board of Park Commissioners Public Meetings, and the COW format, click here

West Park Update
At the June 13 Board of Park Commissioners regular monthly meeting, Park District Executive Director Steve Wilson reported on progress toward meeting conditions the Village of Wilmette outlined in order to approve a Special Use Permit for the addition of two platform tennis courts, and expansion of the existing paddle hut. Park District staff are working to comply with the conditions of the Village's ordinance. Wilson added that more details will be available at the Committee of the Whole meeting on June 27.

Gillson Park Comprehensive Plan
Executive Director Wilson initiated a discussion regarding the Gillson Park Comprehensive Plan, which the Board last discussed at the December, 2021 regular monthly Board meeting.

In December, the Board agreed to develop a community survey to collect feedback on three separate road configuration ideas within Gillson Park, along with potential "add-on" projects outlined in prior presentations by the Lakota Group (the Gillson Comprehensive Plan's consulting team).

The road configuration choices in the survey will be:

  • Convert Middle Road into a non-vehicular path; or
  • Remove Middle Road entirely and add green space; or
  • Remove both Upper Road and Middle Road to create more green space; or;
  • None of the above.

To view the Lakota Group's presentation regarding roadway configuration ideas, and a video recording of the December 13, 2021 meeting where the ideas were discussed, click here.

In December, the Board also considered gauging interest in "add-on" amenities introduced by the Lakota Group as a result of previous community input:

  • A restroom facility by the playground and sand volleyball court;
  • A picnic shelter located either at the picnic area by the sand volleyball court, or at the picnic area at the base of the bluff near Wallace Bowl;
  • A limited boardwalk on South Beach to guide foot traffic to the beach while preserving dune grasses; and
  • A new Sailing Beach facility to replace the current shack at the Sailing Beach.

Since six months has passed since the survey items had been discussed, Wilson asked for guidance or modifications from the Board.

Following Wilson's overview, the Board debated which topics required community feedback most urgently. Ultimately, the majority agreed to prioritize infrastructure within Gillson. Board members felt very strongly that roadway, sewer system and drainage repairs/updates are critical for the park, and are eager to move forward with repairs as soon as possible, with input from the community on topics solely related to infrastructure.

Annual Financial Report Approved
Also at the July 13 meeting, Superintendent of Finance Sheila Foy reported on minor changes to the Wilmette Park District Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which was presented to the Financial Planning and Policy committee on May 16 (the report will be posted for viewing by the end of June here). The Board approved the report, which is prepared annually by Foy's department in conjunction with independent auditors.

Marketing and Communications Presentation
At the June 13 meeting, Park District Marketing and Communications Manager Marlon Rodas provided an overview of his unit's multifaceted and broad scope of responsibilities. Rodas also showcased program enrollment data, which indicated a significant increase in day one registration after the Park District's Explore Online seasonal program guide launched.

Manager Rodas moved to the subject of community communications, reviewing all that is being done currently to reach out to our community to keep them informed, and how we plan to expand those efforts in the near future.

Around the District
  • The Community Playfields restroom project is underway. Concrete footings have been poured, and crews will be working on the foundation and rough-in plumbing work over the next week.

  • Work on the new Maple Park playground was on hold while a drainage issue was resolved. Resubmitted drawings were approved the first week of June, and work resumed the week of June 6. The contractor’s schedule has the playground at substantial completion by the end of the month.

  • On Friday, May 13, Parks staff worked with Openland’s Treekeepers to prune 37 trees within Gillson Park. The Treekeepers prune young trees to help with structural growth, using pole saws and hand pruners.

  • Parks staff also installed two new Purple Martin houses in Gillson Park and Mallinckrodt Park, worked with Eagle Scouts to install Park Library Houses within Wheeler Park and Langdon Park, repaired wooden benches at Wallace Bowl, and replaced the east doors and replaced failed water main valves at the Community Recreation Center.

  • Building Staff built tables and a point-to-point connection at the Sailing Shed and built sand tables for the beach, to give beachgoers the opportunity to sift sand for trash and small plastics.

  • On Monday, June 13, the Parks and Planning department welcomed its first on-staff Horticulturist, Celesta Cryder, to the team!
To read the full minutes from our past Board meetings, click here.
Minutes are posted after they are approved at a subsequent meeting. 

Next Committee of the Whole meeting: Monday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette, Room 106.

Next Regular Monthly Board meeting: Monday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Village Hall at 1200 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette. All meetings are open to the public. Details will be posted on the Park Board page on our website.

Meetings will be available on Channel 6 locally for Comcast subscribers. View a live meeting online here, or view previous meeting recordings here. Please check our website often for updates.
Board of Park Commissioners

Mike Murdock

Kara Kosloskus
Vice President
Lindsay Anderson

Cecilia Clarke

Patrick Duffy

Allison Frazier

Julia Goebel
Wilmette Park District Administrative Office
1200 Wilmette Ave. 
Wilmette, IL 60091
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