Fall is Here at Gurnee Park District!

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2022 Fall Message from Gurnee Park District Executive Director, Susie Kuruvilla:

The seasons are changing, and so are we! With fall officially here, it is the perfect time to highlight the changes we are making at Gurnee Park District to make it a place where everyone feels welcome.

In the fall of 2021, we formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The committee is based on Gurnee Park District's continued commitment to providing all members of our community and workplace with equally available programs, activities, safety measures, and more. As efforts to be more equitable and inclusive is a continued effort, our goal is to make progress towards it on an ongoing basis.

We are extremely proud of our 28 amazing parks. This fall, we are in the process of replacing playground equipment at Kings Park, Prairie Oak Shagbark, and Prairie Oaks Silo. Keeping inclusivity in mind, Kings Park will include several ADA access improvements and all parks will contain ADA compliant playground equipment.

We welcomed back our Growing Tree Preschool students and CARE participants for another school year. Our preschoolers can plan on many new and interesting learning experiences, including diverse literature, art, math, and science units. Similarly, CARE will introduce a mentor/buddy system that will allow more opportunities for participants to connect with each other in new, unique, and meaningful ways.

We continue to listen to the diverse wants and needs of our community. In May 2021, we added a Cricket Pitch at Viking Park after seeing a growing desire for the sport. Likewise, we are looking into providing more inclusive and diverse aspects to our events and outings for families of all cultures to enjoy. Plan on attending our "Trick-or-Treat Street" event, "Halloween Drive-In" event featuring the movie, "Coco," or bring the family out for our "Family Art Night" event!

Moreover, we understand that health and fitness play a key role in all of our lives. In order to maintain inclusivity at our fitness facility, FitNation, we look forward to including more options for all genders and age groups. This consists of establishing accessibility and inclusion benchmarks by following best practices recommendations from industry organizations such as the "Women in Fitness Association," "Sports Alliance," and "The Global Health and Fitness Association" (IHRSA). With that said, please make sure to join FitNation and experience our fitness facility today!

Finally, our staff each bring their own unique qualities to our programming and events. To further welcome each person's individuality, we are currently looking into new professional development trainings designed to educate our team on fostering an environment built on trust, accountability, inclusion, and growth. This will in turn create a more welcoming experience for all community members and guests who participate in the services we provide.

Thank you for allowing me to discuss our commitment to making Gurnee Park District a place where everyone feels welcome. If you have any suggestions or feedback on how we can best serve the needs of you, your family, friends, and other community members, please make sure to let us know! 

 

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Tuesday, September 27 2022

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