Highland Park Project

May 11, 2016

Despite the rainy weather site work and the playground work at Highland Park are progressing. Look for the playground structure to be completed soon, along with new tennis court fencing and the final concrete pavement installation. Once that work is completed you’ll see the asphalt paving, new playground surfacing (artificial turf grass), final site grading, and landscaping work.

Construction is still on schedule to be completed before the Park District’s Playground Camps begin. A formal dedication ceremony is planned for June 30. Stay tuned for additional details.

Highland Park Progress 05 11 16 Highland Park Progress 05 11 16 B

April 11, 2016

Look for the construction work that started last fall will be ramping up in the coming weeks. The majority of the work to date has been demolition, removals, and site preparation. A very wet spring hasn’t allowed for an early start on the construction of the new park, but we hope the weather will be more cooperative and you’ll start to see the new park taking shape. We fully expect the work to be completed this spring before the summer playground camp programming begins on site.

September 23, 2015

The Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners has approved a construction contract to Stenstrom Blacktop & Excavation Group for the Highland Park Improvements. Construction will begin in the fall and be completed in the spring of 2016 before the summer season. Stay tuned for construction updates.

August 17, 2015

In the summer of 2014 the Rockford Park District applied for an Illinois Department of Natural Resources OSLAD Grant. In the spring of 2015 the District was notified by IDNR that, while the application was strong, the grant would not be awarded. On July 9 District staff met with the Palmwood Neighborhood Association to share that the project will still move forward, even without the grant funding. All of the originally designed amenities remain within the scope of the project.

The District will bid the Park Improvements project in late August and open bids in early September. The District anticipates receiving competitive bids and construction starting in fall of 2015. Construction will finish in the spring before the 2016 summer season.

The updated plan and playground equipment rendering can be seen by clicking the links.

May 30, 2014

Great Feedback Received on Highland Park Improvements Project

In early April, 2014 the Rockford Park District distributed a concept plan and comment card to residents near Highland Park seeking their feedback on planned improvements to Highland Park. Approximately 600 surveys were distributed and over 180 were returned with a wide range of comments and feedback.

The District is extremely grateful to everyone who responded and provided feedback. The 30% return rate is very high and demonstrates how important Highland Park is to the area residents. The vast majority of the comments were positive and supportive of the project. A summary of the survey results is enclosed here for your reference.

Survey Results >

The District will on apply for an Illinois Department of Natural Resources OSLAD Grant by the end of June, with a grant award announcement in 2015.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Tom Lind, Park District Landscape Architect, at 815.987.1649 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

April 8, 2014

The Rockford Park District (District) has an opportunity to obtain an Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) OSLAD Grant which will leverage tax dollars to aid in the renovation of Highland Park. The project would address the repair and replacement and the program enhancement of existing equipment and amenities that are approaching the end of their serviceable life. The useful life of a playground is typically 15-20 years. This playground is identified on the priority list for replacement to enhance accessibility and bring the equipment into current standards. In addition, there will be additional amenities to improve the park patrons' experience.

The grant application will be submitted this June, with a grant award announcement in 2015.

Based on the information communicated in the District's citizen survey responses, the Board of Commissioners has placed a high priority upon repairing and replacing existing assets. Highland Park is atop the District's replacement priority list due to the age of the structure and the need to keep in step with current standards. The Board also recently approved the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Transition Plan which places a high priority on the renovation of Highland Park. Also, the summer camp programming and high resident usage at Highland Park also drives the need for updating the park amenities.

Highland Park Playground PictureUpon receipt of a favorable grant application, potential improvements include the following:

  • Replacing the existing playground equipment
  • Renovating the existing tennis courts
  • Replacing the existing drinking fountain
  • Installing a new spray pad (similar to the pad at Beattie Playground)
  • Installing a new ball field backstop
  • Adding new seating and activity areas
  • Adding new accessible paths to link all amenities

This project may be phased, depending upon available funding.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Tom Lind, Park District Landscape Architect, at 815-987-1649 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please check back often for project updates.

View the Concept Plan >

Highland Park Map


For the Rockford Park District to be the best urban park and recreation system in North America, as measured by national standards and the citizens we serve.


To 'help people enjoy life' by providing a quality park and recreation system.

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