Our History

Over 75 Years of Serving the Community

1945 – 1969

1945: Voters created the Park District as an independent unit of local government and elected the first Board of Park Commissioners. (Population 3,000)

1947: Acquired Palatine’s first park – Community Park. Offered five recreation programs/classes.

1949: Employed part-time park director. Annual park attendance of 12,000. (Population 4,000)

1955: Opened first swimming pool in Community Park. (Population 8,000)

1962: Employed first full-time Director of Parks and Recreation. (Population 15,000)

1964 Adopted first Master Plan for Parks and Recreation. Offered 40 recreation programs/classes. Annual park attendance of 55,000. (Population 18,000)

1966-1969: Developed Palatine Hills Golf Course and Recreation Area, Maple Park, Oak Park, Willow Park, Ashwood Park, the northern portion of Birchwood Park and constructed the second pool in Community Park. (Population 21,000)


1972: Constructed the Palatine Trail and Birchwood Park Recreation Center building and swimming pool. Developed Doug Lindberg Park, Sycamore Park, Locust Park, Cherrywood Park, Peregrine Park, Whippoorwill Park, Mallard Park, Partridge Park, and Sparrow Park. (Population 27,000)

1975: Consolidated with the Palatine Rural Park District. (Population 45,000)

1976: Developed Eagle Park and opened the District’s fifth swimming pool. (Population 47,000)

1977-1979: Purchased and renovated the Community Center (formerly Palatine High School) with the Village of Palatine. (Population 49,000)

1981: Began implementation of long range capital development program to renovate existing facilities and develop new parks and recreational areas. Offered 280 recreation programs/classes. (Population 60,000)

1982-1986: Renovated and rededicated Palatine Hills Golf Course Clubhouse.  Began use of Tom T. Hamilton Reservoir. Purchased and developed Osage Park.

1987-1988: Completed the Community Park Amphitheatre. Began development of Palatine Trail extension, Margreth Riemer Reservoir and Plum Grove Reservoir.

1989: Acquired and developed Cottonwood Park. Acquired and renovated Palatine Stables. (Population 69,000)


1990-1993: Constructed Combined Services Facility. Renovated Palatine Hills Golf Course and developed Finch and Cardinal Parks.  Acquired property on Wilke Road, Palatine Road, Smith Street, and Palos Avenue.

1994-1996: Expanded Palatine Trail System. Acquired property to expand Celtic Park. Acquired and developed Juniper Park. Constructed new gymnastics facility and expanded the Birchwood Recreation Center. Embarked on program to make all facilities accessible. (Population 75,000)

1997-1999: Adopted eight-year Master Plan. Constructed the Community Park Family Aquatic Center. Developed Towne Square and Hummingbird Park.  Renovated Palatine Stables lower barn. Acquired, renovated, and constructed the Senior Center. Expanded Eagle Park Recreation Center. Offered more than 450 recreation programs/classes. Annual park attendance of more than 2,200,000. (Population 82,000)

2000-2003: Renovated the Community Center for accessibility. Established an Interlocal Agreement which created the Palatine Northeast Resource Center. Developed Dove Park and The Grove in cooperation with School District 15. Reconfigured and renovated the Hamilton Sports Fields establishing five baseball/softball fields, ten soccer fields, a playground, and a support facility. Began online registration program.


2004: Acquired Falcon Park in the northeast and Bluebird Park in the central west area of Palatine to preserve open space for future recreational needs. Developed Robin Park, a Disc Golf Course at Margreth Riemer Reservoir, a Skate Park at Community Park, and a Dog Park at Plum Grove Reservoir.

2005-2007: Lighted five baseball/softball and eight soccer fields at Hamilton Sports Fields. Completed renovation of Birchwood Pool. Expanded Palatine Trail east of Cottonwood park and along Euclid Avenue to Harper College. Began development of Wally Degner (formerly Bluebird) and Falcon Parks. Expanded Community Park along Palatine Road.

2008-2011: Designed and built the Falcon Park Recreation Center. Renovated the Palatine Hills Golf Course green surrounds and traps. Built the Community Center’s Fitness Center. Installed Northwest Highway message sign. Named Dutch Schultz Recreation Area (formerly Palatine Hills Park). In conjunction with Celtic Soccer installed synthetic turf on Celtic Park fields 1 and 2. Purchased properties to expand Community and Eagle Parks. Paved the Hamilton Sports Fields running/walking path and Palatine Hills cart path. Received bond rating upgrade to Aa1. Installed District wide lightning detection system.

2012-2015: The Park District hired its third Executive Director in nearly 50 years.  District completed a full renovation of Eagle Pool. Renovated the clubhouse at Palatine Hills Golf Course and introduced FootGolf.  Acquired 12 acres of open space adjacent to the Palatine Stables currently known as Meadowlark Park. New affiliate groups were recognized by the District in the areas of Biking, Rugby and Lacrosse.  Installed nine additional holes making an 18-hole disc golf course at Margreth Riemer Reservoir.  Entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the Village of Palatine.


2016: Entered into an intergovernmental agreement with Harper College for the new Health and Recreation Center. The building opened two years later, adding an indoor pool for the District. It also provided an additional site for adult dance, fitness and pickleball programs.

2020: The District began the year celebrating its 75th anniversary including its 45 parks, 9 industry leading recreation facilities and 3 aquatic centers. In March, the Covid-19 pandemic began. Later that year, staff created virtual programs and events to comply with mandated restrictions while offering much needed recreation options for the community. Even the 40th Anniversary Turkey Trot was held virtually.

2023: Palatine Hills Golf Course hosts a U.S. Women’s Open Qualifier. The year ends with a new Executive Director leading the District.