is a Park District?
first park districts in Illinois were formed in 1869 when the Illinois
General Assembly enacted legislation that created three park districts
in the City of Chicago as units of local governments separate from
the city government. In 1934, the individual park districts located
within the City of Chicago merged and formed the Chicago Park District.
Legislation to permit the formation of park districts outside of
Chicago was enacted in 1893. In 1951, the numerous laws relating
to park districts and recreational programs outside of Chicago were
codified into "The Park District Code" (70 ILCS 1205/1-1 through
are 322 park districts in Illinois covering over 152,000 acres of
land. A park district is established by the will of the community
through referendum. State authority creating park districts as corporate
entities also recognized the districts as separate and distinct
local units of government. Their boundaries are independent from
those of other units of local government, and may even incorporate
more than one community, but does not include any portion of another
incorporated park district.
parks are designed for aesthetic purposes and the preservation of
natural resources. Other parks are developed to provide opportunities
to the public to participate in structured recreational programs
and sports activities. Facilities and activities offered in these
parks can include: field houses, gymnasiums, indoor and outdoor
swimming pools, beaches, skating rinks, lagoons, conservatories,
golf courses, tennis courts, arts and crafts classes, dance classes,
band shelters, exercise classes, baseball and softball diamonds,
playgrounds, ski areas, trails for biking and hiking, zoos, botanical
gardens and activities in the performing and fine arts - literally
thousands of leisure activities and recreational facilities.
programs and facilities are offered for groups such as preschoolers,
senior citizens and the handicapped. No one is excluded from participating
in park district activities and services and persons from around
the state can share in the recreational experience park districts
provide in other communities.
park district is governed by an elected Board of Commissioners who
reside in the district. Most boards are comprised of five commissioners
(seven-member boards are optional). The commissioners receive no
salary or other compensation and serve six year terms. As local
elected community leaders, they are able to respond to the recreational
needs of the community on a person-to-person basis.
does my park district acquire open land?
of land and purchasing land are the options available to the BTPD.
of Commissioners understand the value of planning for the future
of the community and its residents' needs. With limited finances
and escalating land values, cooperation is the key to new land acquisitions.
are volunteers important to the Park District?
are imperative to the community as well as the Park District. Volunteer
workers save you money, but more importantly, by recruiting volunteers,
we are involving the community in our operation. Individuals, sports
organizations, advisory councils and civic organizations give the
park district the input and capability to improve and enhance programming
that may have otherwise not been possible. Without volunteers, the
cost of programming would not be reasonable enough for many in the
community to take advantage programs.
does the Park District help real estate value and investments?
attracting people to the Bourbonnais Township, realtors and developers
focus on quality education, land values, progress and commitment
to growth and quality recreational opportunities. Realtors are proud
to feature BTPD brochures to prospective buyers as well as giving
tours to showcase just one of the valuable assets that the Bourbonnais
Township community has to offer to a new resident. The Perry Farm
Park exemplifies the beauty and commitment of our community.
does the Park District work to keep costs down?
diligently seeking available grants, utilizing volunteer services,
maximizing investments, as well as participating in the cooperative
efforts in purchasing and programming, the Park District commits
itself to keeping costs down. The staff and the Commissioners at
the Park District are continuously seeking new ways to keep operating
costs at a minimum without sacrificing the quality of its services.
Many operations that would otherwise be contracted out by many organizations
are completed in-house by our dedicated and knowledgeable staff.
must I pay a program fee?
are necessary to provide a wide variety of activities and recreation
programs. By the use of tax money alone, the Park District could
not serve the recreational needs of the community. Many of the tax
revenues are spent for the acquisition of land, development and
improvement of parks and facilities. The program fee covers the
direct costs of the program such as: supplies, building use, rental
fees, better instructors or equipment.
are my tax dollars calculated?
property taxes paid to the Park District are a small portion of
your tax bill. These taxes are based on the assessed value of your
property. The Township Assessor is responsible for determining a
value on all property within the Township. Taxes paid are computed
on that assessed value at the tax rate extended by all the taxing
makes up the Park District?
Districts, like villages, school districts and townships, are separate
municipal entities and, therefore, have different corporate boundaries.
The BTPD includes Bradley, Bourbonnais and the rural Bourbonnais
Township areas. The Board of Commissioners, who are elected by the
community, govern the Park District. Commissioners serve six-year
terms as volunteers. They receive no monetary compensation,
no insurance and no retirement benefits. The Board of Commissioners
meet on the fourth Monday of each month. The public is invited and
encourage to attend board meetings. The public is also encouraged
to contact Park District staff and Commissioners at any time with
ideas and questions which will help to improve services.
the Park District service special needs?
cooperation with Limestone Park District and the Kankakee Valley
Park District, the Bourbonnais Township Park District funds the
River Valley Special Recreation Association (RVSVA) which serves
to provide specifically designed recreation programs for individuals
with disabilities or special needs. For more information on program
offerings call the RVSVA office at (815) 933-7336.
can I learn more about the Park District?
of our staff would be happy to help you learn more about the Bourbonnais
Township Park District. Presentations can be made to groups about
the operations of the Park District. Participating in BTPD programming
is also a way to learn more about the Park District. Please call
(815) 933-9905 ext 110 if you are interested in a presentation or
wish to obtain information about park activities or pending park
projects. We hope to hear from you.