Our mission is to build a stronger community dedicated to supporting and conserving Chicago's parks
 

 

What We Do

Among the oldest and largest park districts in the nation, the Chicago Park District stewards 8,500+ acres of green space. With more than 600 parks, 230 field houses, 29 beaches, 26 miles of lakefront, 11 harbors, 8 golf courses, and 2 world-class conservatories, nearly every Chicago resident lives within a 10 minute walk of a park.

Tax dollars play an important role in our parks system, but we know that they alone cannot provide all of the funds needed to maintain and improve these vital parks and park programs. 

That's where we come in. 

The Chicago Parks Foundation (CPF) is the official 501c3 charitable partner to the Chicago Park District. We were established as a nonprofit in 2013 to operate in a private-public partnership in support of Chicago's parks, independent but collaborative in spirit. We convert park users and lovers to park givers and stewards. In 2017, CPF raised nearly $3 million and facilitated over $2.3 million in grants that supported Chicago parks and park programs.

How We Do It

FUNDRAISING  CPF raises funds for Chicago park programs and projects via our signature special events, Bank of America Chicago Marathon charity team, bench dedication program, and seasonal giving campaigns

FISCAL SPONSORSHIP  CPF often takes on the role of "fiscal sponsor" for individuals, businesses, and organizations who want to make an impact on the parks but do not have their own 501c3 status. We provide administrative oversight to ensure that their donations are successfully stewarded, and we receive a modest fee for our services. 

PARK ADVISORY COUNCILS  The "PACs" are voluntary groups of individuals who support the effective functioning of their local parks. CPF offers a fiscal sponsorship program specifically for PACs, and provides a network of support, including an annual conference and educational workshops. 

TELLING THE STORY  People make their parks, and every Chicago community has a unique story. CPF fosters positive, productive energy by sharing these park stories. Check out highlights on our Seeing Green Blog, and join us in spreading the #ParkLove

 
 

Why We Do It

Urban parks matter. They are more than just physical spaces, they are reflections of our unique neighborhoods and diversity. Chicago's parks foster connections to: 

  • Health - Parks are a medium for physical, social, and emotional well-being. 
  • Economy - Every dollar spent on parks returns twenty in community benefits, from tourism to property value. 
  • Community - Parks serve as safe gathering spaces and celebrate Chicago's diverse neighborhood traditions.
  • Nature - Parks provide vital green space in an otherwise dense urban environment.  

Let's ensure that every community - from south side to north, west side to lakefront - can share an equal sense of pride and ownership of the power of our parks. 


Our Team

 
 
   WILLA IGLITZEN LANG   Executive Director

WILLA IGLITZEN LANG
Executive Director

   JAMES ESPARZA   Administrative Assistant

JAMES ESPARZA
Administrative Assistant

 
 
   HEATHER ROEPER    Director of Special Events & Partnerships

HEATHER ROEPER
Director of Special Events & Partnerships

   MICHAELE STRAUCH    Manager of Communications

MICHAELE STRAUCH
Manager of Communications

 
 
 

Board of Directors

ROBERT AGUILARTreasurer
Cabrera Capital Markets LLC

BRIAN P. COLLINS 
Pedersen & Houpt

CONOR GEE
Blue Cross and Blue Shield

GRAHAM C. GRADY 
Taft Stettinius & Hollister, LLP

EMILE JOHNSON
GoodeFoods

MATTHEW JACOBSON
Digitas

MICHAEL P. KELLY, Ex-Officio
Chicago Park District

 



CINDY MOELIS
Pritzker Traubert Foundation

STEPHEN R. QUAZZOVice Chairman
Pearlmark Real Estate Partners

KAREN SHEEHAN, MD MPHSecretary
Ann & Robert Lurie Children's Hospital

MICHAEL D. SMITHChairman
MB Financial Bank 

MATT SPIEGEL
MediaLink

BRYAN TRAUBERT
Pritzker Traubert Foundation

 

THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS