History of Schaumburg Park District

Organized in May 1963, the population of Schaumburg barely exceeded 1,000 residents and the district’s only park was Civic Park, now called Bock Park. The district had no employees in 1963, just a park board. By 1968, the first director was hired and the district’s budget was $25,000. In 1970, the district passed a $1,250,000 referendum to build Atcher Pool and the Meineke Recreation Center.

In 1973, a $2,500,000 referendum was passed to develop various neighborhood parks, construct Meineke Pool and purchase land for Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary. A 1978 referendum for $7,500,000 allowed the construction of the Community Recreation Center and the renovation of Bock Pool. It also allowed the purchase of more land for Spring Valley and park improvements.

The rapidly growing Schaumburg Park District continued its forward momentum during the 1980s. The Schaumburg Park Foundation was established in 1981 as the fundraising (501(c)3) arm of the District. In 1982, a grant was received from the state of Illinois to develop the Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary.

In 1986, the Kids After School Program for Education and Recreation (KASPER) was started to provide before and after-school care for children in Kindergarten through sixth grade.

New construction continued through the decade. Ground was broken at Walnut Greens Golf Course in 1985. Also that year, the Vera Meineke Nature Center was opened, and an addition to the Meineke Recreation Center included a gym, indoor running track and weight room.

Rounding out the eighties, and expanding the District’s golf offerings, the District purchased the former Golden Acres golf facility and started renovation and construction of a 45,000 sq.ft. clubhouse.

The Schaumburg Park District continued to expand in the 1990s. In 1995, the District received its second Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park District Management.

The District recognized its forefathers (and foremother) by dedicating Mraz Park, Doherty Park, McLemore Park, MacIntyre Park and Connelly Park.

Recreation facilities grew with the opening of Woodfield Lake Fitness Club in 1991, Schaumburg Golf Club in 1992, The Water Works in 1995, Olympic Park in 1996 and Schaumburg Tennis Plus in 1998. Baseball and airplanes came to Schaumburg with the opening of the Schaumburg Baseball Stadium and Schaumburg Regional Airport in 1998.

Spring Valley’s Volkening Heritage Farm developed greatly in the 90s to foster a sense of local history. An old-fashioned barn raising in 1993 led to the site’s grand opening and dedication in 1997.

The early childhood program thrived with the opening of an early childhood center in 1992. The center was named the Pat Shephard Early Childhood Center in 1994, memorializing the District’s early childhood supervisor. Following the expansion of educational programs for children, Safety Park opened in 1998 and was named for former Schaumburg Police Chief Ken Alley in 1999.

Growth, dedications and renovations continued in the 2000s. The District received its third Gold Medal for Excellence in Park District Management in 2004 and achieved Distinguished Agency Accreditation in 2009, 2015 and 2021.

The District recognized key figures in its history dedicating Atcher Island Water Park in 2005, Russ Parker Park in 2006, Jerry Handlon Administration Building in 2004, Kay Wojcik Conservation at Oak Hollow in 2009, John Selke Waterfront at Volkening Lake in 2009 and the Macnider Cross Country Course at Hoover Park in 2011.

Sport facilities and programs grew with the launch of Dodgeball Days and the establishment of the National Amateur Dodgeball Association in 2000; the opening of the Sport Center, a 110,000 sq.ft. indoor sports facility, in 2003; Nancy Wroblewski Skate Park at Olympic Park in 2007; and synthetic fields at Olympic Park in 2008.

The District’s pools underwent improvements with the opening of Atcher Island Water Park, construction of a lap pool at Schaumburg Tennis Plus in 2005, and the grand re-opening of The Water Works in 2007.

In 2010, renovations were complete at Meineke Recreation Center. Tribute Park at Volkening Lake opened in 2012 to commemorate and honor memories, special events and achievements of Schaumburg residents and others who make a positive impact on the community. The Schaumburg Park Foundation funded the renovation of the Nature Museum at Spring Valley in 2013.



  • May 1963 - Park District Incorporated
  • 1963 - Civic Park (Bock Park) Opens
  • 1968 - Paul Derda, First Director (1968-78) hired
  • 1971 - Meineke Recreation Center Opens
  • 1973 - Meineke Pool Opens
  • 1978 - Jerry Handlon, Executive Director (1978-2004) Hired
  • 1979 - Bock Park Dedication


  • 1980 - Community Recreation Center Opens, Bock Neighborhood Center Opens, Park District purchases final 40 acres of land for Spring Valley
  • 1981 - Abrahamsen Park Dedicated, Schaumburg Park Foundation Formed, Meineke Recreation Center Dedicated
  • 1982 - Brandenburg Park Dedicated, Roberts Park Dedicated, Park District receives grant to develop trails at Spring Valley
  • 1983 - Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary Opens
  • 1986 - Meineke Recreation Center Eiermann Gymnasium Opens, KASPER Begins
  • 1987 - Spring Valley's Vera Meineke Nature Center Opens
  • 1988 - Schaumburg Park District celebrates its 25th anniversary, Park District receives first Gold Medal Award for excellence in park district management, Walnut Greens Opens
  • 1989 - Golden Acres Golf Course Purchased


  • 1990 - Administration Building Opened
  • 1990 - Woodfield Lake Fitness Club Opened
  • 1991 - Grand Opening of Woodfield Lake Fitness Club
  • 1991 - Mraz Park Dedicated
  • 1992 - Early Childhood Center Opened
  • 1993 - Heritage Farm Barn Raising
  • 1993 - Grand Opening of Schaumburg Golf Club
  • 1993 - Maintenance Building Dedicated
  • 1993 - Doherty and McLemore Parks Dedicated
  • 1994 - Dedication of Pat Shephard Early Childhood Center
  • 1994 - MacIntyre Park Dedicated
  • 1995 - Grand Opening and Dedication of The Water Works
  • 1995 - Farm Officially Renamed Volkening Heritage Farm
  • 1995 - Park District Receives Second Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park District Management
  • 1996 - Connelly Park Dedicated
  • 1996 - Grand Opening and Dedication of Olympic Park
  • 1997 - Grand Opening and Dedication of Volkening Heritage Farm
  • 1997 - Veterans Park Dedicated
  • 1998 - Safety Park, Schaumburg Tennis Plus, Schaumburg Airport and Schaumburg Baseball Stadium Opened
  • 1999 - Dedication of Ken Alley Safety Park


  • 2000 - Inaugural Dodgeball Days Tournament
  • 2003 - Sport Center Dedication
  • 2004 - Jerry Handlon Administration Building Dedications
  • 2004 - Park District Receives Third Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park District Management
  • 2005 - Schaumburg Tennis Plus Lap Pool Opened
  • 2005 - Atcher Island Water Park Dedication
  • 2006 - Russ Parker Park Dedicated
  • 2007 - The Water Works Renovated Grand Re-opening
  • 2007 - Nancy Wroblewski Skate Park Opened at Olympic Park
  • 2008 - Synthetic Fields Installed at Olympic Park Dedicated
  • 2009 - Kay Wojcik Conservation at Oak Hollow Dedicated
  • 2009 - John Selke Waterfront at Volkening Lake Dedicated
  • 2010 - Meineke Recreation Center Renovation Grand Re-opening
  • 2010 - Park District Awarded Distinguished Accredited Agency
  • 2011 - Macnider Cross Country Course at Hoover Park Dedicated
  • 2012 - Tribute Park at Volkening Lake Opened
  • 2013 - Spring Valley Nature Museum Renovation Grand Re-opening
  • 2017 - Bison's Bluff Nature Playground Grand Opening