Study finds Illinois park districts a boon to economy

(12.1.16) A recent Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) report contains impressive information regarding the role of Illinois park districts as a significant employer and contributor to the local economy, as well as highlighting the park district's efforts to rely on self-sustaining revenue options as a way to limit dependency on local property taxes. 

The report found that:

  • park districts, forest preserves, conservation districts, and special recreation agencies employ more than 67,000 people statewide. 
  • these jobs represent nearly $720 million paid in wages and compensation. 
  • more than 62% of an agency’s employees live within the district where they work. 
  • roughly half of these jobs provide important early work experience for younger adults (ages 25 and under). 
  • statewide, more than half of agency revenues come from non-tax sources, including earned revenue (program fees and memberships) and other sources (grants, donations, interest, etc.)