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Website Focus Group Participants Needed

Posted September 10, 2020

We are redesigning our website and want to hear from you on what you like and don’t like about our current website. Your input will help us create a new website that is more user-friendly, easier to navigate, and visually appealing. 

Focus Groups

  • Date: Tuesday, October 13
  • Times: 9-10:30am, 11am-12:30pm, or 6-7:30pm
  • Location: Winnetka Golf Club, outdoor patio/screened-in porch

Participant Commitment

  • Fill out a short questionnaire before your focus group (five minutes or less)
  • Actively participate in focus group (90 minutes)

Social Distancing

Focus groups will be outdoors or in a screened-in area (depending on weather). Each group will include eight to ten participants, one moderator, and two park district staff. Participants will be spaced at least six feet apart. Sanitizing stations will be available, and all tables and chairs disinfected between groups. 

Sign Up

If you are interested, please fill out this form. We will finalize focus groups and notify participants by September 30. Thank you in advance for your time and input! 

If you have questions or need additional information, please reach out to Kelsey Raftery at kraftery@nullwinpark.org or (847) 501-2044.

Green Bay Trail Photo Contest

Posted September 01, 2020

Co-Sponsored by Friends of the Green Bay Trail and Charles Schwab

 

Enjoy some time outdoors and help us celebrate the beautiful Green Bay Trail! Submit your photos to Friends of the Green Bay Trail anytime before September 30th, 2020.

Voting is open from October 1st through the 18th. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to vote for their favorite photos! A total of 12 winners will be chosen.

Click here to learn more.

 
 
 
 

A Special Message from the Village, District 36, and the Winnetka Park District

Posted August 24, 2020

Dear Winnetka Neighbors,

Since March, we have been asked to think and act in different ways, adjust to a constantly-changing atmosphere, and make a number of compromises in our daily lives  that will help support our community in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Vigilance about mask-wearing, social distancing, and maintaining sanitization of hands and personal spaces has required major changes in the ways in which we live, work, and socialize.

As we segue from summer to fall, and the beginning of the school year for the children in our community, your Village and District leaders are doing their best to plan for an unprecedented situation. In accordance with guidance from the State of Illinois, Illinois School Board of Education, and Illinois Department of Public Health, our school year will look very different this year to best support the safety and health of our community. We are mindful that the spread of the virus anywhere in our community is dangerous for everyone involved and have thoughtfully identified best practices to help support the safest way forward for our children, teachers, and administrators. 

In early spring, we were unaware of the critical need to wear masks around others. We now know that masks are key to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing has become an accepted practice, but maintaining social distancing can be difficult, as it is our natural instinct to be close with one another as friends and neighbors.

As the weather turns colder, we will be inside for longer durations of time. We have learned that air circulation, natural to the outdoors, is another way to avoid concentrated exposure to the virus, should you unknowingly be in proximity to a carrier. Summer weather has been conducive to outdoor activities, though we have seen spikes in case numbers because of gatherings that occur without best practices in place.

The combination of colder weather and the fact that our children will be back in school on a hybrid schedule makes it more critical than ever for each of us to maintain the practices we know work to prevent the spread of the virus, and to encourage best practices in others such as mask-wearing, hand-washing, maintaining social distancing, staying home if you are sick, and getting tested if you experience symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

We know the last thing anyone wants is a spike in COVID-19 cases. With this in mind, let’s encourage each other to follow public health guidance that will support the well-being of our community, the recovery of our economy, and a return to schools (with safety measures in place). We are confident that if we take seriously the identified best practices of mask-wearing, social distancing, hand-washing, and staying home if you are sick, we can limit the spread of this disease in Winnetka.

We appeal to each of you to help us. We are all in this together, and by taking this threat seriously we can each be a part of the solution.

Sincerely,


Chris Rintz
Village President

Dawn Livingston
President, District 36 School Board

Mickey Archambault
President, Winnetka Park District Board of Commissioners

The Butterfly Garden at Dwyer Park

Posted August 14, 2020

You may have noticed an explosion of color and a host of butterflies in The Butterfly Garden at the north end of Dwyer Park this summer. This garden, created and maintained by Garden Guild of Winnetka for more than 20 years, is a beautiful landmark in our community and a crucial habitat for butterflies and bees.

