Wilmette Park District
Board Brief
Updates of interest from your Wilmette Park District Board of Park Commissioners
Following are highlights from the May 9 Annual Meeting and Regular Meeting of the Wilmette Board of Park Commissioners, held in the Council Chambers of Wilmette Village Hall.

Wilmette Board of Park Commissioners
Annual Meeting
The Year in Review
At the beginning of this year’s Annual Meeting on Monday, May 9, Board President Mike Murdock provided an overview of the Board’s challenges and accomplishments over the past year.
Looking back at the year, Murdock acknowledged that mistakes were made with regard to the West Park Project. “When we started to hear concerns, we could have and should have done a better job listening,” said Murdock. “We should have found better, more effective ways to engage the public earlier in the process. We can do better, and we will do better, moving forward.”
He went on to highlight the Board's successes over the past year. He pointed to Community Playfields, with the installation of a fitness path and construction of a restroom, which is scheduled for completion this fall. In addition, Murdock listed other achievements including emphasizing better stewardship of our natural resources through the addition of a horticulturist to the staff, adding more funds for trees, completing landscape plans for most parks, and beginning implementation of those plans through ahead-of-schedule tree planting. He noted a very well-received new concession vendor at Gillson Beach; a plan to remodel the Lakeview Center; progress on the Gillson Comprehensive Plan, with a new community survey in the works; and plans
for restoration of Langdon bluff. To the success list, Murdock also added a new continuous golf cart path, new Golf Club concessions vendor and clubhouse improvements; Wilmette’s first electric car charging stations; securing consultants to kick off a comprehensive and strategic plan for the Park District; a successful Summer Camp program re-launch; and emerging from COVID-19 stronger than many other park districts. He also noted that the Wilmette Park District's credit rating is now the highest possible, and, the Board successfully re-wrote and modified an old Board Organization and Operation Manual.

At the Annual Meeting, the Board voted to retain president Mike Murdock for a second term. Commissioner Kara Kosloskus was elected to the vice president position and will replace Julia Goebel, who removed herself from consideration for a second term.
New Committee Structure
The Board voted unanimously to change the current multi-committee structure to a “committee-of-the-whole” format, beginning in June. The new format will allow all Board members to have simultaneous input on all Park District matters within the same meeting. Committee-Of-The-Whole meetings will be open to the public, as were all committee meetings previously.

In the Committee-Of-The-Whole meetings, final votes aren’t taken, but votes to recommend a course of action are. More detail regarding the new structure, and the Committee-Of-The-Whole meeting schedule, will post on the Wilmette Park District website by the end of May. The Wilmette Board of Park Commissioners regular monthly meeting schedule remains the same.
Wilmette Board of Park Commissioners
Regular Meeting

Village Approves Modified West Park Plan,
with Added Conditions
At their May 9 Regular Meeting, the Wilmette Board of Park Commissioners discussed an ordinance drafted by the Village of Wilmette outlining all the agreed-upon conditions associated with the Village Board's approval of the Park District's scaled-back plan for West Park.

At the April 26 Wilmette Village Board meeting, village trustees agreed to a series of special-use requests in favor of the scaled-back plan, providing that the Park District agrees to a series of conditions designed to address concerns from residents who live adjacent to West Park. These conditions require the Park District to take action on issues regarding noise level, lighting, hours, parking, and player conduct.

The Park Board affirmed agreement with these conditions, and intent to operate within the framework established by them.

At the May 10 Village Board of Trustees meeting, the ordinance was presented, and the Board unanimously approved the special-use permits required to allow construction of two platform tennis courts, an expanded paddle hut and associated decking, and reconfigured parking.

The ordinance will be posted on the Wilmette Park District website by the end of May.

Comprehensive and Strategic Plan Update
Park District staff and the Marketing Communications department have been working with BerryDunn to consider proposals for additional communications support in conjunction with the Comprehensive and Strategic Plan development project. The intent is to make sure as many people as possible are aware of our planning process, and in turn, translate that awareness into broad participation from the community.
Lakeview Center Renovation Update
At the Lakefront Committee’s most recent meeting, also on May 9, the Lakeview Center renovation construction management firm, Fredrick Quinn Corporation (FQC), presented a full project cost estimate. FQC and Andy Tinucci from Woodhouse Tinucci Architects presented value engineering recommendations to keep the project within budget.
Langdon Bluff Access Structure Design Process Begins
The Lakefront Committee agreed to move forward with design work for a platform/stair structure as part of the Langdon Shoreline Stabilization Project.
Exploring Renovation Work at Wallace Bowl
Andy Tinucci of Woodhouse Tinucci Architects walked the Lakefront Committee through a presentation designed to facilitate an initial discussion focused on possible renovations of Wallace Bowl. All in attendance believe that any upgrade made at the Wallace Bowl should focus on retaining the character of this unique amenity, while making sure it continues to serve the community well into the future. View the presentation here. Some initial areas of focus could be seating, landscaping, and updated lighting and sound. This project is simply under consideration, and the Park Board welcomes and invites any thoughts from our community so that all ideas can be considered.
The Ouilmette Foundation, the foundation that supports the efforts of the Park District, intends to dedicate their fundraising efforts towards raising funds to support potential renovations to Wallace Bowl. Therefore, the Park District does not have funds allocated in its budget to execute a renovation plan.

Around the Park District

  • Maple Park playground construction is coming along: playground equipment and drainage continues to be installed, and our contractor is preparing to pour the concrete.

  • Parks staff planted 19 trees in our parks last month. Varieties include Redbud, Oak, Crabapple, Hackberry, Linden, Lilac, Spruce, Fir, and Beech.

  • Crews worked on athletic fields and completed turf maintenance, lining all the athletic fields, dragging the synthetic turf field at West Park, placing soccer goals/nets, cleaning up the outdoor tennis courts and adding infield mix to the skins of the baseball diamonds. The crew also aerated and seeded parks. This included Centennial, Gillson, Hibbard and Howard Park.

  • Parks staff worked with a contractor to remove a hazardous cottonwood tree and completed some of the overstory tree pruning needed within Gillson Park.

  • Building staff continues to remove fluorescent bulbs and replace them with LED within the Community Recreation Center. 3,840 watts of fluorescent bulbs have been replaced with 1,260 watts of LED lights.

  • Our Building staff also built new sailing racks, a SUP rack, and worked with a contractor to excavate the sand along the beach. Additionally, they continued working on the Golf Clubhouse restaurant renovation and Golf Shop repairs, built part of the set for our theater program, installed an emergency shower within the filter room at the Centennial Aquatic Center, installed a new PVC pool liner, painted the activity pool, and replaced doors to the gymnastics gym.

  • Community Playfields water fountains: the Park District is working with the Village of Wilmette to secure required steel piping in order to build permanent fountains. Temporary exterior fountains outside of each school are under consideration.

  • Plans to update the Keay Nature Center path are underway, as well as the addition of a natural play space in the park. Pieces of a recently removed Gillson Park cottonwood tree have been reserved for use in the natural play space.

  • A windstorm took down some of the driving range netting at the Wilmette Golf Club, but the netting was quickly replaced.

  • Platform tennis court lighting shields are on order, with hope for installation by the end of May.
To read the full minutes from our past Board meetings, click here.
Minutes are posted after they are approved at a subsequent meeting. 

Next Board meeting: Monday, June 13 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 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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