IAPD/IPRA Honors BPD at Annual Conference Awards Luncheon

On Friday, January 23, Bolingbrook Park District received their award for being recognized as an Illinois Distinguished Accredited Agency by the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) and the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA).  Executive Director, Ron Oestreich and Board President, Sue Vastalo were invited on stage at the IAPD/IPRA Annual Conference Awards Luncheon to receive the plaque, representing the entire district.

After a four-year hiatus from accreditation, Oestreich made the decision to go forward with the process after hearing of updated standards and increasing accountability and reporting requirements in November of 2013.

We have other village government entities that are accredited," said Oestreich.  "It was important to us that the Park District is also accredited, demonstrating a strategic direction, strength in our business practices and quality parks and recreation services for the residents of Bolingbrook and our surrounding communities."

The process began with Oestreich applying for consideration through a joint committee of both IAPD/IPRA members.  After the application was accepted, Oestreich and his staff were required to complete a Legal Section before being approved for consideration.  After being approved, Mike Adams from the Woodridge Park District served as liaison to Oestreich and Administrative Assistant, Beth Benner to move forward in the accreditation process.

"I think it adds credibility to our agency," said Oestreich. "We're in the top ten percent of park districts in the state of Illinois."

After 15 months of meetings with the Bolingbrook Park District, the final step was to survive an all-day, 8-hour audit.  The extensive evaluation process covered staff interviews, presenting proper agency documentation and a parks and facility tour.

"I'm really proud of the team," said Oestreich.  "The new standards were very different from the 2005 audit.  I'm very proud of how far we've come.  We are committed to make sure that the services that we're providing are world class."

With the score of 479.4268 out of 500, Bolingbrook Park District officially became an Illinois Distinguished Accredited Agency in October of 2014. 

What does this mean for the residents of Bolingbrook?  Oestreich said it perfectly:

"Their park district is something special, it stands out not only as a recreation agency, but a highly thought of, award-winning agency. It's a demonstration of our mission: providing world class parks and recreation services, doing it in a fiscally responsible manner and helping people achieve quality of life. "