7.1 - Parkland Acquisition Procedures

Standard: The agency shall have established policies and procedures for the acquisition of lands for park, recreation, conservation, and historical-cultural purposes that are backed by legal authority and periodically reviewed. This authority usually originates in state enabling acts, is delegated to local governments and is implemented through local charters and ordinances.  

Suggested Evidence of Compliance:  Provide policy and procedures for land acquisition, the citation of legal authority to acquire lands, and last review.

Informational reference in the Management of Park and Recreation Agencies, (2010), 3rd Ed., Chapter 11 – Physical Resource Planning, pp. 207-229.

Agency Evidence of Compliance:

The authority for Park Districts in the state of Illinois to acquire lands for park, recreation, conservation, and historical-cultural purposes comes from Article 8 of the State of Illinois' Park Code 70 ILCS 12051.

Park District Policy on Land Acquisition2 grants authority to and sets guidelines for the Board when the acquisition of additional land is being discussed. When determining whether or not to acquire new land, the policy states that the Board should consider the following questions:

  1. Will the acquisition and prosed use of the land significantly enhance the recreation and leisure activities that the District can provide to residents?
  2. Is the acquisition, development, and maintenance of the land not inconsistent with the District's 5-Year Capital Projects Plan?
  3. Can the acquisition, development, and maintenance of the land be undertaken without violating Board fiscal and funding policies?
  4. If funding requirements cannot be met with currently available financing mechanisms, has public approval via voter referendum been obtained?

This policy is reviewed at least biennially by Park District staff and the Board as part of the regular review process of all Park District policies and was last re-approved in December 20143.  

The Procedures for Land Acquisition4 state that the discussion regarding the potential acquisition of land takes place during the Executive Session portion of a board meeting.  Once the Board of Commissioners are ready to make a determination, they give direction to the Executive Director to take action on the acquisition during an open meeting. 


  1. Park Code 70 ILCS 1205
  2. 07.01.00_Policy-on-Land-Acquisition.pdf
  3. 07.01.00_Policy-Manual-Approval-at-December-2014-Board-Meeting.pdf
  4. 07.01.00_Procedures-for-Land-Acquisition.pdf

Agency Self Review: MET