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The Illinois Association of Park Districts and Illinois Park and Recreation Association has recognized the Des Plaines Park District as an Illinois Distinguished Accredited Agency for 2012-2017. This is the highest accreditation possible for a park and recreation organization. The accreditation is reserved for those agencies reflecting exemplary achievements and/or special facilities. Des Plaines joins eight other agencies awarded in 2012, of the over 400 park districts in Illinois.


More information about the process is available on the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association website. Click Here.


"The Des Plaines Park District's Board of Park Commissioners and staff are very proud of this achievement,” said John Hecker, Executive Director. "Our goal is to improve the lives of our residents by providing high quality recreational opportunities and facilities, and by being good stewards of our natural resources and open spaces.”

Distinguished Park and Recreation Accreditation is the culmination of a voluntary comprehensive evaluation that reviews adherence to best practices within the profession, and compliance to Illinois laws governing park district administration. The review sets professional standards by which a district can increase operational efficiency and effectiveness. It provides an opportunity to update and clarify policies and procedures, and educate and evaluate staff performance.

Operational categories examined include general management effectiveness, finance and business operations, facilities and parks, staff, recreation services, and Board elected officials. The Des Plaines Park District’s scores exceeded the required scores in all categories for passing the standards review. The Park District excelled in five areas of operation including: Having outstanding agreements with neighboring agencies; A thorough revenue policy: Clean and well maintained parks; Exemplary information packets for new Park Board members and candidates; and Having a “Manual of Manuals” for easy staff reference. 

“This accreditation acknowledges our staff’s professionalism and the district’s efficient and effective use of financial resources,” said Hecker. “Our continued focus is on both internal and external customer service to provide innovative and diverse recreational opportunities.”