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
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 bylaws to the Chicago Park District
Maintaining PAC binder in parks, which includes: membership applications, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, financial reports
Each year, the Chicago Park District requests information from each advisory council in an effort to learn more about our park Advisory Councils and keep up to date records of its members. Councils formed after October 1, 2018, are not required to complete this form until the next year.
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 the Chicago Parks Foundation grant award, usage of the council partnership code for council events, and an extra raffle ticket to win a Movie in the Park and a Concert in the Park, awarded at the annual Park Advisory Council conference on March 30, 2019.
Park Advisory Council Workshops:
New Park Advisory Council Orientation: November, 2019
Park Advisory Council Conference
This year, more than 300 attendees represented close to 100 parks from across the City of Chicago. Attendees came from as far north as Wildwood to as far south as Ridge and from parks in between! Attendees includes Park Advisory Councils, Dog Friendly Areas, stewards and parent booster groups who's goal is to help their parks. Attendees had the opportunity to network with park staff at the Lunch with the Experts, meet PAC members from across the city, learn about resources to help them help their parks, and participate in the Working with your Elected Official session. This annual Conference is made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Chicago Park District, Chicago Parks Foundation, our PAC partners, and the University of Illinois- Illinois Prevention Research Center. In celebration of the Chicago Park District's 85th Anniversary guests were delighted with a birthday cake generously donated by Eli's Cheesecake.
2019 PAC Conference Session Presentations:
- Creating Safe Spaces in Play Places
- How to Find A Sponsor
- How to Run a Meeting
- Liability Insurance
- Money 101
- Nature Play Spaces
- PAC 101
- Roberts Rules of Order
- Special Events Check List
Thank you to the UIC Illinois Prevention Research Center and Work2gether4Peace for recording this year's session.
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.
- Advisory Council Guidelines
- Advisory Council Letter of Intent Sample
- Advisory Council Member Application
- Advisory Council Registration Form
- Advisory Council By-Law
- Advisory Council Code of Conduct
- Officer Update Form
What makes a PAC compliant?
- Submitting Annual Report
- Holding Yearly Elections
- Submitting bylaws to the Chicago Park District
- Maintaining PAC binder in parks, which includes: membership applications, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, financial reports
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
- Advisory Council Membership Application
- New Park Advisory Council Application
- 2019 Park Advisory Council Officer Update
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.
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.