Heather Gleason, Director
The Division of Planning and Development plans and manages the Park District’s Capital Improvement Program. As part of this process, the Department manages land acquisitions; conducts inventory and historic analysis; designates landmarks; establishes design standards for parks; produces initial development plans and design documents; reviews landscape and architectural plans for parkland; performs research and policy analysis; writes grants; and works with other park departments, community groups, and city agencies to determine the location, scope, and design of parks.
The Division of Capital Construction directs and manages the District’s capital construction projects. These may involve the construction, restoration and/or rehabilitation of District facilities, structures, landscapes, monuments, and infrastructure, as well as the development of new parks. Members of the department provide construction project management, design implementation, technical and professional support, and finance management. This department is also responsible for managing the District’s Job Order Contracting program, and for issuing District permits to outside contractors.
2017 Chicago Park District Master Plan
The first official systematic Master Plan is an overall plan that includes the District’s past and present data and future endeavors. The Master Plan includes recommendations, the Distirct’s Strategic Plan, the comprehensive 2016 Land Acquisition Plan, a brief history, community engagement efforts, budget, facility and programming data, park profiles and demographic information.
2017 Master Plan (331.6 MB)
2016 Land Acquisition Plan
The Chicago Park District is the largest open space provider in the City of Chicago. The 2016 Chicago Park District Land Acquisition Plan is a comprehensive Plan that has both short-term and long-term land acquisition strategies. The Plan also includes profiles of the City’s 77 community areas.
Land Acquisition Plan (179 MB)
Capital Improvement Plan
This Capital Improvement Plan presents the Chicago Park District’s forecast for facility improvements over the next five years. Each project was selected through careful consideration and with valuable input from advisory councils and other community stakeholders. Through our long-term plan and commitment to enhance the quality of life throughout Chicago, we will continue to provide excellent recreation opportunities, beautifully maintained facilities, and a customer focused and responsive park system.
Visit the Capital Improvement Plan page.
Dog Friendly Areas
A City of Chicago ordinance requires dogs to be on leashes in public areas for the protection of fellow residents, as well as the dogs themselves. To offer all the dogs in the city some room to move, the Chicago Park District has supported the development of several Dog Friendly Areas (DFAs) to provide safe places for dogs to exercise, play, and socialize legally “off-leash.”
For questions about establishing a DFA, please email us.
For general information about dog friendly areas, including locations and a list of Veterinarian offices where you can purchase DFA permits, visit our Dog Friendly Areas page.
The purpose of a Park Framework Plan is to create a long-term plan for the park that responds to diverse neighborhood needs as well as the historic context of the park. The plan provides a vision for improvements to the park over time and serves as a planning tool for both the community and the Park District. The plan outlines priorities and ensures that improvements are done in a coordinated and holistic manner. The plan is consulted as capital funding becomes available. See the additional list of framework plans in the documents section below.
Garfield Park Framework Plan (62 MB)