Publish Date

Park District and Board celebrate the Go Run program and its impact on encouraging residents of all walks of life to embrace running and healthy living      

Today, Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño presented the 2024 budget recommendations to the Board of Commissioners. The $574.4 million budget is a fiscally responsible plan that prioritizes supporting Chicago families and communities by increasing staffing in areas that directly impact the delivery of park services and resources, A 5.1% increase from the previous year, the 2024 proposed budget addresses rising operating costs, investments in local parks and the District’s workforce. 

Highlights of the 2024 financial plan prioritizes supporting Chicago residents by maintaining affordable and accessible park programs affordable and accessible, hiring additional employees to bolster robust, quality programming, and reinforcing the District’s role as environmental stewards. The Park District Board of Commissioners will vote on the 2023 budget recommendations during its regular monthly meeting on December 13th.  

“This budget is for all of the families and park users who count on us everyday,” said Park District General Superintendent and CEO. “Investing in the future of Chicago’s parks is about building strong community - one focused on equity, accessibility, progress and modernization.”

The Chicago Park District’s 2024 budget recommendations can be viewed online at here.
Keeping with the District’s commitment to putting the needs of families and communities first, the Board authorized the District to enter into an agreement with Structures Construction, LLC  to perform extensive renovation work on the Blackhawk Park fieldhouse at 2318 N. Lavergne in the Belmont Cragin community. The $5.26 million project includes exterior fieldhouse improvements including replacement of roof and insulation, stucco, exterior door and windows. Interior renovation includes new all-gender toilet room, platform pool lift to the pool, electrical, plumbing and ADA upgrades. MBE/WBE participation for this contract is 25.11% and 6.68%, exceeding the District’s goals. 

“Making thoughtful investment in parks has a direct correlation and contribution to a greater quality of life for a community and the families who live there,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño. Once completed, the newly restored designed and built, these new fieldhouses will expand and support vital recreational opportunities for residents in the Belmont Cragin community.” 

The Board also authorized the District to enter into a six-month agreement extension with Troon Golf/Indigo Sport for the management, maintenance and operation of Park District golf facilities which include six golf courses, two miniature golf courses, and three driving ranges. The original agreement award authorized a 15-year term beginning on January 1, 2009 ending December 31, 2023. The District will authorize a 180-day extension for this contract, beginning January 1, 2024, ending June 30 2024. It is recommended that the Board of Commissioners authorize funding for a 6-month extension in an amount not to exceed $471,000. MBE/WBE participation for this contract is 25% and 5%, exceeding the District’s goals. 

The extension will allow CPD to facilitate the most thorough and competitive Request for Proposal (“RFP”) process possible and yield the best proposals from responsive firms.  

Also today, the Board heard a presentation on the District’s ‘Go Run’ program which brings free, organized timed runs to neighborhood parks across the city. Launched in 2016 through a partnership with the Chicago Area Runners Association, Go Run has grown from 16 sites to 35 sites across the city and has attracted more than 20,000 runners during the history of the program. Runners have the option of a one mile or 5K course encouraging residents of all ages and abilities to participate. Runners enjoy the mental and physical benefits of running but also have the opportunity visit and explore new parks and meet fellow runners.   

Other board agenda items include the designation of two Park District employees at delegates to the Illinois Association of Park Districts and the approval of the District-wide sewer cleaning services.