H-F Park District 2016 - 2017 Annual Report


Gold Medal Finalist for 2017.  Created Gold Medal video for the web site.

Key participant in the H-F Area Green Committee with Dave Ward as chairperson.  Offered Recyclepalooza and other events to the community.

Received an Illinois Energy Grant to fund LED exit signs at Coyote Run and Irwin Center.

Completed the tri-annual PDRMA Loss Control Review with a combined score of 97.31% and accreditation status.  This review is a comprehensive analysis and scoring calculation of risk management programs, facility inspections and policy/procedural review of every department of the district.  Many dedicated individuals worked on this review!

Long time Treasurer, Howard Blumstein moved to Chicago and had to resign from the park district position.  Candidates were solicited from the community and after several interviews, Flossmoor resident Steve Ojode was appointed by the Board.

Attended many Village of Homewood Home Rule meetings, planning sessions and community meetings.  Worked with attorneys to develop agreements for revenue sharing.  Unfortunately the referendum did not pass.

Updated and improved part time employee benefits in order to allow them to experience what the park district has to offer.

Invited intergovernmental agencies to create an IT Committee.  Seven agencies participated and agreed to meet regularly to look for ways to work together.


Hosted an Open House for the newly renovated Park Place.  Upgrades were done in-house and on a shoestring budget, but had great results.  The community is excited for the revitalized facility.

Introduced Quiet Time prior to events for individuals benefitting from less stimulation than traditional events.  This has been appreciated by those who need it and has grown with each event.

Offered many new programs:  Story Trail, Light UP the Park, Rec-king crew, Playground Playdates, Pop Up events, Free Yoga in the Park, Get Outside!, Parents’ Night Out and Game On.

Added a pergola to the amenities at the Clubhouse to capitalize on users desire to rent elsewhere.  The return on investment was almost immediate.  Other amenities added this year include chair covers, lighting and a red carpet.

The rarely used billiards tables at the Irwin Center were sold and the room converted to programmable space that can also be rented.

Introduced a new event, Touch-A-Truck, and it was a success.  Was repeated again in May 2018.

Promoted Amanda Shulman from Coyote Run to Recreation Supervisor in charge of Extra Innings and saw immediate positive results from Amanda’s maturity, organization skills and dedication to the community.

Contacted artist Margot McMahon to give the statue at Irwin Park a facelift.  The statue is over 25 years old and Ms. McMahon was happy to visit (and update) her old friend.

In light of concerns related to repeated concussions, the Flag Football program was revitalized, including certified officials and a new, more visible location.

Purchased a retiring 15 passenger shuttle bus from SSSRA for use throughout the district.  Trip participants find it a much more enjoyable experience than our old van.


Irons Oaks

The back decks were replaced.

Had the best year in memory for Nature Kids Camps!

Saw a strong resurgence in environmental programs, showing over a 108% increase in revenue, while summer camps increased by 67%.  Unfortunately, the adventure center saw a 27% decrease in revenue during the same period.  In response to the decrease, Supervisor Stanfield completed a strategic plan to identify ways to increase participation in the Adventure Center.

Received a challenge and match grant for $27,000 over the next 18 months.  The grant amount will be a 3 to 1 match and is reliant on the Irons Oaks Foundation’s ability to secure 400 volunteer hours over the 18 month period.  They are confident this goal is easily attainable.

Worked with the Homewood Science Center on the Walk for Walton Fundraiser.

Worked with two Eagle Scouts and one Girl Scout working on her Gold Award on special projects at I/O.


Coyote Run Golf Course

Sold the golf simulator to find a better use for that space in the dining room.

Enhanced Wiley’s special events and catering options.

Successful first season of concessions at the Ice Arena.

Created an herb garden for use in Wiley’s.

Cultivated a catering relationship with Advocate South Suburban Hospital for many of their events.  Was named as a “preferred caterer” at Southern Charm in Frankfort.

Completed the 10-year, 52 bunker replacement program.

Replaced two 15 year old well pumps that supply water from the ponds to the course’s irrigation system.

Closed the golf course on December 24th, the latest close in course history.

Hosted new non-golf events, including Movie Night on the Range and Trunk or Treat.

Completed the calendar year of 2017 with 31,600 rounds, only 429 short of the previous year’s record high.


Ice Arena

The Little Blackhawks program brought in over $7,000 and generated interest in continuing participation in skating.

Completed adding rubber to the entire Ice Arena lobby for a much better experience and look.

Saw long time renters return to the Ice Arena after leaving for “greener pastures” that didn’t pan out, including Mount Carmel.

Rebuilt the Studio rink doors and home players’ bench.

