Our Story

Our Story

Park Ridge History

Shortly after the city of Park Ridge was incorporated in 1910, it was advertised as "A Restoring Place of Health and Vigor, The Recreation Place of the Tired and Worn Out.”

So, it’s appropriate that just four years later, the Park Ridge Park District was established — and has been a vital part of life in the community ever since.

2014 marked the 100th Anniversary of the Park Ridge Park District. For generations we provided exceptional recreation and leisure opportunities for the community. 


Park Ridge Park District's mission is to enhance Park Ridge’s quality of life by providing park and recreation opportunities for all residents while being environmentally and fiscally responsible.

100 Years of Recreation


531 Forestview Opens

531 Forestview opens to the public as Wildwood Nature Center

531 Forestview Opens
23 December 2023

529 Forestview Renamed

529 Forestview is renamed Wildwood Program Center

23 December 2023

Oakton Batting Cages Closure

Oakton Batting Cages permanently close

03 September 2023


Oakton Park and Facilities Improvements

Park Ridge residents pass referendum for improvements at Oakton Park and Facilities

08 November 2022

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01 January 2022


Community Gardens

Community Gardens open at Hinkley Park

Community Gardens
05 May 2021

Nature Classroom Opens

Outdoor Nature Classroom opens at Maine Park Leisure Center

01 January 2021


531 Forestview

Park District acquires property at 531 Forestview

01 January 2020


Maine Park Leisure Center

Maine Park Leisure Center undergoes significant renovation to expand recreation rooms and offices

Maine Park Leisure Center
01 January 2017


Prospect Park

Prospect Park opens to the public

Prospect Park
28 May 2016


Senior Center

Park Ridge Senior Center is renamed Centennial Activity Center, and S.T.A.R. (Seniors Together at Recreation) Membership is created

06 June 2015

Community Center

Community Center is renamed Centennial Fitness Center

06 June 2015


100th Anniversary

Park Ridge Park District celebrates its 100th Anniversary

29 June 2014

Centennial Aquatic Center

Centennial Aquatic Center opens to the public

Centennial Aquatic Center
14 June 2014


Oak Tree Playground

The Oak Tree Playground at Maine Park opens

01 September 2013

Youth Campus

Park Ridge residents pass referendum to purchase and develop Youth Campus (later renamed Prospect Park)

09 April 2013


Oakton Pool Closes

Oakton Pool closes

01 January 2011


Little Red House Purchased

The Little Red House at 10 S. Western was purchased

01 January 2008


Batting Cages Open

The Oakton Batting Cages open

01 January 2006

Property Purchased at Oakton Park

2620 Oakton property, adjacent to Oakton Sports Complex, is purchased

01 January 2006


Hinkley Reservoir

Hinkley reservoir groundbreaking

01 January 2004


Skate Park Opens

Skate Park opens at Hinkley Park

Skate Park Opens
01 January 2002

Observation Deck

Sam Biardo's observation deck is dedicated

01 January 2002


Prairie Restoration

Wildwood Prairie restoration begins

01 January 2000


Paws Park Opens

Paws Park opens to the public at Oakton Park

Paws Park Opens
01 January 1999

Senior Center Renovation

Senior Center is renovated

01 January 1999


Hinkley Pool Re-Opens

Hinkley Pool grand re-opening

Hinkley Pool Re-Opens
01 June 1998

Wildwood Nature Center Re-Opens

Wildwood Nature Center Grand Re-Opening

01 January 1998


National Diving Competition

U.S. Masters National Outdoor Invitational Diving Championships are held at Oakton Pool

18 August 1995


Community Center Opens

01 January 1992


Driving Range Opens

Oakton Driving Range opens to the public

01 April 1988


Wildwood Nature Center Opens

Wildwood Nature Center opens to the public

01 January 1986


Gallery & Library Donated

Eugene Romeo Gallery & Library donated to the Park District

01 January 1983


Park Ridge Park District Changes its Name

Park Ridge Park District changes its name to Park Ridge Recreation and Park District

01 January 1979


West Park Changes Name

West Park Changes Name to Centennial Park

01 January 1976

Jaycee Park

Jaycee Park was dedicated

01 January 1976


Olympic Trials

Olympic Trials held at Oakton Sports Complex

01 January 1972


Recreation Center Opens

South Park Recreation Center opens

01 January 1969


North Park Acquired

North Park acquired by the City of Park Ridge

01 January 1968

Washington Park Renamed

 Washington Park Renamed Rotary Park

01 January 1968

Woodland Park Purchased

 Woodland Park Purchased for $125,000

01 January 1968


Oakton Park Purchased

Oakton Park purchased for $462,500

01 January 1966


Southeast Park Purchased

Southeast Park purchased for $54,864

01 January 1959


Senior Citizen Program

Senior Citizen program begins

01 January 1958


Northeast Park Purchased

Northeast Park purchased for $48,863

01 January 1956

Southwest Park Purchased

Southwest Park purchased for $66,820

01 January 1956

Northwest Park Purchased

Northwest Park purchased for $97,000

01 January 1956


Maine Park District Annexed

Maine Park District annexed to Park Ridge Park District

01 January 1954

West Park pool and Field House

West Park pool and field house built

01 January 1954


West Park Purchased

West Park purchased for $48,250

01 January 1952

Playground Parks Renamed

Playground Parks renamed Hinkley Field

01 January 1952


Football Clinics Begin

First football clinics begin

01 January 1949

Summer Concert at Hodges Park

First summer concert held at Hodges Park

01 January 1949


Youth Softball Leagues and Baseball Clinics

First youth 12" & 16" softball leagues and baseball clinics begin

01 January 1948

Red Cross swim Lessons

First Red Cross swim lessons begin

01 January 1948

Outdoor Ice Rinks Open

First outdoor rinks at South Park, Hinkley Field, and Northeast Park open

01 January 1948


Washington Park Purchased

Washington Park (Rotary Park) purchased for $1,200

01 January 1947


Basketball League Begins

First basketball league begins

01 January 1946


Recreation Director

First Recreation Director hired

01 January 1944


WPA Excavates Earth

Works Progress Administration (WPA) excavates earth from Maine Park lagoons

01 January 1940


Maine Park Purchased

Maine Park purchased by Maine Park District for $16,000

01 January 1937


South Park Purchased

South Park purchased for $27,300

01 January 1936


Hinkley Pool

Hinkley Pool opens

01 January 1929


Playground Park (Hinkley Field) Purchased

Remaining 8 acres of Playground Park (Hinkley Field) purchased for $319,000

01 January 1928


Playground Park Approved for Sale

Park Ridge Playground Stockholders approve sale of Playground Park (Hinkley Field)

01 January 1926


Cumberland Park Purchased

Cumberland Park purchased for $14,400

01 January 1923


Hodges Park

Hodges Park acquired

01 January 1914

Park Ridge Park District

June 29, Park Ridge Park District is created

01 January 1914