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Erin Maassen
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Friends Park Named State's Outstanding Park

Wins Illinois Park and Recreation Association's 2014 Outstanding Facility and Park Award

Friends Park Design Team Wins AwardFriends Park was awarded the prestigious Outstanding Facility and Park Award by the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) on Wednesday, December 10.  

The 2014 Outstanding Facility and Park Award recognizes public agencies for exceptional and unique achievements in design and development. Friends Park scored the highest total points among entries submitted across the State of Illinois.  

Friends Park is the Glencoe Park District’s flagship destination, located at the corner of Vernon and Tudor Court. The Glencoe Park District team, under the direction of RGC Design, took special care to ensure Friends Park exceeded ADA-standards. The park includes interactive features, poured-in-place surfacing, and elements accessible to children of all abilities. The completed Friends Park provides a safe play place and engages children of all abilities in theatrical/imaginative, social, and physical play.  

Playing off its location in the center of town, the design recognizes the park’s proximity to Lake Michigan, the downtown business district, and the Glencoe train station. The playground is loosely themed around a train trip that travels through a downtown (large composite structure), past a boat docked at the water’s edge and ending at a mountain (net climber). The poured-in-place surface reinforces the idea of the train trip, with “water”, “sand” and “train tracks” cut into the play area. 

“Friends Park is a place for kids to play, parents to gather, and strangers to become friends,” said Lisa Sheppard, Executive Director. “The park, and now the award, serve as a symbol of the friendship and bond our community shares. Winning the Outstanding Facility and Park Award solidifies our belief that Friends Park is special place for the Glencoe community.”  

The award will be presented to the Glencoe Park District at the IAPD/IPRA Conference Awards on Friday, January 23, 2015.