The Wheaton Park District was established as a separate municipal body by the citizens of Wheaton in 1921. Land for its first park, Memorial Park, was purchased in 1921, with Southside (now Central) Park acquired in 1922, and Northside Park soon after. Through both acquisition and donation, the district increased its park acres to 94 by 1970. Today, citizens enjoy 52 park sites totaling more than 800 acres. The district offers more than 1,600 early childhood, teen, adult and senior programs and hosts more than 85,000 people at annual special events.
The Wheaton Park District has been fortunate to experience rapid growth in both physical (land and facilities) and fiscal wealth (assessed valuation). Now that future growth is limited by the lack of land available for development, it should be much easier to predict our financial future, barring any major legislative changes in the park district code.
The Wheaton Park District has one of the finest park systems in the state and has been recognized four times during the past 20 years by the National Park & Recreation Association with the National Gold Medal for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management (2005, 1996, 1990 and 1984), the Illinois Park and Recreation Association’s Distinguished Agency Award (1999), the National Recreation and Park Association Excellence in Aquatics Award (1992) and Illinois Park and Recreation Association Outstanding Facility Award (1993) for Rice Pool and Water Park, and the Daniel Flaherty Award (1993 and 1990) and the U.S. Department of Interior Innovation Award (1993) for the Lincoln Marsh Wetlands Project. The district has also earned statewide Agency Accreditation, the SCARCE Earth and Water Quality flag, and the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association.
Facilities and parks operated by the district in meeting the objectives of this mission statement include:
• Arrowhead Golf Club
• Clocktower Mini Golf and Skate Park
• Community Center
• Cosley Zoo
• DuPage County Historical Museum
• Lincoln Marsh Natural Area and Teams Course
• Memorial Park & Mary Lubko Center (formerly the Leisure Center)
• Northside Family Aquatic Center
• Parks Plus Fitness Center
• Rice Pool and Water Park
• 52 park sites, totaling more than 800 acres
• Safety City