About Lisle Park District
Discovery Playground
Enriching the quality of life for people of all ages

About the Lisle Park District


What do we exist to do?

Be Community Focused


What do we want to be known for?

A Place Where Everyone Belongs


The foundation of our Mission and Vision

Safety • Inclusion • Stewardship • Impact

Formed, built, and supported for the community by local residents, the Lisle Park District has provided recreational activities in Lisle for decades. Partnerships with local organizations and resident-led initiatives set the foundation for the Park District's operation since its early stages through to the present.

The Lisle Park District was established in 1967 and provides a variety of leisure activities for people of all ages throughout the year. Park district facilities include Lisle Community Park, home to the all-inclusive Discovery Playground and Community Park Public Boat Launch; the Recreation Center, which houses Gentle Learning Preschool, SEASPAR, the Senior Center, and multipurpose rooms; the Community Center, which contains Community Park Fitness and studios for dance and group fitness classes; Sea Lion Aquatic Park; The Museums at Lisle Station Park; River Bend Golf Course and numerous neighborhood playgrounds and park amenities, such as tennis courts, pickleball courts, ball fields, soccer fields, walking paths and picnic areas totaling close to 400 acres. It is the mission of the Lisle Park District to be community focused.

From the beginning

Our History

  • 1967

    Lisle Park District is formed

    March 11, 1967: Referendum to create the Lisle Park District passes, Lisle Park District is formed thanks to the efforts of the Lisle Youth Association

    March 20, 1967: Park District officer elections

    April 10, 1967: First open meeting

    October 1967: Senior program planning begins

    November 13, 1967: Adopts Marg Bryan's emblem design; pays dues to join the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD)

  • 1968

    May 13, 1968: G. Carlin Nalley approved as first Park District employee Summer Recreation Program Director

    May 1968: Agrees to support Lisle Girls' Recreational Softball program

    Summer 1968: First recreation programs are held: "Arts and Crafts"

    Summer 1968: Summer recreation program has over 4000 participants

  • 1969

    March 20, 1969: Nalley appointed as part time Director of Summer Recreation

    April 14, 1969: Charlie Drendel becomes first full time employee as "General Maintenance Man" position; first major purchase made includes a tractor, back hoe, front end loader, rake, and mower

    June 9, 1969: Mrs. Mae Jean Becker authorized as Director of Arts and Crafts and Miss Anna Rose Burden authorized as Assistant Director of Summer Recreation (both part time); Park board decides to help pay for field trip transportation

    June 15, 1969: Rents storage space from Lisle Fire Protection District (current location of V&R Tire)

    Summer 1969: Summer recreation program has over 7500 participants

    August 4, 1969: First cooperative agreement between Park District and School District 70 is approved: Park District agrees to maintain school grounds in exchange for use of grounds for recreational programs and activities open to the community

    December 18, 1969: Board authorizes the purchase of the office's first typewriter for the discounted price of $365 plus tax

  • 1970

    Office's first phone and file cabinet purchased; Park District's Boys Club Wrestling becomes school sponsored Junior Wrestling due to its success as a Park District program

    March 1970: Senior programs begin to expand

    April 13, 1970: Local resident Mr. Dave Vermeer agrees to allow Park District to rent his enclosed pool with attached dressing room, shower, and bathroom to offer swim classes to the community. Over 400 residents will participate in the program during this first year.

    June 4, 1970: 1970 Summer Program of Recreation is published showing the significantly expanded offering of programs for children and adults

    June 8, 1970: First meeting at the newly rented office inside the Lisle Library (current location of Evviva!)

    July 28, 1970: "7 bus loads of seniors" take a Park District bus trip to a Cubs game

    August 1970: Park-School Joint Committee is formed to work in cooperation to provide recreation programs and activities to children in Lisle School Districts 70 and 109; Village of Lisle invited later

  • 1971

    Recreation programs significantly expanded with emphasis on the arts, sports, and for people with disabilities

    July 5, 1971: Dedication of Park District's first park, Connelly Memorial Park at Lacy Avenue

    November 11, 1971: First truck is purchased, dump portion purchased later

  • 1972

    May 1972: Swim classes move to Meadows Swim Club

    September 8, 1972: Park Manager Steve Hartman becomes the first Director of the Park District for a salary of $12,000 per year

    1972-1973: winter recreation programs begin

  • 1973

    March 1, 1973: Park District office and meeting space moves from Front Street to Main Street (current location of Choice Eye Care)

