Lake Bluff Park District
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Comprehensive Plan

In 2011, the Lake Bluff Park District Board of Commissioners adopted a Comprehensive Plan Policy that is defined as 18 sub-plans. In November 2015, the Board approved a revised policy that adopts and maintains a current Park and Recreation Comprehensive Plan (PRCP) at all times compromised of 17 sub-plans. The PRCP is developed based on resident, guest, staff and commissioner assessment of the District’s current and future park, facility and recreation needs. The PRCP includes 17 sub-plans with action steps. Sub-plans are meant to be revised for various reasons; therefore, the Park District is committed to revisiting the plans annually and/or every three years due to the following impacts: specific action steps, economic conditions, grants, and/or community needs. Each sub-plan impacts an aspect of another plan so it is important that a logical and strategic discussion and sequence be determined for setting a future direction. The 17 sub-plans are the following:

  • Needs Assessment Plan – Completed 2009
  • Strategic Plan – Completed 2011 and 2015
  • ADA Transition Plan – Completed 2011
  • 10 Year Capital Plan – Completed 2013
  • Grant Funding Plan – Completed 2014
  • Referendum Plan – Completed 2010 and 2014
  • Park and Facility Analysis – Completed 2015
    • Sunrise Park and Beach – Completed
    • Artesian Park – In Progress
  • Land Acquisition Plan – Completed 2015
  • Bikeways Plan – Completed 2015
  • Programs and Services Plan – Completed 2016
  • Marketing and Communications Plan – In Progress
  • Facility Operations Plan – In Progress
  • Financial Sustainability Plan – In Progress
  • Human Resources Plan – In Progress
  • Environmental Sustainability Plan – Not Completed
  • Maintenance Plan – Not completed
  • Site and Architectural Plans – Not completed

Each sub-plan requires significant data and analysis and if requested, residents can review the information via a website, BHFX, or requesting a copy. The PRCP sub-plans are updated a minimum of once every seven years and published for public review. The Park District prides itself on community input.

Click Here to view the Comprehensive Plan Summary document.

2017 Cost of Services Study

The Lake Bluff Park District performed a comprehensive program and services analysis to evaluate each program or service’s operation cost relative to its market use and demand. Results of this analysis will allow the Park District to generate a financially-viable philosophy and model for future cost recovery; identify those programs and/or services that provide opportunities for investment, divestment or collaboration; and exercise fiscal responsibility when making decisions to provide residents with quality facilities, programs, services and parks that support the health and wellbeing of our community.

View the Presentation

Property and Public Land Use Committee

In 2014, the Lake Bluff Park District established a citizen Property and Public Land Use Advisory Committee with specific goals and objectives. The Advisory Committee was comprised of nine community members:

  • Jim Moss, Co-Chair
  • Steve Kraus, Co-Chair
  • Mark Dewart
  • Rob Douglass
  • Julie Gottshall
  • Mark Dewart
  • Bill Nordeen
  • Dan Reidy
  • George Russell
  • Nicki Snoblin

On Monday, September 21, Co-Chair Jim Moss presented the final report and the Board accepted the plan. In the near future, Co-Chair Moss and Kraus will present the report at the Tri-Board meeting (Village, School and Park District). The Park District would like to thank the community members for their significant hard work and detailed report.
View the Final Report

Sunrise Park and Beach
Citizen Advisory Board Committee

The Committee
The Sunrise Park and Beach citizen's action committee was established by the Park District Board of Commissioners in fall of 2010 to advise the Park District and to col aborate with the Village Board on a long-term plan for Sunrise Park and Beach. The Sunrise Park and Beach Advisory Committee consists of eight residents, plus a Park and Village Board liaison.

  • Geoff Surkamer, Chair
  • Jill Danly
  • Pat Falligant
  • Bill Hermann
  • Jim Salanty
  • Tom Terrill
  • Sophie Twichell
  • Bob Wallace
  • Park Board Liaison, Kevin Considine
  • Village Trustee Liaison, Steve Christensen

Sunrise Park and Beach Master Plan
This is the first large-scale improvement plan since the south beach improvements in 1990’s. It incorporates thoughtful planning expertise and rich community input. The Waterfront Master Plan encourages sustainable development that lays a foundation for enhancing natural areas, expanding recreational activities, and encouraging life-long recreation at the beach.
View the complete Master Plan.

Advisory Committee Presentation
The Advisory Committee has unanimously approved its Final Report which includes recommendations, Bluff Vegetative Management Plan and Waterfront Concept.
View the Committee Final Report.

Waterfront Concept Design &
Bluff Vegetative Management Manual

Based on the 20 year Strategic Plan, the Park District is in the process of developing at 20-30 year Sunrise Park and Beach Master Plan. Once the Master Plan is approved which is anticipated November, large improvements will be made only when funding i.e. grants, donations is available.

View the Bluff Vegetative Management Manual

View the Final Waterfront Concept

View the Existing Beach Conditions

View the Upland Design Slideshow Presentation

Sunrise Park and Beach Survey
In order to gain feedback about residents views and opinion of the beach, a community survey was conducted to gain perspective on potential changes and improvements.

View The Results Here:

Sunrise Park and Beach Survey

Sunrise Park and Beach Community Forums

The Sunrise Park and Beach Citizen Advisory Committee hosted three Community Forums. The forums focused on Short and Mid-Term Concept Improvements.

Once the Advisory Committee gathers feedback, the Advisory Committee will provide a final report to the Park Board in 2013.

