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Future Parks

Your Community. Your Parks. Your Decision. Vote on June 28.

What is the Glen Ellyn Park District Bond Referendum?

In April 2022, the Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to put a bond referendum to raise needed revenue to repair, improve and expand park facilities, upgrade four parks spread across the district, and purchase additional land for parks to a public vote.

If approved by voters, Glen Ellyn Park District would issue bonds to the amount of $15,900,000 for these specific purposes:

  • Improve, equip and maintain Sunset Pool
  • Expand, improve, equip and maintain Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center
  • Improve, equip and maintain other parks and park facilities
  • Acquire additional land for park purposes

The Glen Ellyn Park District Bond Referendum will be on the ballot in the upcoming primary election on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

The first day of mailing or delivery of Vote by Mail ballot is Thursday, May 19, 2022. Early in-person voting begins Monday, June 13, 2022.

Click here to check to see if you are already registered to vote
Click here to register online, or download an application


On June 28, you will be asked to vote on the following:

Shall the Glen Ellyn Park District, DuPage County, Illinois, improve, equip and maintain Sunset Pool, expand, improve, equip and maintain Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center, improve, equip and maintain other parks and park facilities, acquire land for park purposes, and issue its bonds to the amount of $15,900,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?


Upcoming Open Houses

Residents that would like to learn more about the Glen Ellyn Parks Referendum are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming Open House(s). Please feel free to stop by and ask questions so you can make an informed decision when you vote on Tuesday, June 28.

  • Wednesday, May 25 
    Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm
    Location: Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center – Training Room, 800 St. Charles Road, Glen Ellyn

  • Wednesday, June 8
    Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm
    Location: Spring Avenue Recreation Center – Craft Lab, 185 Spring Avenue, Glen Ellyn

Why is a Bond Referendum needed?

The Glen Ellyn Park District currently maintains 29 parks, 21 playgrounds and over 300 acres of open space for community enjoyment, recreation, fitness and leisure. These park resources—especially the most popular ones—periodically require replacement due to their life expectancy, wear and tear from daily use, and constant exposure to hot summers and freezing winters. As our community grows, we need to keep up with the demand of managing these facilities.

Community-wide surveys in 2014 and again in late 2021 and 2022, and community engagement in master planning from 2018 to 2021 for major park improvements, helped Glen Ellyn Park District staff and the Board of Commissioners identify current and future community needs and develop a list of priority projects to meet those needs. They reviewed specific needs of the Glen Ellyn community—from infants to youth, young adults, families, seniors, and whether a person has a disability. They further prioritized projects according to current community needs and growing demands for services, whether facilities and equipment are—or will soon be—past their useful life, what is needed for healthy parks and what can improve the quality of life in the District while maintaining strong property values.

If voters approve the bond referendum on June 28, Glen Ellyn Park District would invest in acquisition of additional land for parks and upgrades, improvements and expanded facilities for the following:

  • Sunset Pool
  • Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center
  • Four parks
    • Babcock Grove Park
    • Churchill Park
    • Lake Foxcroft Park
    • Lenox Road Property
  • Land acquisition

Projects

Sunset Pool

Sunset Pool, originally constructed in the 1950s, has had no major improvements for more than 20 years. It is one of the most well attended facilities within Glen Ellyn and always rated as a highly valued community asset. Implementing periodic improvements will ensure the pool continues to serve our residents. Planned improvements include adding new water slide features, new splash pad, new zero-depth water play area, new family changing areas, new shade structures and outdoor seating, upgrades to food service and entry improvements so individuals can easily access the pool without going through locker rooms. Unseen but important infrastructure upgrades—to benefit first-time swimmers and adult lap swimmers alike—include upgrades to pool pumps to keep pool water clean and safe.

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Ackerman Sports
& Fitness Center

Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center has been Glen Ellyn Park District’s most active facility since it opened in 2010. The center has something for everyone. For recreational players, people with disabilities, elite athletes, seniors, families with young children, youth and young adults among others. Planned expansion and improvements include a new 6,000-square-foot gymnastics center, a new adjacent 2,100-square-foot viewing area and multipurpose room, a new first- and second-floor exercise and multipurpose studio, an improved customer service center, covered entry for better all-weather access and expanded parking. Additions increase adult training and exercise opportunities while significantly expanding recreational opportunities at both Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center and Spring Avenue Recreation Center (SARC). At SARC, the existing undersized and very limited gymnastics room can be repurposed as a community theater, ideal for the new and increasingly popular Park District theatre program.

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Babcock Grove Park

Improvements to Babcock Grove Park are long overdue. It was last improved in 1994. Plans include replacing the current outdated playground and addition of a new open-air shelter for better enjoyment of the fresh air and green space in this intimate park in the northwest area of the Park District. Planned investments include planting and other improvements to green space to sustain a healthy park for years to come. These improvements may seem simple, but this property is a critical asset providing the Hadley neighborhood residents with valuable and improved outdoor recreational space.