  • 1974

    March 1974: Planning for the Community Center and pool begins

    December 1974: Park District dedication of "16 major recreation areas in Green Trails"

  • 1975

    January 1975: Park District meetings moved to old Village Hall on Main Street (current site of the Marq on Main)

    February 26, 1975: Final plans for Community Center Swimming Complex approved

    May 17, 1975: Ground breaking for Community Center and Swimming Complex

  • 1976

    Community Center and Swimming Complex opens

    January 20, 1976: Lisle Park District joins Woodridge, Downers Grove, Westmont, and Darien Park Districts to form SEASPAR (South East Association for Special Parks And Recreation)

  • 1978

    Park District enters into agreement with newly formed Lisle Heritage Society to sponsor and establish the Doris M. Gurtler Museum (today known as The Museums at Lisle Station Park); the historic Lisle Depot is saved from being destroyed, moved to its new Park District location, and excavation of its former location is carried out

  • 1986

    Historic Netzley/Yender House is relocated to the Lisle Station Park museum grounds and restoration begins

  • 1987

    School district moves out of Meadows School building and Park District's Meadows Center opens complete with Senior Center and Preschool facilities; Swimming Complex becomes the Sea Lion Aquatic Park

  • 1989

    Historic Beaubien Tavern is relocated to the Lisle Station Park museum grounds and restoration begins

  • 1992

    Community Park Fitness opens

  • 1998

    July 1998: CB&Q (Burlington) Railroad historic Waycar #14584 is relocated to the Lisle Station Park museum grounds and restoration begins

  • 2001

    The Museum's "Smithy" Blacksmith Shop is built during the "barn raising" event at Depot Days

  • 2003

    River Bend Golf Course and The View restaurant open

  • 2004

    June 5, 2004: Reopening of renovated Sea Lion Aquatic Park

  • 2011

    New Recreation Center opens next to the Community Center; The View becomes Wheatstack – A Midwestern Eatery & Tap

  • 2015

    March 31, 2015: Lisle Park District welcomed six honeybee hives and approximately 60,000 bees at the north end of Lisle Community Park on what has been named "Bee Island"

  • 2016

    Fall 2016: Construction of the new Lisle Veterans Memorial, a monument honoring veterans and promoting civic pride was completed and dedicated

  • 2017

    Lisle Park District encompasses 9 community facilities, a historic museum campus, and 36 park sites with sports fields and courts, natural walking and bike paths, outdoor entertainment areas, spanning over 400 acres

    June 3, 2017: Lisle Park District celebrated its 50th Anniversary

  • 2018

    June 2018: Construction of the newly renovated Van Kampen Memorial Stage was completed

    Summer 2018: Lisle Park District hosted its first Summer Entertainment Series at the newly renovated Van Kampen Stage

  • 2019

    Spring 2019: Lisle Park District starts a pilot pesticide-free program in four parks - Abbeywood Park, Connelly Memorial Park, Leask Lane Park, and Oak Hill Park

    Spring 2019: Lisle Park District starts an Adopt-A-Park Program

  • 2020

    Despite the pandemic, we transformed and created new offerings to provide quality recreation opportunities for all ages

    August 29, 2020: Opening of the community's first, universally accessible playground, aptly named "Discovery Playground," located in Community Park

  • 2021

    April 2021: New Parks Department Vehicle & Equipment Storage Facility completed

    April 15, 2021: Parks Garage named "Don's Garage" in honor of Park District Board President Don Cook retiring after 23 years of dedicated service

    June 5, 2021: Lisle Park District hosts it's very first Film Festival outdoors in Lisle Community Park

    September 11, 2021: Officially opened the Lisle Community Park Boat Launch on the East Branch of the DuPage River for public use

  • 2022

    January 2022: District formed an internal committee to create awareness and develop initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within our services and work environment.

    April 1, 2022: Launched new recreation registration system

    June 1, 2022: Launched 6 new park district responsive websites including Lisle Park District, Community Park Fitness, Sea Lion Aquatic Park, The Museums at Lisle Station Park, Senior Center, Gentle Learning Preschool

    Summer 2022: Camp Summer Quest celebrated its 20th anniversary

  • 2023

    April 20, 2023: The Lisle Park District Board of Park Commissioners approved the adoption of the Strategic Master Plan created by Next Practice Partners, LLC, in collaboration with Kimley-Horn & PROS Consulting, Inc., at April's Regular Monthly Board Meeting. Click here to view an executive summary of the report or the full report in its entirety.