All the plants in the garden serve as nurseries for caterpillars and/or nectar sources for butterflies. The garden features two different species of milkweed — the only feeding source for monarch caterpillars and the only plant that monarch butterflies will lay their eggs on.

Blooms start in spring, with white daffodils and purple grape hyacinth. Summer exhibits intense color from orange and yellow yarrow, purple coneflower, and magenta blazing star. Fall brings the jewel tones of asters, goldenrod, and ornamental grasses. Take some time to smell the fragrance of butterfly bush, garden phlox, and sweet pepperbush. Nearly 30 botanical plant markers are on-site to aid in identification, and the Life Cycle of the Butterfly sign at the west corner of the garden is great for children.

We encourage you to enjoy this garden gem throughout the seasons! Stop by to read a book, have your morning coffee, or to find ideas for your own pollinator garden at home. Click here to view all the plants in the garden.

To learn more, visit the Garden Guild of Winnetka website or reach out to Meg O’Gara at mogara1@nullme.com.

A friendly note: please do not capture the butterflies, as this is their home.

Hubbard Woods Splash Pad Is Open

Posted July 09, 2020

July 10, 2020

Cool off this summer at our splash pad located in Hubbard Woods Park. The splash pad is open daily from 9am-8pm. The playground at the park is also open for your fun and enjoyment!

Wednesday in the Woods concerts are back!

Posted July 08, 2020

Wednesday in the Woods daytime and evening concerts are back! To allow for social distancing, Hubbard Woods Park will be split into two sections: a yellow section and a green section. A maximum of 50 people are allowed per section.

Patrons are required to reserve their spot in advance. Residents have priority. Pending availability, non-residents may reserve a spot the day of.

Daytime Concerts @ 11am

These interactive children’s concerts performed by Our Music Institute (OMi) begin at 11am. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Evening Concerts @ 7pm

Live music starts at 7pm. Patrons may bring dinner or pick up food from one of the nearby restaurants. Food and drinks will not be available for purchase. 

July 15: Pearls Mahone

Pearls Mahone is pure vintage Americana! With a firm foundation in traditional church music, she truly sings with spirit, combining a variety of styles, including jazz, rock, and country-western.

Click here to reserve a spot.

July 22: Sushi Roll

This band plays favorite pop and rock hits revved-up with their own unique blend of high-energy dance music, infused with rock ‘n’ roll swagger, then topped off with memorable stage costumes inspired by cosplay and anime. If there was only one word to describe this cover band, it would be animazing!

Click here to reserve a spot.

July 29: The Boy Band Night

The impact of 90s music forged an era of heartthrob adolescents known as Boy Bands. The Boy Band Night covers pop sensations like the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, One Direction, and more!

Click here to reserve a spot.

August 26: The Jack’s

Close out the summer with The Jack’s! This hometown favorite plays a variety of music from all eras — from The Doors and Van Morrison to the Kings of Leon and Neon Trees.

Click here to reserve a spot.

Congratulations to our Fourth of July Parade Winners!

Posted July 08, 2020

Thank you to all who participated in our Fourth of July Parade. We had a total of 73 vehicles come out and celebrate with us. Prizes were given to the best decorated vehicles. Congratulations to the winning families!

Click here to view a recording of the parade.

Best Decorated Vehicle

#1 Free session of summer camp: Vehicle 26, Hardy Family
#2 Beach season pass for a family of four: Vehicle 7, Brown Family
#3 Free session of tennis group lesson: Vehicle 71, Wentezl Family
#4 Free session of skating or hockey group lesson: Vehicle 45, Morse Family

People’s Choice Award

Free golf foursome with two carts: Vehicle 10, Evans Family

The A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center Set to Open June 1!

Posted May 28, 2020

On May 24, Governor Pritzker, by way of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, released a document titled “Tennis Facility and Player Safety Guidance.” This document will assist tennis facilities move consistently, yet cautiously, into the state’s third phase of Restore Illinois.

Beginning June 1, all indoor and outdoor courts will be open for singles and doubles play (four or less people; restricted doubles on indoor courts). All courts must be reserved and prepaid by phone. 

The Winnetka Park District’s A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center operates as an enterprise fund, meaning the facility operates solely through user fees. Due to the global pandemic of COVID-19, and the added financial burden to the Nielsen Tennis Center, the Park District has modified the outdoor tennis operation and adjusted the fee structure for reserved outdoor tennis courts.