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Churchill Park

Churchill Park is Glen Ellyn Park District’s largest natural area, with over 20 acres of woodland, prairie, and wetland habitats. Over the years, the park has become quite popular as patrons seek outdoor experiences. It was last improved in 2006. Planned improvements include upgraded trails and boardwalk, new access to ponds, a new outdoor education classroom and small outdoor meeting space, and interpretive signage to help people better connect with nature. Parking lot improvements and a new waterless restroom are also planned. To help keep the park healthy for future generations, a major initiative to remove invasive plant species throughout the site is also a priority. This environmental oasis serves as the centerpiece for the Park District’s expanding and highly popular outdoor educational programs.

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Lake Foxcroft Park

The highlight of Lake Foxcroft Park, a 10-acre park located within the south area of the Park District, is the 3-acre Lake Foxcroft, which is one of the best catch-and-release fishing opportunities in DuPage County. Last improved in the 1970s, Lake Foxcroft Park will be the site of improvements that include new fishing stations, a new waterless restroom, a new playground to replace the old one there, new adult fitness stations and improved pathways throughout. The green space serves as the Foxcroft community gathering spot and an ideal location for the Park District’s regional Movies in the Parks and Family Fun in the Neighborhood events.

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Lenox Road Property

While the Park District acquired this property in 2007, the parcel of land along Lenox Road (near Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center) remains undeveloped and unusable by the community. Planned improvements include up to six new lighted pickleball courts, new community garden plots, improved trails, a new outdoor education classroom, new interpretive signage to help visitors connect with nature, and a new boardwalk to connect the property with the Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center parking lot and the rest of Ackerman Park. The developed property will serve a variety of users including seniors and the added community gardens would address the large waitlists the Village Green Park community gardens experience every year.

Park Land Acquisition

With funds made available by the referendum, Glen Ellyn Park District would further enhance and expand opportunities for public recreation and maintain healthy parks by acquiring additional land for parks. The goal is to create new parks or add to existing parks. Plans would focus on the south side, downtown and other areas in the District that are park “deserts”—that is, areas that do not yet have adequate parks nearby.

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The June 28 referendum would provide for major improvements, upgrades, equipment, new playgrounds and other additions all across Glen Ellyn Park District. 

Here is a map showing the locations. Check out the one closest to you.


Draft Budget Plan for Proposed Improvements

If approved by voters, Glen Ellyn Park District would issue bonds to the amount of $15,900,000.  Here is the current proposed breakdown of investment:

LocationAmountDescription
Sunset Pool$5,800,000New splash pad, water slide, zero-depth water feature, family changing areas, food service upgrades, shade structures, seating, improved entry way, essential infrastructure upgrades
Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center$6,000,000New 6,000-square-foot gymnastics center, 2,100-square-foot multipurpose room and viewing, new first- and second-story exercise studio, improved parking, customer service center, covered entry way
Lake Foxcroft Park$450,000New fishing stations, adult fitness stations, open-air shelter, playground, waterless restroom, improved pathways
Babcock Grove Park$275,000New playground, open-air shelter, improved green space
Churchill Park$475,000New outdoor education classroom, interpretive signage, small outdoor meeting space, pond access, waterless restroom, trails, boardwalk, and removal of invasive plant species
Lenox Road Parcel$400,000New 4-6 pickleball courts, community garden plots, outdoor educational classroom, interpretive signage, improved trails, new boardwalk connecting to Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center parking lot
Park Land Acquisition$2,000,000Focus on new land acquisition in areas that do not yet have adequate park space
Athletic Improvements$500,000Village Green Park, last improved in 2009, would include ball field upgrades, batting cage improvements and waterless restroom for the younger age group fields
$15,900,000

If the community votes “for” the referendum, what will that do to the property tax I pay?

If the bond referendum is approved by voters on June 28, the tax increase would be less than $7 per month on a median home valued at $400,000. Glen Ellyn Park District tax levy is currently the lowest within DuPage County park districts and represents only 4% of the total Glen Ellyn tax levy.

Park District Tax Rate Comparison

If the community votes “against” the referendum, what will happen?

If the community votes “against” the referendum, the proposed major park improvements will be deferred or not implemented at all. Currently our park improvements and playground replacement program defer such efforts well beyond the useful life of the resource. For example, the playground at Babcock Grove Park was last replaced in 1994. A typical life of a playground is 15 years. Without additional funds (the last Glen Ellyn Park District bond referendum was in 2007) playground replacements and other major park improvements have been occurring every 20 to 25 years and typically have not included feature such as paths, boardwalks, additional parking, ADA compliance, and other quality improvements. If the community votes “against” the referendum, any major improvements such as Sunset Pool and Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center will be limited in scope and not addressed for years if at all. Park improvements and maintenance of existing assets will be deferred and prioritized based on need and available funding.


Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t see your question here? Email us and let us know at support@gepark.org.


  • Why are major improvements planned for Sunset Pool?

    The Glen Ellyn Park District conducted Community Attitude and Interest surveys in late fall of 2021. This followed a similar survey conducted in 2014. In both surveys, Sunset Pool was ranked as one of the most highly valued and well-attended Park District facilities. Initially constructed in the 1950s, it has been a constant and popular asset for Glen Ellyn. The pool serves the first-time swimmer, provides a gathering spot for families, friends and neighbors, is the home for more than 400+ Gators per season, provides an opportunity for the many adult lap swimmers and is a central location for the community to socialize throughout the summer. Additionally, it also serves as the first employment experience for our many young adults who serve as lifeguards, front desk attendants and concession attendants.

    The added features and improvements will enhance the patrons visit while ensuring the facility continues to serve the community for another 50 years. Priorities will always be a safe and well maintained facility with reasonable and affordable entry fees and season pass rates.


  • Why is a new playground part of proposed improvements at Sunset Pool?

    The existing “stand alone” playground at Sunset Pool, installed in 1994, is well past its useful life. It might appear new as the Park District replaced the sand element a few years back with synthetic turf. For many years, the sand was becoming compromised and infested with sand bees every summer making the area unsafe and unusable for much of the pool season.When the turf was added in 2019, the Park District anticipated that it was a short-term solution if a splash pad or some other improvement was made. The proposed improvement — an up-to-date splash pad — will significantly enhance the experience of our youngest patrons while providing an area for other non-swimmers.


  • Why is a new gymnastics center being planned as an addition to Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center?

    Our current gymnastics center has more than 700 regular program participants with a waitlist of more than 300. The current undersized room is a converted elementary gymnasium and due to its size and dimensions,  limits the age groups to eight years old and below, and cannot accommodate skill levels beyond novice abilities. 

    The new planned gymnastics center would significantly increase and expand recreational opportunities. It also makes good financial sense. A new gymnastics center is estimated to generate a net profit of $200,000, revenue that would be used to support other needs of the Park District. The new gymnastics center is also an asset that requires minimal ongoing maintenance expense and no significant future capital expense.   

    With the opening of a new 6,000-square-foot gymnastics center, the existing gymnastics studio at Spring Avenue Recreation Center would be repurposed to meet other current needs while expanding recreational opportunities. Repurposing ideas include a small community theater which could also serve as a location for forensics training (a popular high school speech/debate program), improv classes, e-games and active adult programs. 


  • Will there be enough added space in the new fitness area for adults in the Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center?

    Yes. Planned improvements will further increase and expand adult training and exercise opportunities. Two additional studios will be added. One within the climbing wall area (main climbing tower will be removed while the climbing wall on the east side will remain). A second area will be added onto a second floor above the climbing wall area. This will include a great view looking out south of the facility. Additional space also will be created above the first-floor multi-purpose room next to the proposed gymnastics center. The new gymnastics center is also intended to be a resource for additional adult-specific programs.


  • What impact will planned improvements, upgrades and additions have on the number of soccer fields in Glen Ellyn Park District?

    For spring 2022, there are 13 fields in Glen Ellyn Park District:

    • one full-size (grass)
    • one 80 x 55 yard (grass)
    • three 60 x 45 yard (grass)
    • one 60 x 40 yard (grass)
    • six micro (grass)
    • full-size (turf) that can also serve 80 x 55 yard and 60 x 45 yard games

    The grass field layouts are flexible and subject to the season and other activities such as softball.  

    Regarding potential impact on soccer fields at Ackerman Park, the pickleball courts are placed in area that is out of play from where the fields are generally positioned in that area. The proposed gymnastics center addition, while compact (6,000 square feet), would extend into the green space but would still enable fields to be positioned in that area with adjusted size and dimensions. Proposed parking lot improvements are not expected to adversely impact the fields.  

    The Park District has expended considerable resources and funds in recent years to improve the field inventory within Ackerman Park particularly with the addition of the $1.2 million synthetic turf field situated under the lights. This, along with more strategic and efficient scheduling of the fields, has both improved the quality and ensured that there is adequate inventory to meet the needs both now and in the future.


  • Will new parking spaces be traditional pavement or permeable pavement or pavers?

