These awards on a statewide platform are an honor ... it also validates our commitment to continually seek outreach opportunities to partner with community-based organizations to make Palatine a better place to live, work, and play.Mike Clark, Executive Director
On October 12, 2018, Palatine Park District received three awards at the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) Best of the Best Awards Gala held at Chevy Chase Country Club in Wheeling. Awards included Best Green Practices, Community Partnership, and a 25-year Board Service Award for current Park District Board President Susan Gould.
IAPD is a nonprofit service, research, and education organization that serves park districts, forest preserves, conservation, municipal park and recreation, and special recreation agencies. The association advances these agencies, their citizen board members, and professional staff in their ability to provide outstanding park and recreation opportunities, preserve natural resources, and improve the quality of life for all people in Illinois. The Best of the Best Awards Gala provides a public platform to thank those who give so generously of their time, talents, and resources to further the park, recreation, and conservation mission. “It is always a more special honor when recognition arises through the way your professional colleagues view your organization’s efforts. These awards on a statewide platform are an honor and provide recognition to all our staff who work hard behind the scenes to make our parks and open spaces environmentally sound and aesthetically pleasing. It also validates our commitment to continually seek outreach opportunities to partner with community-based organizations to make Palatine a better place to live, work, and play,” said Palatine Park District Executive Director Mike Clark.
Palatine Park District Board President Susan Gould was awarded with a 25-year board service award. In her first 25 years as a commissioner, Gould says she was able to “put a mom’s perspective and a woman’s perspective on many issues such as our preschool programs, our before- and after-school care program, recreation for children from infants through high school, and having safe playgrounds within walking distance of most neighborhoods.” She went on to add, “The fact of the matter is that being a commissioner is a constant learning experience, a great way to meet interesting people, and a very satisfying way to try to make our corner of the world a better place.”
The Best Green Practices Award is presented to a park district, forest preserve, conservation, recreation, or special recreation agency that has taken the initiative to incorporate and encourage environmentally-friendly business practices and policies. Palatine Park District was a recipient of this award due to efforts made in the areas of recycling, electricity use reduction, purchasing initiatives, green product buying, pollinator support, environmentally-friendly pesticides and fertilizers, and conservation efforts. In addition, the District offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for those in the community to engage in environmentally friendly initiatives; visit volunteer.palatineparks.org for more information.
The IAPD Partnership Award recognizes “non-governmental institutions that have collaborated with a park district, forest preserve, conservation, recreation, or special recreation agency in a significant manner, thereby enabling the public agency to initiate a major capital improvement program, or pursue a campaign or initiative or project that enhanced residents’ quality of life and would not have been achievable without this partnership.” Palatine Park District and Partners for Our Communities were the recipients of this award for their work with the ICompete program. The mission of ICompete is to introduce underserved families to athletics, arts, and academics by breaking down the barriers of access to better prepare for life experiences. ICompete offers many opportunities including a passport program, athletic clinics, summer camps, after school clubs, arts and fitness programs, and a variety of special events to encourage family engagement. This partnership between Partners for Our Communities and Palatine Park District, along with many other community organizations and supporters, has allowed ICompete to successfully offer over 14,000 children the opportunity to grow, learn, and flourish in school, at home, and in life.
Palatine Park District is honored to be a recipient of three IAPD Best of the Best awards this year and is proud to serve the Palatine community in a variety of ways.