Lake Forest Parks and Recreation offers family-friendly events, beautiful parks, recreation facilities, and over 500 programs and activities to thousands of residents in the Lake Forest community. Established in 2000 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Friends of Lake Forest Parks & Recreation Foundation (the "Friends") promotes excellence in our parks and recreation system by helping build and improve beautiful parks, organize and host community events and activities, and manage and execute philanthropic gifts relating to the parks and public spaces in Lake Forest.

The Friends is a volunteer-run organization that is not part of the city's government but works closely with the city's Parks and Recreation Department. Since 2000, the Friends has committed more than one million dollars in funding our mission of supporting Lake Forest Parks and Recreation, connecting our community and enriching lives. Additionally we help build beautiful parks, make improvements and expand recreational activities. The Friends' independent status gives us flexibility and latitude to execute our mission and the mission of our donors.

Support from corporate partners plays a critical role in helping the Friends reach our goal of enhancing the lives of Lake Forest residents.


MISSION

  • To facilitate the growth, development and improvement of the Lake Forest Parks and Recreation facilities and offerings to the community.


purpose:

  • Identify and promote philanthropic opportunities for community members to support via donations that are focused on parks and recreation facilities and activities. We recently participated in creating the 10-year Strategic Master Plan for the City of Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Raise money via donations and community events such as the Fred Jackson Golf Classic, Lake Forest Festival & Fireworks, Lake Forest Music Festival, and the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony to fund various programs for the Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Support families with financial limitations.
  • Promote the Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Department and our city's beautiful natural environment through activities that boost awareness and connect the community.
    Facilitate philanthropic donations within the community, as a pass-through entity.Provide an organization that helps to manage and execute the vision of philanthropic donors to the community.


ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The Friends Foundation has been an integral part of the Deerpath Golf Course Renovation Project. The City of Lake Forest began renovating the Deerpath Golf Course in 2016 with improvements to the club house and patio, installation of a continuous paved cart path, drainage, and tree work. Additionally, the Friends Foundation funded a new comfort station and golf cart fleet. The Lawn at Deerpath, a world-class short game/putting area, will debut this spring.

In addition to our work at Deerpath Golf Course, the Friends Foundation has impacted all facets of our community with a wide variety of projects including the following:

  • Provide funding for need-based program scholarships and grants for Kinderhaven teacher professional development
  • Raised funds to purchase the first-ever, state-of-the-art Fire & Rescue Boat for use at Lake Forest lakefront and beach
  • Managed the memorial donations received on behalf of Steven Malin, Jr.to create Malin Field at Everett Park
  • Built a basketball court at Waveland Park in memory of Daniel Jaekel
  • Raised funds to build the Townline Park Pavilion
  • Purchased sailboats for our #1 rated Lake Forest Sailing Program
  • Built the Matthew Parsky Memorial Garden at Deerpath Community Park
  • Sponsored the Junior Olympic Sailing Regatta
  • Built the Kreisher Memorial Batting Cage at Deerpath Community Park
  • Managed donations for the North Beach Bluff Restoration Project
  • Created several Friends signature fundraising events including the Annual Fred Jackson Golf Classic, Lake Forest Festival & Fireworks, Lake Forest Music Festival, and the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony


sponsorship opportunities

  • Support from corporate partners plays a critical role in helping the Friends reach our goal of enhancing the lives of Lake Forest residents.

view the sponsorship guide


OUR PARKS

Interactive Parks Map


FRIENDS OF LAKE FOREST PARKS & RECREATION FOUNDATION BOARD

Board Positions
Jackie Greca - President Joe Oriti - Treasurer
Nicole Fabiano-Oertel - Vice President
Ali Becker - Secretary

Board Members
Rick Amos Steve Malin Rick Zigler
Kendall Westrich Davis Mike MacDougal
Parks & Recreation Staff:
Pat Hoch
John Oertel
Sally Swarthout
Fred Jackson P.J. O'Neil
Joe Mobile
Agatha Weisser