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.
Board of Directors
ROBERT AGUILAR, Treasurer
Cabrera Capital Markets LLC
BRIAN P. COLLINS
Pedersen & Houpt
Blue Cross and Blue Shield
GRAHAM C. GRADY
Taft Stettinius & Hollister, LLP
MICHAEL P. KELLY, Ex-Officio
Chicago Park District
Pritzker Traubert Foundation
STEPHEN R. QUAZZO, Vice Chairman
Pearlmark Real Estate Partners
KAREN SHEEHAN, MD MPH, Secretary
Ann & Robert Lurie Children's Hospital
MICHAEL D. SMITH, Chairman
MB Financial Bank
Pritzker Traubert Foundation
THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS