The Friends of Lake Forest Parks & Recreation Foundation (Friends) was established to promote excellence in our parks and recreation system by helping build beautiful parks, make improvements, and expand recreational programs and activities.


To promote the Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Department and our city's beautiful natural environment through:

  • AWARENESS: Boosting awareness of our diverse programs and facilities;
  • PASSION: Providing a philanthropic vehicle to encourage enriching capital improvements;
  • SCHOLARSHIP: Providing program scholarships to families with financial limitations;
  • CONNECTING COMMUNITY: Bringing the community together to enhance the quality of life in Lake Forest.

Each year, thousands of Lake Forest residents enjoy our community parks, recreation facilities, and over 500 programs and activities offered by the Recreation Department. In response to a growing desire for more beautiful parks and additional recreation programs, the charitable, non-profit Friends of Lake Forest Parks & Recreation Foundation was established in 2000 as a 501 (c) (3) organization. Since then, the Friends have committed over $550,000 of grants. Additional support from corporate partners also plays an important role in helping the Friend's reach their goal of enhancing the lives of our Lake Forest residents.

The Friends have been an integral part of the Deerpath Golf Course Renovation Project. The City of Lake Forest began renovation of the Deerpath Golf Course in 2016 with improvements to the club house and patio, installation of a continuous paved cart path, and drainage / tree work. Through donations received from the Friends foundation in 2018, a new comfort station was built and a new golf cart fleet purchased in 2019. Next on the list is expanded short game/putting green, driving range expansion and improvements to the indoor cart barn.


Below are some examples of the impact the Friends have made:

  • Channeled the following donations:
    - Memorial donations received on behalf of Steven Malin, Jr. to create Malin Field
    - Memorial donations received on behalf of Daniel Jaekel to build a new basketball court at Waveland Park
    - Donations for the Deerpath Golf Course Renovation Project
    - Donations for the North Beach Bluff Restoration Project
  • Built the Townline Park Pavilion
  • Purchased sailboats for our #1 rated Lake Forest Sailing Program
  • Provided a grant for Kinderhaven teacher professional development
  • Provided funding for need-based program scholarships
  • Built the Matthew Parsky Memorial Garden in (Deerpath Park)
  • Sponsored the Junior Olympic Sailing Regatta
  • Built the Kreisher Memorial Batting Cage (Deerpath Park)
  • Created several Friends signature fundraising events including the Annual Fred Jackson Golf Classic, Friends Festival & Fireworks, Friends Fall Festival, and Dinner with Santa


Interactive Parks Map


The City of Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Department, in partnership with the Friends of Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Foundation, developed this plan to guide park, facility, and program development decisions for the next ten years.

Master Plan


Board Positions
P.J. O'Neil - President Mark Milliman - Treasurer
Jackie Greca - Vice President Shawn Trevino - Secretary

Board Members
Rick Amos Mary Kay Jaekel
John Powers
Scott Gray
Patrick Marshall
Agatha Weisser
Bill Gundlach
Steve Malin
Ed Zarek
Pat Hoch
Mike MacDougal
Sally Swarthout - Parks & Recreation Staff
Fred Jackson
John Oertel Joe Mobile - Parks & Recreation Staff
Nicole Fabiano-Oertel