Use the links below to view forum presentation information:

P. Clifford Miller Presentation

Larry McCotter, LBOLA, Presentation

Cliff Miller, Bluff Vegetative Management Report

November 10 Forum Video: (Part 1)  (Part 2)

December 1 Forum Video: (Part 1)  (Part 2)

January 15 Forum Video: (Part 1)  (Part 2)

Sunrise Park & Beach
Bluff Restoration Project

The Park District has begun phase one of an extensive Bluff Restoration and Maintenance Project. Phase one consists of removing invasive woody plant material from the entire bluff which may continue through March, 2014. This project was identified as a high priority based on community, Citizen Advisory Committee, Landscape Architect, and Park Board involvement.

On October 21, the Park Board awarded a legal bid to Native Restoration Services, Inc. for $38,000. On behalf of the Park District, Cliff Miller is managing the project and he will work directly with the contractor ensuring scope of service is being followed.

After removing the invasive woody plant material, the contractor anticipates creating burn piles on the beach pending approval of Village of Lake Bluff Fire Department. After phase one, the Park District will evaluate maintenance of any native woody plant material.

The Advisory Committee, Community and Park Board have identified the bluff as a critical asset that must be maintained according to the Master Plan.

We hope you will enjoy the improved views and healthier bluff environment. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ron Salski at 847-234-4150 Ext. 18.


2017 Community-Wide Survey

The Lake Bluff Park District is committed to listening to and engaging residents in a process to determine which programs, services and recreational opportunities should be provided by the Park District. We would like to thank everyone who completed the survey.

View the Survey Results

Lake Bluff/Lake Forest Joint Task Force

The Joint Task Force with City of Lake Forest was created to explore shared services and capital opportunities related to Parks and Recreation.The Taskforce was comprised of eight Lake Bluff and Lake Forest residents. The members from Lake Bluff included:

  • Brock Gordon, Board Representative
  • Chris Mosbarger, Co-Chairperson
  • Niki Walsh, Resident
  • Al Trefts, Resident

View the Task Force Summary Presentation


Lake Forest Mayor Don Schoenheider and Lake Bluff Park Board President Kevin Considine met with city and park staff over the summer to discuss the challenges in each community for addressing future parks and recreation capital needs and services.

The outcome of this dialogue was a recommendation to establish a Joint Task Force. Both The City of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff Park Board approved a resolution on Monday, Sept 16.

The proposed Joint Task Force supports numerous priorities in the communities’ strategic plans to maintain and enhance resident services with a continued focus on fiscal stewardship.

The City of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff Park District are constantly looking for ways to maintain and enhance services for residents coupled with financial efficiencies.

Why The Taskforce Was Created

The magnitude of capital assets associated within parks and recreation cannot be sustained under existing financing mechanisms and one-time projected revenues, when coupled with other capital needs of the community - necessitating a comprehensive review of capital replacement, land use and financing strategies.


To conduct a comprehensive review of shared service possibilities related to capital, land use, and shared services that will permit both communities to continue to deliver and enhance quality recreation services in the face of challenging economic times. Their goal is to identify opportunities that are a win-win for both communities. The Task Force will serve in an advisory capacity and will present updates and its final recommendations to the LF City Council and LB Park Board.

20 Year Capital Replacement Plan
Task Force

In 2011 the LB Park District Board of Commissioners formed a 20 Year Capital Plan Task Force. The Task Force has spent more than one year completing a review of current and projected future Park District capital needs. We have considered how these needs dovetail with existing operations, the existing PD debt service schedule, the utilization of assets and services by members of the community and those outside the community, as well as a host of other factors. The task force consists of the following members:

  • David Forlow, Chair
  • Chris Hamble
  • Piet Kreunan
  • Jim Moss
  • David McElvain
  • France Pitera
  • Bob Wallace
  • Peter Arnstein, Foundation Trustee President
  • Rob Douglass, Park Board of Commissioner
  • Ron Salski, Executive Director

Use the links below to learn more about the task force:

Americans With Disabilities
(ADA) Transition Plan

The Park District was required to complete an ADA Transition Plan focused on which barriers it will remove. In 2011, the Park District Board of Commissioners interviewed two qualified candidates. The Park District Board of Commissioners hired Recreation Accessibility Group, LLC and John McGovern, President, was responsible for the project. John McGovern is a nationally recognized expert in Accessibility. Click links below for more details.

View the Final ADA Audit Report: Click Here.

View the Transition Plan Final Report: Click Here.

View the Transition Cost Summary: Click Here.

2009 Community Wide Survey

Survey Results
Thank you to everyone that participated in the community wide survey! The results will help guide the Park District in the future.

View the Survey Results Summary: Click Here.

View the Survey Comprehensive Results: Click Here.

Sunrise Park & Beach
Improvement Concept Designs

Based on the 20 year Strategic Plan, the Park District is in the process of developing at 20-30 year Sunrise Park and Beach Master Plan. Once this plan is implemented, improvements will be made only when funding is available.

View the Bluff Vegetative Manual, Committee Final Report preliminary drafts.

Upland Design Slideshow Presentation

View the Existing Beach Conditions

Representative Scott Drury explained the current Sunrise Park and Beach needs and future Master Plan

On June 21, Representative Scott Drury visited the Lake Bluff Park District facilities and the community. Park Board President Kevin Considine is explaining the current Sunrise Park and Beach needs and future Master Plan.



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