Honors & Awards

2017 National Gold Medal Winner

In September of 2017, IPD was names the Gold Medal Winner from the National Recreation and Parks Association for Class V: population 30,000 or fewer.

2016 National Gold Medal Award Finalist

In May 2016 IPD was named a Gold Medal Finalist through NRPA and AAPRA. The winner will be announce in October 2016

2015 National Gold Medal Award Finalist

Through the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the American Acadeny for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), this award is for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Itasca park district has previously won this prestigious award in 2003 & 2009!

2008 National Award for Excellence in Aquatics

The Itasca Waterpark won this award from the National Recreation and Parks Association that can be won only once every 5 years! Itasca also won this award in 2001.

Brochure Awards from IPRA

The Itasca Park District won Agency Showcase Awards from Illinois Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) for Brochures from 2004 through 2008.

Facility Awards

The Itasca Park District won 2 awards from IPRA for Itasca Waterpark Facility renovation (Aquatics) and Franzen Park renovation (Parks) in 2008.

Three-Time National Gold Medal Award Winner!

The Itasca Park District was awarded the National Gold Medal Award in 2003, 2009 and again in 2017, named top park district in the population category of 30,000 and below. This prestigious award may only be won once every 5 years.



In January 2015, a $363,500 Grant was awarded to IPD for renovation of the Ray Franzen Bird Sanctuary on Rohlwing Road. The project includes a Dog Park, Interpretive Nature Trail, nature-based play area and shelter, boardwalk and more. This grant will cover a portion of the project cost. This grant was suspended in 2015 and reinstated in 2016. Project was completed in 6/2018.

Public Museum Capital Grant from the IDNR

A $335,000 Grant has been awarded in June 2014 for improvements to the Springbrook Nature Center. This grant is currently under suspension as of 5/2018.


A $396,200 Grant was awarded to the Itasca Park District in 2013 for renovation of the Peacock Park. The grant will cover 50% of the cost of the 2014 project.

Public Museum Capital Grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

A $110,000 grant was awarded in 2012 to the Itasca Park District for relocation and restoration of a 1939 Milwaukee Road Rib-Side Caboose and for an interactive train exhibit in the Itasca Historical Depot Museum.


In 2007 the Itasca Park District won a $329,700 OSLAD (Open Space Land Acquisition Development) Grant Program for the renovation of the Franzen "Play for All" Community Park.

Heartsaver AED Grant

This 2007 grant is from the Illinois Department of Public Health in the amount of $500 to help provide a 2nd AED in the Itasca Recreation and Fitness Center.

Power Play Program Grant

The Power Play program grant from the Illinois Association of Park District in 2006 in the amount of $3,700 was awarded to incorporate the Power Play Program, which is designed to energize today's youth through health, nutrition, and fitness.

Dance Program Grant

A dance program grant was awarded from the Illinois Arts Council in 2007 from the State of Illinois for $1,830 to enhance the dance program.