Rockford Park District
Helping People Enjoy Life!


Community-Led Master Plan Recommendations

Desired Outcome: A vibrant and relevant park system that meets the needs of this and succeeding generations and live within means


Reinvest - Improve, allocate more resources

  • Neighborhood Parks - Park features and programming for youth, teens, and families

  • Aging Infrastructure - Facilities, parks, trees, mechanical systems, playgrounds, number of tennis courts, and capital needs of area museums

  • Community Partnerships - Connect with those the District isn’t currently serving (cultural inclusiveness), and strengthen partnerships that are mutually beneficial

  • Our Next Generation - Increase youth programming, along with leadership development and job opportunities

Add - Something new, doesn’t exist

  • Investment in Trails - Creation of world-class silent sports trail system at Atwood Park

  • Create/Enhance Destination Parks - Regional attractions that are different from neighborhood parks, and feature unique recreational elements to suit different lifestyle needs. Could include water features, family activities, events, camps, etc. Finish development of key assets at strategic locations such as performance area at Levings Park. Added amenities will enhance experience and meet community needs. Additional examples could include adding amenities to Southwest Park and Lockwood Park.

  • Trending Program and Revenue Opportunities - Alternative, new, or non-traditional year-round programming to attract new, current, and non-golfers, expanded food and beverage service and merchandise, add gaming at Aldeen Golf Club, enhanced family programming

Eliminate – In order to add and reinvest, District must first reduce footprint, remove, get rid of

  • Reduce Tax Subsidy - Achieve a reasonable tax subsidy at the following locations: Aldeen Golf Club, Alpine Hills Adventure Park, Carlson Ice Arena and Riverview Ice House, Mercyhealth Sportscore Complexes, and UW Health Sports Factory

  • Privatization, Suspension, or Elimination

    • Suspend operation of Forest City Queen and Trolley Car 36 for 2019, and explore privatization.

    • Continue to explore privatization of Magic Waters Waterpark. If privatization doesn’t occur, continue operations and explore options.

    • Suspend operations of Sand Park Pool for 2019 due to mandated remediation work. Due to high tax subsidy needed for aquatic facilities, the District will continue exploring partnership opportunities or may be forced to further reduce aquatic services.

    • Golf Operations in 2019 - Close Alpine Hills golf course, explore reuse or privatize (sale or lease) Elliot Golf Course, increase fees, increase Park Champions, add new programs

    • Golf Operations in 2020 - Depending on community support in 2019, District could close Elliot Golf Course and one additional course

  • Sale or Lease of Land - Specific District owned property with no recreational value such as various District owned buildings (example: lease former administrative office in Sinnissippi Park). Land in prime development locations such 10 acres on Mercyhealth Sportscore Two campus.

Mike Costello