Publish Date

Today, during its monthly meeting, the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners heard a presentation on the study commissioned by the District to support the District’s current minority and women owned business enterprises program. The Board also honored former board member Laird Koldyke for his years of service and contributions to parks and communities across the city. Also at the meeting held at Fosco Park, 1312 S. Racine Avenue in the Near West community, the Park District and the Board acknowledged the teen artists and finalists who performed at the recent Teens in the Parks (TIP) Fest. 

The Study, performed by Collette Holt and Associates (CHA), examined the Park District M/WBE program from various perspectives including legal review and analysis, program review, anecdotal evidence, economy-wide disparity analysis and utilization and availability of Park District prime contracts and subcontracts. CHA also made recommendations based on their findings. Recommendations include the increase in targeted outreach to broaden the District’s M/WBE vendor pool and training on how to do business with the Park District. 

The Chicago Park District has a robust program which has consistently exceeds its 25/5% goals each year. During the five-year period in which the study was performed, the District’s average participation surpassed minimum goals with 34% MBE and 9% WBE participation. Last year, the Chicago Park District spent nearly $47 million in goods and services with minority and women owned businesses.

“The Chicago Park District is committed to equity and transparency in all aspects of our organization, including procurement,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO. This study underscores that commitment by examining our existing program, which has achieved great success, to determine what we can do to elevate our support and do business with more minority and women business enterprises.”   

The Board and the Park District presented a resolution honoring former Chicago Park District Board member Laird Koldyke for his 15 years of service and contributions to the Park District and the communities it serves.  Koldyke, who was appointed to the Board in September of 2005, exemplified true leadership by devoting his time and talents to countless projects and consistently upholding the Chicago Park District’s mission. During his tenure, Koldyke served as Chair on the Committee on Capital Improvements and as a member of the Committee on Administration.  Koldyke’s profound interest in family, sports, nature, mentoring and entrepreneurship uniquely benefitted the Chicago Park District in ways that are evident today and will continue long into the future.

The Board also acknowledged the ten teen artists who performed at this year’s Teens in the Park (TIP) Fest, an annual showcase that celebrates young Chicago artists. This year’s finalists and performers of the 2022 TIP Fest, held October 1st at Maggie Daley Park, included singers, rappers, dancers, and poets, ages of 14 and 24. TIP Fest is the largest platform for Chicago’s young artists to showcase their talent, connect to available resources and be exposed to the city’s performing arts community. TIP Fest promotes teen engagement and awards monetary prizes to the first, second and third performers. The fest features the top ten artists/acts were selected from auditions held earlier this summer.  

Also during the meeting, the District presented Certificates of Filings and the Certificate of Publication of its 2022 Supplemental Appropriation Ordinance. Last month, the Board approved the allocation of $61.4 million in increased payments from the State from the corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax (PPRT).  The District will use these funds to pay down debt associated with the construction of the new neighborhood park and CPD headquarters in Brighton Park, make a supplemental payment to the District’s retirement fund and make $20 million in capital investments at parks across the city. These supplemental funds create a unique opportunity to further strengthen the Park District’s fiscal health and deliver much needed capital investment to parks.