The Perry Farm Administrative Office, also known as The Perry Farm House, is a historic home that the Durham and Perry families once lived in. It now serves as our Administrative Office. However, you can stop in and see some historical artifacts and furniture from the Perry family. While at the Farm House you can register for a program or use our public restroom. Don’t forget to swing by and see the farm animals around the big red barn while you are visiting.
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday 9:00a – 1:00p
459 N. Kennedy Drive, Bourbonnais, IL 60914
(Enter off Perry St. through the Perry Farm Park entrance. Follow the road until you see the white farm house)
Meet our Interim Executive Director - John Wilson, CPRP
Welcome to Bourbonnais Township Park District Interim Executive Director John Wilson, an esteemed professional with a distinguished career spanning decades in the field of Parks and Recreation. With a passion for creating vibrant community spaces and fostering recreational opportunities, Wilson’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life for residents is evident throughout his extensive and impressive career.
Early Career and Achievements
Wilson's journey in the Parks and Recreation started at the age of 10 working for the city of Danville on their golf course. Always working the public sector, Wilson has had a passion for Park and Recreation. His sector commenced in 1979 when he took on the role of Executive Director at Chicago Ridge Park District. Here, he oversaw personnel, financials, and the day-to-day operations of the district, successfully renovating five park sites and implementing innovative leisure programs for a rapidly growing community. His tenure included initiating the planning for a new community center and creating partnerships that significantly improved the district's tax base.
Strategic Leadership in Grayslake
In 1987, John took on the role of Executive Director of Parks and Recreation at Grayslake Community Park District. His strategic vision led to an increase in parkland from 26 to over 250 acres, with major accomplishments including the development of the Grayslake Greenway Plan and the acquisition of 40 acres of prime land. John's leadership resulted in the district operating with the lowest tax rate in Lake County, Illinois, and turning a deficit into a surplus of $800,000.
Innovations at Lan-Oak Park District
From 1999 to 2016, John served as the Director of Parks & Recreation at Lan-Oak Park District in Lansing, IL. His transformative initiatives included spearheading the first major renovation of a 60,000 square foot recreation and fitness center, overcoming financial challenges, and developing two new neighborhood parks. John played a pivotal role in extending the Pennsy Greenway into Indiana and collaborated with various entities to enhance the district's recreational offerings.
Widening Impact at Park District of LaGrange
John's impact extended to the Park District of LaGrange, where he served as Superintendent of Parks and Maintenance/Interim Director of Parks & Recreation from February 1998 to June 1999. His responsibilities included administering financial matters, overseeing park and facility planning, and coordinating a five-year capital improvement program.
Engagement with Chicago White Sox
In his current role since April 2016, John has been contributing to the game day experience at the Chicago White Sox in the Guest Relations Department. His duties involve ensuring fans have a seamless experience, assisting with ADA needs, controlling access to suites, and contributing to training new employees.
Since his retirement in 2016, John has been highly selective in offering consulting services to various park and recreation agencies in Michigan and Illinois. He continues to serve on the Oceana County (MI) Parks and Recreation Commission and the Village of Pentwater / Pentwater Township Parks and Recreation Board.
Educational Background and Professional Affiliations
John holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Comprehensive Major in Parks and Recreation Administration from Illinois State University. He is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional and an active member of several professional organizations, including the Illinois Park and Recreation Association, National Recreation and Park Association, South Suburban Park and Recreation Professional and more.
Awards and Recognition
John's dedication and leadership have earned him numerous awards and recognitions, including the South Suburban Park & Recreation Professional Association Lifetime Achievement Award and the Illinois Park and Recreation Association Chairman's Award including the Chaddick Institute at DePaul University Municipal Development Award for Visioning & Leadership (Pennsy Greenway); South Suburban Park & Recreational Professional Association Lifetime Achievement Award; SSRPA Professional of the Year Award; IPRA Chairman’s Award; IPRA President’s Award.
Apart from his professional pursuits, John remains actively involved in various community organizations and clubs, showcasing his commitment to making a positive impact. In his retirement, he continues to enjoy contributing to projects such as the Lansing Greenway Project and the Friends of the Pentwater Hart Trail.