Masks are required upon entering the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center facility. Bathrooms will be available. The tennis lounge, vending areas, and locker room showers will remain closed.

Cash transactions at the tennis center will not be permitted. Patrons may call (847) 501-2065 to register, reserve a court or for assistance.

View court rates and the full list of operational guidelines.

Tennis Returns to Winnetka!

Posted May 14, 2020

In accordance with national, state, and local directives, and industry guidelines, we’ve developed a phase-in approach to tennis. Our number one priority is to provide a safe, cautious, and slow return to tennis. Here is the current four-phased overview to gradually return to tennis:

Our responsibility is to provide a safe, cautious, and slow return to tennis. Please review the United States Tennis Association website to learn more about playing tennis safely.

The first phase of tennis in Winnetka will look different in many ways. Here are the current guidelines to begin play using the outdoor courts:

  • The courts currently are available via the reduced operating hours of 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., seven days a week.
  • All courts must be reserved by contacting the A.C. Nielsen front desk. Please dial (847) 501-2065 ext. 0.
  • Each participant will be required to waive claims and hold the Park District harmless for injuries, illness or losses, including COVID-19, sustained as a result of his or her tennis play at the Park District.
  • While it is not mandated, each player is encouraged to use a mask or a bandana mask.
  • Currently, only singles recreational play is permitted.
  • Play is limited to two adults. If one player is 18 years of age or younger, she/he must be accompanied by an adult within the minor’s immediate family.
  • Private lessons are provided on a one-on-one format only.
  • Each player is required to use no more than six (6) specifically numbered tennis balls to manage touch-points between players.
  • At the time of a reservation. A two-can ball purchase will be required for $10.
  • Ball purchase will be charged at time of reservation. Payment for the tennis balls will be by credit card only.
  • Balls will be delivered to the court at your reserved time.
  • To manage social distancing, only outdoor courts are available (courts 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 12).
  • Indoor facility and related amenities remain closed.
  • All drinking fountains are off and all bathrooms are closed.
  • No food is permitted on the courts.
  • All benches and score tenders have been removed from the courts.
  • All entrance gates must remain open.
  • Congregating is not permitted on the courts, near the courts, or in the parking lot.

The Nielsen Tennis Center operates as an enterprise fund within the Winnetka Park District and is supported solely by user fees. Since early March, the facility and its operations have been significantly impacted, leading to a significant financial impact. We ask that you support safe play practices and the Nielsen Tennis Center by purchasing a two (2) canisters of new tennis balls for $10 total, which will include differently numbered balls for each player to handle.

As always the Winnetka Park District thanks you for your support of the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center as we continue to work together to bring tennis back in a safe manner.

Call (847) 501-2065 ext. 0 to reserve a court today!

Winnetka Resident and Former Board Member Named Park District Executive Director

Posted April 27, 2020

The Winnetka Park District Board of Commissioners appointed resident and former vice president of the park board, John Peterson, as the new executive director of the park district at the April 23 board meeting. Peterson’s appointment is effective May 1. He replaces John Muno who served as executive director since March 2017. Muno will be retiring after more than 30 years in the parks and recreation industry, including nine years with the Winnetka Park District. Muno and Peterson will work closely together now through July to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.

“The board and I are confident that John Peterson is the right person to lead the park district, especially through these uncertain times,” said Mickey Archambault, park board president. “He is a seasoned leader with extensive experience managing and directing business operations. This combined with his first-hand knowledge of our community makes him uniquely qualified to lead the Winnetka Park District successfully into the future.”

Peterson has served on the park board since May 2015, taking on the role of vice president in 2018. He has been involved in several large-scale park projects, including the renovation of both Hubbard Woods and Dwyer Parks and the development and execution of the Winnetka Waterfront 2030 Plan. He has also served on the board’s administration, revenue facilities, and stormwater management committees, and as a park district representative to the Winnetka Parks Foundation and District 36.

Peterson and his wife, Julie, have resided in the North Shore since 1991, moving to Winnetka in 2012. They have a daughter and a son who attended District 36 and New Trier. Peterson earned a bachelor of science in journalism and a bachelor of arts in economics from Northwestern University, as well as a masters in management from the Kellogg School of Management. He spent his 31-year career with Aon plc, holding various leadership roles to establish and grow business units, improve employee engagement, drive client excellence, and deliver strong financial performance.