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2019 Park District of Oak Park Community Survey

Every five years, the Park District takes the pulse of our community through a random sample community survey. The Park District hired aQity Research and Insights, Inc. to conduct the 2019 survey. The purpose of this survey is to measure our residents’ satisfaction with our parks and program offerings, identify unmet parks and recreation needs and establish priorities for the future development of parks and recreation facilities, programs and services within the community. 
The results of the Park District’s community survey are in. The information below is a snapshot of the random sample survey results from 618 Oak Park households. 
  • When informed that the Park District represents 4.6% of Oak Park’s property taxes, residents on average rated the overall value they receive at 8.0 on a 0-10 scale. The number and variety of programs and parks were identified as Park District strengths. This rating was significantly higher than State benchmarks and other area park and recreation agencies.
  • Three in five residents are unaware of the Park District’s needs-based scholarship program that served 206 households and 464 individuals in 2018. For scholarship information please visit and share this information with family and friends.
  • Park and facility usage remains high compared to the 2014 community survey with 92% of 2019 survey respondents using or visiting a park or facility in the past 12 months.
  • The most requested programs were adult and senior sports and exercise classes followed by foreign language and cultural activities. There is a perception that the Park District is just for kids. In fact, the District is now offering more adult and senior programs than ever. Cheney Mansion has become a hub of unique adult programming and nearly 50 quality fitness programs are offered weekly at various locations. With the purchase of Dole Center and the consolidation of the Senior Citizens’ Center of Oak Park River Forest with the Park District, 61 Active Adult (55+ yrs.) programs are being offered this fall including 13 intergenerational programs. For details visit
  • Nearly 50% of respondents expressed a need or interest in a fitness center, indoor pool and indoor track for their household. However, 80% of respondents stated a Community Recreation Center (CRC) is needed in Oak Park if it is constructed without a tax increase. Support was stronger for a CRC when survey respondents learned the gym space would be available to middle and high school students free of charge during afterschool hours.
  • The program guide, delivered to all residents 4 times per year, is still the “go to” source for all Park District information.
  • One common concern expressed was registration portal difficulties. We are pleased to announce a new online system is being introduced for winter program registration. Look for more details this fall.
Thank you to all who completed the survey and to all residents for your continued support.

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