Letter from the Board President

Linda Aiani 2015 10 (298x410)
In the fall program brochure you read that the Itasca Park District was a finalist for the
National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. The
conference was held in St. Louis the first week of October and I am sorry to say that
we were not awarded the medal. Frankfort Square, Illinois, received the award.
It is a great honor to be nominated and it shows that NRPA recognizes the excellent job
the Itasca Park District does in providing programs and facilities for the residents we
serve. We are excited to have won the award twice previously and will try again next
year. The Gold Medal is the parks and recreation equivalent to the Academy Awards.
You will see the concrete island that has been installed at Rush Street and Irving Park
Road. It is a safe crossing project that the Village of Itasca and the Itasca Park District
collaborated on to make crossing Irving Park Road safer. There are 2 other crossings on
Irving Park. One is at Catalpa, which certainly helps for the pool season, and the other
is at Maple Street. Another safe crossing will be installed on Arlington Heights Road.
We have three new residents at the Nature Center! You will now see a screech owl,
red-tailed hawk and a kestrel in the mews. More are expected to be housed at the
Nature Center in the near future.
We received a letter from Springfield notifying us that the OSLAD Grant that we were
awarded for the Ray Franzen Bird Sanctuary has been released and we can start the project.
The grant was awarded in January of 2015 but the governor suspended
all grants to all districts. Now that the funds have been released, you will see
a new and improved Bird Sanctuary in 2 years. The most exciting addition, for me,
is the dog park that will be added to the property.
On page 21, you will see the Master Plan with the new amenities and features of the Ray Franzen Bird Sanctuary.
Also, we are completing playground equipment replacement, shelters and solid surface playground
material at both Country Club Park and Washington Park, next to the Recreation Center.
As you can see a lot has been going on with the Itasca Park District. That being said, we are always looking for ways to improve facilities, programs and events that benefit all the residents that the Itasca Park District serves.

Linda Aiani
President, Itasca Park District
Board of Commissioners