Agency Overview

Agency Overview
Park District of Oak Park
218 Madison St
Oak Park, Illinois 60302

  1. Community Demographics
    1. Predominant form(s) of government in the tax jurisdiction (i.e., manager, mayoral, commission):

Elected Board with Appointed Director

  1. Population of tax jurisdiction:


  1. Population of metropolitan service area:


  1. Age profile of tax jurisdiction: 

           Median Age: 38.9

Under Age 18: 24%

Ages 18-64: 65%

Ages 65+: 11%

  1. Income profile of tax jurisdiction:

Median Household Income: $78,802

Persons Below Poverty Level: 8.6%

  1. Racial diversity of the tax jurisdiction:

White: 67.7%

African American:21.7%

Hispanic or Latino: 6.8%

Asian: 4.8%

Two or more races: 3.6%

  1. Agency Characteristics
    1. Operating budget:


  1. Capital budget:


  1. Full-time employees:


  1. Part-time/seasonal employees:

           280-520 depending on time of year

  1. Parkland acreage:

80 acres

  1. Significant agency awards and/or recognition:

Summary of Awards/Recognition from previous 5 years:

  • 100 Year Anniversary Celebrated in 2012
  • $4.1 million in grants awarded since 2005
  • Cavalcade of Pride Award, 2012, 2014
  • 1st Place in IPRA Agency Showcase, Website Design, 2014
  • 2nd Place in IPRA Agency Showcase, Logo Design, 2014
  • 2nd Place in IPRA Agency Showcase, Marketing Campaign, 2014
  • Ellis & Associates Risk Management Platinum Safety Award (Top 10%), 2012
  • Ellis & Associates Risk Management Gold Safety Award, 2009-2011, 2013-present
  • Golden Guard Award, Ellis & Associates, 2014
  • GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, 2013 - present
  • GFOA Distinguished Budget Award, 2009 – present
  • Illinois Distinguished Accredited Agency
  • American Camping Association Accredited
  • PDRMA Loss Control Accredited

  1. Physical Characteristics
    1. Geographic size of tax jurisdiction (square miles):

4.7 square miles

  1. Describe significant rivers, lakes, mountain ranges, which influence the community:

Oak Park is a very flat, dense, urban environment.  With over 51,000 people in 4.7 square miles, it is one of the top 100 most dense cities in the United State according to US Census data.  Oak Park is bordered on the east by the City of Chicago and 3 train lines provide easy access for city commuters.  The Park District has had to be creative with its 83 acres of land to serve all of its residents, but the urban environment also means that every block in Oak Park is walkable.

  1. Cultural Characteristics
    1. Significant social and/or cultural factors that influence the agency's delivery of service:

Because of land and space constraints, many of the demographics of the Oak Park community are not expected to vary through 2028, including size and racial make-up.  However, there are several unique characteristics about Oak Park from the Park District’s Comprehensive Master Plan and the Park District’s Branding Study that influence the Park District of Oak Park’s delivery of service, including:

  • 55% of Oak Park housing units are in multi-unit structures (apartments, condos, etc.).  Many of these residents use Oak Park neighborhood parks as their alternative backyard.
  • 67% of Oak Park households do not have any children living in them.  It’s important that the Park District never become too child-focused and miss serving the majority of the population.
  • The median household income is estimated to be $72,867 in 2013 and per capita income is an estimated $44,599. The service area’s median household income is well above the state ($56,576) and national ($52,762) averages. Per capita income is also much higher than state ($29,511) and national ($27,915) averages. Both of these high-income numbers mean both that there is a greater level of disposable dollars in the community, and that they come with higher expectation for quality program and facility offerings within the target audiences. Thus, what might be ‘good enough’ in many places may not be acceptable in Oak Park and the staff must continue to place additional emphasis on service offerings and service delivery through outstanding customer service as a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
  • Approximately 96% of residents have at least a high school diploma, and nearly 70% have a Bachelor’s degree or better. This is significantly higher than national averages and correlates directly with higher income levels and could also indicate a propensity to make greater use of online and social media tools to seek information for Park District offerings.
  • Entertainment/recreation ranks fifth out of the 14 spending categories reported, averaging over $4,700 spent per resident per year, which is higher than even travel and dining out.

Additionally, Oak Park is on several of City Data’s “Top 100” lists.

  • #1 on the list of “Top 100 cities with oldest houses (pop. 50,000+)”
  • #13 on the list of “Top 100 best educated cities (highest percentage of bachelor degree holding residents) (pop. 50,000+)”
  • #53 on the list of “Top 101 cities with the biggest property tax revenues per resident in 2004 in $ (population 10,000+)”
  • #78 on the list of “Top 101 cities with the largest percentage of likely homosexual households (counted as self-reported same-sex unmarried-partner households) (population 5,000+)”