Offered outdoor hockey training at Millennium Park.

After several years without a men’s hockey league, this year we had five teams sign up.  In addition we had a competitive women and a co-ed adult league.

Stephanie Simpson became the Ice Arena Manager mid-year and has had a positive impact on the staff, participants and facility.

H-F Racquet & Fitness Club

Named the Best of Southland for Fitness Centers!

Personnel issues at the highest level at the RFC caused difficult, but necessary, changes to be made in the manager position.  The facility is in a much better managerial condition with Eileen at the helm and many positive changes were made this year.

Turnover in the sales position to bring more energy and creativity to the position.

Conducted a building inventory to identify where maintenance and housekeeping had been lacking under previous management.  Repairs were made to the walls, electrical outlets, fitness equipment (rust removal and new seats), shower room floor replacement, etc.

Completed the roof replacement project that was in the works for several years after storm damage and a lingering insurance claim.

Completed the pool deck safety repair that had stalled for over a year.

Reconfigured the office entrance to make staff more accessible to the members.  Created a new office and sales desk for privacy when meeting with new members.

Recognizing that the pro shop was not a revenue producer, we reduced the size and inventory of the pro shop to meet the essential needs of members.  The old pro shop area will be reconfigured after determining the best use of the space for revenue generation.

A bright and cohesive color palate was selected and implementation has begun.  New décor also included new banners in the lobby and branding in the outdoor display windows adjacent to the fitness center.

The tennis department began hosting a monthly series of “Sets in the City” social and tennis events, bringing more energy back to the tennis programs.

USTA Tennis Grant received for $2,500.

Hosted outdoor Spin Classes to draw attention to the club.

Introduced the Coffee & Curiosity lecture series to draw in additional health members.

Replaced the parking lot lights with LED, making a huge impact on visibility in the lot.  This project was partially funded by an energy grant.

Umang Chadda was hired to lead and re-energize the tennis department at the Club.  He is a USTPA Elite Tennis Pro with a wide variety of tennis and facility management experience.

Hosted a special event, movie night on the pool deck.

Replaced the full line of dumbbells in the fitness center along with replacing several individual pieces of equipment with a new Life Fitness multi-gym.

Added Les Mills Video On Demand classes in the fitness center.

New event:  Swim with Santa was a big hit!

Parks & Lions Club Pool

Completed in-house removal of the Apollo Tennis Courts, saving the district thousands of dollars.

Completed roof replacements at Coyote Run and RFC.

Completed renovations to drainage and amenities at Rovers Run.

Completed a three year ADA park bench replacement project.  All other (non-ADA) park benches were inspected and rebuilt based on condition.

Twenty trees were planted as part of the EAB Replacement Program and funded in part by a Morton Arboretum matching grant.   In other tree news, a pesky beaver cut down 5 trees at Dolphin Lake.

Hosted a used equipment sale, netting over $6,800.

Hired new Aquatics Manager for Lions Club Pool and she did an excellent job.  Excited for her second year, but first full year, on the job.

Installed a new filtration system at Lions Club Pool.

Added a new chemical control system at Lions Club Pool to allow better monitoring of chemical content onsite and remotely.

Created a special event and showed the movie Jaws on a big screen on the pool deck.

Business Department

The continuation of year two of Business Department transition brought many challenges, especially at the end of FY 2017-18, but by May 2018, the team in that department is very strong.

Successfully implemented a major RecTrac system upgrade that changed many of our processes and required training and implementation in every district department.

Considered proposals for audit services from new firms and selected a firm with excellent references with many park district clients.  Able to save $50,000 over the five year term of the new contract.

Sought proposals for new financial software and considered demonstrations of four companies.  BS&A was selected and the transition occurred during the first few months of 2018.  While change is difficult, we are already hearing that staff like the new system.

Implemented paperless POs and A/P systems.

Hosted a winter break job fair for students looking for summer jobs.  The event expanded to other intergovernmental agencies and beyond students to seek candidates for open full time positions in the community.

Marketing Department

Introduced several new and creative videos to draw attention to specific programs and the park district as a whole.  Completed the 2017 Gold Medal video and began work on the 2018 version.

Increased social media presence with new Snapchat filters at events.

Won first place in AT&T’s Special Districts Technology Innovation Awards for Social Media.

Installed a new full-color marquis sign at the corner of Governors Highway and 183rd Street, replacing the old malfunctioning, monochromatic sign.

Redesigned the new employee Safety Test to be mobile friendly so new staff can take it on their smart phones.

Digital menu boards were added at Wiley’s.

Introduced the “Swim Lessons Save Lives” campaign throughout the district.