An advisory council is a voluntary group of individuals who meet on a regular basis to support the effective functioning of their local park. Councils promote ways for the community to better utilize the Chicago Park District's programs and facilities; provide communication to the Chicago Park District on matters relating to their parks; increase community awareness of Chicago Park District projects; provide the community with a vehicle through which park information can be shared; and assist in locating alternate funding sources to enhance park facilities. In an effort to do these things, many councils host events and other related activities throughout the year. The Chicago Park District encourages interested park patrons to participate in or form an advisory council in their local park. The Chicago Park District seeks advisement from councils regarding services provided to parks, needs, problems, accomplishments, and any other matters councils consider important to the operation of their parks.

Park Advisory Councils

Park Advisory Councils represent more than 225 parks in all 77 community areas across the City of City. Park Advisory Councils (PAC) are the community voice for their neighborhood park, children’s playground, beach or natural area.  PAC’s help make a difference in their parks whether they are partnering with their park,  creating a garden, fundraising for a new playground, hosting special events, sponsoring a recreation program or advocating for improved services in the park.
 

Forming a Park Advisory Council:

  • Meet park supervisor to discuss forming a Park Advisory Council
  • The group must submit a letter of intent to the park supervisor
  • Set up a community meeting that encompasses the areas around the play lot
  • Post fliers in the park, aldermanic office, library, and surrounding community groups, local businesses etc.
  • Invite the Chicago Park District to talk about advisory councils
  • All interested members must fill out the PAC Application
  • Schedule elections giving 14 days notice
  • Once you have you have an elected board set up you should fill out the NEW PAC Registration form

UPDATE: PAC Meetings

Out of an abundance of caution Park Advisory Councils are not meeting in person. PACs are permitted to meet virtually. Please contact your Park Advisory Council for meeting details.


What makes a PAC compliant?

Registered Chicago Park District PACs, enjoy the use of rooms, space for their monthly meeting, application fee waivers, expedited event permit processing, partnership benefits of no or reduced fees and liability insurance. If a PAC is not compliant they will not be privy to these benefits.

  • Submitting Annual Report
  • Holding Elections
  • Submitting bylaws to the Chicago Park District
  • Maintaining PAC binder in parks, which includes: membership applications, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, financial reports
  • Following the Code of Conduct

Park Advisory Council Annual Report

Submitting accomplishments along with general information about the council, through the form below, is one of the requirements for an advisory council to remain in good standing.  Councils that are in good standing are eligible for usage of the council partnership code for council events.

2020 Park Advisory Council Annual Report

Park Advisory Council Workshops

Every month the Chicago Park District along with the Chicago Parks Foundation is offering free virtual workshops for PACs. Topics range from special events, best practices, to social media.

Virtual PAC Workshop: Getting to know Roberts Rules of Order

Are your meetings messy? Use Roberts Rule of Order to your benefit. We will take a close look at how to keeping an organized meeting using proper motions and secondary motions.  Pullman Parks AC Vice President Mike Mahon will share tips and tricks to run a successful meeting using Roberts Rules.

 Wednesday, January 27, 2021

PAC Workshop: Getting to know Roberts Rules of Order

6:00pm

MS Teams

Wednesday, January 27, 2021
6:00pm

REGISTER

 

Virtual PAC Workshop: Nature Play every day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Sticks and Stones make stronger bones and brains.  Giving kids unstructured play time outside has countless life-long benefits.  Learn how to incorporate these ideas from programming to events and all the way to creating a nature play space in your park!  From Welles to Big Marsh and beyond, Nature Play Spaces are popping up all over the city.  Could the next one be yours?

REGISTRATION OPEN FEBRUARY 1

Park Advisory Council Conference: March 6, 2021

Virtual PAC Conference March 6, 2021

The Chicago Park District along with the Chicago Parks Foundation and our PAC partners are currently planning the 2021 PAC Conference. Expect a half conference with sessions ranging from hosting virtual meetings, intergenerational leadership to virtual fundraising and youth programming.  Registration open s February 6.

2019 PAC Conference Session Presentations:

 

Thank you to the UIC Illinois Prevention Research Center and Work2gether4Peace for recording the 2019 sessions.

Watch the 2019 PAC Conference Session Videos


Advisory Council Forms

All existing and newly formed advisory councils and those interested in becoming an advisory council, must review and complete the forms below. Fax the completed Application, Registration Form, Partnership Pledge and By-Laws to the Chicago Park District Community Relations Division at (312) 742-2797.

What makes a PAC compliant?

Registered Chicago Park District PACs, enjoy the use of rooms, space for their monthly meeting, application fee waivers,  expedited event permit processing, partnership benefits of no or reduced fees and liability insurance. If a PAC is not compliant they will not be privy to these benefits. PACs will be treated like every other community group and organization until they become compliant. 

Advisory Councils List

View a list of parks with advisory councils, and get meeting dates and contact information.


Advisory Council Applications

FAQ's

View a list of Advisory Council Frequently Asked Questions.

 

 

Contact Us

 

If you have any further questions about Chicago Park District advisory councils, please call the Department of Legislative and Community Affairs at (312) 742-2797.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

The Chicago Park District has partnered with the University of Illinois Chicago, Illinois Prevention Resource Center of a series of  trainings to help Park Advisory Councils with formation, fundraising and special events.

PAC 101

Launching a PAC

Finance

Events, Permitting, and Programs

Park Safety and Maintenance