121 Bids and $2,630 raised - Thank you!

Foundation Grants Nearly $20,000 in Support for Members in Need

The Illinois Park & Recreation Foundation (IPRF) has established a fund to care for the needs of Illinois Park & Recreation Association members who are experiencing financial hardships due to furlough or unemployment. Special Assistance Grants have been awarded to eligible Illinois parks and recreation professionals who are current members of the Illinois Park and Recreation Association impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible professionals applied to receive a one-time grant of $500 for special assistance.  Nearly $20,000 in grants will be awarded through this program!  A committee of IPRF Trustees reviewed each application to verify eligibility, at which time all eligible applicants were selected at random to receive a $500 grant. Distribution will take place in early September.

"The Illinois Park and Recreation Foundation wants to thank our donors, sponsors, and trustees, who for many years have given generously in both time and money to create opportunities to help parks and recreation professionals receive the education they need to be leaders in their communities and the support they deserve when life's challenges arise." -Jarrod Scheunemann, IPRF Trustee, Assistant to the Executive Director, Champaign Park District.

‘In this moment of global pandemic and economic downturn, we feel strongly that our role is to help our members when they need us the most. We have been raising funds specifically for disaster relief grants for individual members since 2016, and this is the moment when so many of our members are facing a crisis at the same time. It made sense to leverage these funds to help our most in need members as the crisis continues. We initially set aside funding for 20 members who had been impacted by significant impacts on their employment status, but as the applications flooded in, the foundation board has approved an extension of the program to serve twice as many people. It is in times of trouble that leaders should double down on mission, culture, and values, because that is when it matters the most. I am so proud to be affiliated with a foundation who has taken steps to put our values first and support our most in-need members when they need us. ‘ Debbie Trueblood, IPRF Executive Director


2020 IPRF/Joint Section Golf Outing


The IPRF / Joint Section Golf Outing played on a beautiful, sunny, if a bit chilly Friday, September 18, 2020. Thanks to our golf committee, volunteers, Presenting Sponsor: Ancel Glink, P.C. Platinum Sponsor: Cunningham Recreation, Gold Sponsors: Speer FinancialFifth Third Bank, PFM / IPDLAFCedar Path Nurseries LLC and Tanna Farms Golf Club, Golf Course Sponsor, Sign Sponsor: Divine Signs and Graphics, Inc., Awards Sponsor: Mighty Mites Awards, Golf Ball Sponsor: New Lenox Community Park District, Contest Sponsors: IPRA, IPRF, Charles Vincent George Architects, PBI-Gordon, Chapman and Cutler, PDRMA, WIght, and Divine Signs, Hole Sponsors: Hitchcock Design Group, Chicagoland Turf, Wintrust, Larson Equipment, Lifeguard Store, Luge Brothers, First Midwest Bank, Belissimo Tour, IPRA Board, IPRF Board, Cody/Braun & Associates, Henry Bros., Monroe Truck Equipment and Campfire Concepts, and all our golfers.

Your support of the 2020 Golf Outing will be used for the Foundation's Special Assistance and Disaster Relief Fund, providing grants for eligible IPRA Professional Members who have experienced layoffs or furloughs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and proceeds will also benefit the student and professional member scholarship programs of the Illinois Park and Recreation Foundation.

IPRA/IPRF Healthy Play & Recreation Statewide Initiative Awards Grants

Illinois Park and Recreation Association, Illinois Park and Recreation Foundation, PlayCore’s Center for Outreach, Research & Education (CORE) and GameTime have partnered for a third year on a unique statewide training and funding initiative. The initiative seeks to demonstrate the positive impact high-quality play and recreation destinations and programs can have on community health and wellness. GameTime provided over $1million in matching funds to agencies and organizations committed to aligning with evidence-based design criteria and made an additional contribution to IPRF and IPRA.

Illinois Park and Recreation Agencies that received grants in the 2020 cycle:

  • Arlington Heights Park District                          
  • Broadview Park District                                     
  • Des Plaines Park District                                 
  • City of Elgin Parks and Rec Dept                     
  • Glen Ellyn Park District                                         
  • Macomb Park District                                       
  • Village of Mahomet Parks and Rec Dept         
  • City of O’Fallon Parks and Rec Dept
  • Palatine Park District
  • City of Palos Hills Resource and Rec Department
  • Plainfield Park District
  • Robbins Park District
  • Roxana Community Park District
  • Roxana Community Unit School District (CUSD) #1
  • Springfield Park District

Grant amounts were based on agency submissions and ranged from $27,000 to $150,000. Funding will support the development of high-quality outdoor play and recreation environments in communities that sought to serve as National Demonstration Sites. These projects of excellence will implement evidence-based best practices in the areas of inclusion, nature integration, physical activity, and adult fitness.

CONGRATULATIONS to the grant recipients!


Inspire. Educate. Support.

We are fortunate to make our living in the very dynamic and rewarding profession of parks and recreation.

Regardless of the position you hold,  you are making a difference in the lives of your constituency. Though your journey is not over, we are asking you to Pay it Forward, to reach back and help equip the next generation of park and recreation professionals. How? Through a tax deductible donation to the Illinois Park and Recreation Foundation. The endowment is housed within the Illinois Park and Recreation Foundation and only the interest earned can be used to support IPRA member’s educational and professional development needs. The principal will remain intact to ensure that the funds donated by individuals like you, will be used to help build the future of parks and recreation professionals throughout the state of Illinois for years to come.

Donate Today

Sponsorships Available for IPRA Education Programs

The Illinois Park & Recreation Foundation supports IPRA education programs through financial sponsorships. Interested IPRA volunteer leaders should email Debbie Trueblood at debbie@ilipra.org no less than 90 days prior to the event date and include an explanation of the program details. Details should include, but are not limited to, the educational purpose and program format, potential speakers, fees, members to be served, estimated budget for the event, and expected educational benefits/results. See guidelines for further details.

𝑰𝑷𝑹𝑨 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑰𝑷𝑹𝑭 𝑨𝒏𝒏𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒄𝒆 2020 𝑵𝑭𝑪 𝑺𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒘𝒊𝒅𝒆 𝑮𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝑷𝒓𝒐𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒎 𝑹𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒑𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔

July 15, 2020 - Today, in cooperation with National Fitness Campaign, IPRA and IPRF are thrilled to announce the award of six member agencies who have received funding and been selected to join the 2020 Statewide partnership program to expand the outdoor Fitness Court® network across Illinois!

The member agencies are as follows:

  • New Lenox Community Park District
  • Village of Hawthorn Woods
  • Palatine Park District
  • Riverdale Park District
  • Plainfield Township Park District
  • City of Jerseyville

These agencies exhibited incredible resilience in participating in the qualification process and submitting successful applications during a turbulent time, and we commend the awardees on their selection. Congratulations!

In addition, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all members who participated in the briefings for the NFC program this spring, which were attended by over 40 agencies. In recognition of the current environment caused by the pandemic, NFC and IPRA will be offering a second briefing window later this fall for agencies who may be interested in participating in the program in 2021 and take advantage of the extended timelines, as 4 grants remain available.

With indoor fitness and recreation options facing an uncertain near term future, IPRA and IPRF look forward to supporting next steps in this initiative to bring more outdoor wellness infrastructure and programming to communities across Illinois.

NFC and IPRA and IPRF will be supporting a second briefing window for interested communities in the fall of 2020 for the 2021 year, as 4 Grants remain available up to the maximum of 10 partnerships available in Illinois in this cycle. City leaders or park agency directors are encouraged to contact Heather Weishaar at heather@ilipra.org to request more information about the program.

Learn more