    Environmental considerations are a priority in our planning at Glen Ellyn Park District. Many areas of our parks play a vital role in providing stormwater relief for many areas well beyond park properties. The District has expended considerable effort to manage and facilitate the large volume of water that the park can potentially experience. This has included installing bioswales, rain gardens, permeable paved lot, grading of the site, and improvement of Ackerman Woods and other natural and wetland areas. Consistent with these efforts, the Park District will continue to prioritize implementing best practices where possible, including considerations for permeable paved parking additions on the east side of Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center.


  • Why are we including park improvements in the referendum when I see park improvements already being done all the time?

    District-wide needs assessment identified long-overdue improvements at Babcock Grove Park, Churchill Park, Lake Foxcroft Park and park property on Lenox Road. Many constructed facilities are well beyond their useful life. For example, Babcock Grove Park playground was last replaced in 1994. A typical life of a playground is 15 years. Due to limited funds and other priorities, playground replacements and park improvements have been occurring every 20 to 25 years and even those efforts sometimes address only the playground components and do not address such park elements as paths, benches, receptacles along with ADA requirements. If the community votes for the Glen Ellyn Park District Bond Referendum, planned improvements will be made at all four named parks. If the vote is against the referendum, park and playground improvements will continue to be addressed one at a time and with each location being improved every 20 to 25 years. 


  • Are any improvements planned for Spring Avenue or Main Street recreation centers to use them to their full potential?

    While not included within the elements for the referendum, funds freed up due to the referendum would put the Park District in a stronger financial position to be able to address other deficiencies including the Spring Avenue and Main Street recreation centers. Presently, the District can address infrastructure items such as HVAC, lighting and roofs but have very limited funds for classroom and program space improvements.


  • How does Glen Ellyn Park District compare (park land per number of residents) compared to surrounding communities?

    Glen Ellyn Park District leadership recognizes that, as more and more of us (about 85 percent of us in the U.S.) live in urban and suburban environments, parks are typically the only place we experience nature. The National Parks and Recreation Association standard is 10 acres per 1,000 residents. Glen Ellyn is currently at 7.3 acres and we recognize we can have a realistic goal of increasing to 8 acres per 1,000 residents by acquiring additional land to use as parks where available.


  • Why are you asking for a bond referendum?

    Right now, the Park District is able to address routine maintenance items based on safety, needs and priorities. Due to limited financial resources, many items are deferred or not addressed. Playground replacements and other major park improvements or expansions are slated for every 20-25 years, not including paths, boardwalks, additional parking, ADA compliance and other quality improvements. One relatively large scale project such as Lake Ellyn Park improvements ($4 million) can potentially be implemented every 8-12 years.  

    While the Park District has maintained a conservative financial approach with a surplus and balanced budget each year, it has seen a loss of more than $1.5 million in revenue during the pandemic. The District receives more than 55% of its revenue from user’s fees, and the shutdown and subsequent restricted operations had a significant fiscal impact despite mitigation efforts such as staff reduction and the deferment or cancellation of projects. Additionally, the Park District was ineligible for any direct financial relief assistance.

    The referendum would provide funds to improve recreational opportunities for a variety of users and patrons, address infrastructure needs in a timely manner and improve our ability to generate additional revenue. Additionally, the revenue will free up funds to improve many other facilities and areas not included within the referendum.


  • If the referendum is approved, will my property taxes increase?

    If the community approves the referendum, the tax increase would be less than $7 a month (approximately $80 a year) on a home valued at $400,000. Currently, the Glen Ellyn Park District tax levy is the lowest among DuPage County park districts, and is also only 4% of the total Glen Ellyn tax bill. If the community votes to approve the referendum, the tax levy will be slightly more than 4%. This would still be among the five lowest park districts in DuPage County.


  • What is the construction timeline if the referendum is approved?

    ProjectDesign, Permit, and Public Bid Start*Design, Permit, and Public Bid End*Construction Start*Construction End*
    Sunset PoolJuly 2022March 2023September 2023April 2024
    Ackerman Sports & Fitness CenterJuly 2022July 2023January 2024February 2025
    Lake Foxcroft ParkJuly 2022January 2023April 2023July 2024
    Babcock Grove ParkJuly 2022January 2023April 2023February 2024
    Churchill ParkJuly 2022March 2023June 2023April 2024
    Lenox Road ParcelJuly 2022January 2023April 2023May 2024
    Athletic ImprovementsJuly 2022January 2023January 2023December 2025
    Park Land AcquisitionSeller Dependent

    *All dates are tentative and subject to change, subject to permitting process and construction material and labor supply.


  • When can we vote on the referendum?

    Glen Ellyn Park District residents will be able to vote on the bond referendum on the June 28 ballot. DuPage County will send out mail-in ballots starting May 19. Early in-person voting begins June 13. You can register to vote or determine your polling place by visiting the DuPage County website at dupagecounty.gov/election.


Questions? Comments?

Phone: (630) 858-2462
Email: support@gepark.org