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Miller: Batavia Park District has award-winning January

January proved to be good for the Batavia Park District.

Staff attended the Illinois Park and Recreation Association’s annual conference in Chicago, and the marketing and public relations department received first place for brochure series in the agency showcase competition. The conference was Jan. 24 to 26.

Agency showcase is a spirited competition spotlighting bright ideas exhibited by park, recreation and conservation agencies. The professionally judged competition recognizes Illinois agencies for their marketing and communication efforts ranging from print to multimedia.

The Batavia Park District’s Fun Guide was up against many outstanding agencies, and staff members consider it an honor to know the brochure stood out in areas such as writing and design.

Professional judges reviewed each submission based on specific guidelines. According to one judge, the Batavia Park District Fun Guide was the favorite “by far.”

“Attractive, inviting, well-organized and fun,” the judge wrote. “Great use of photography and very well branded. Excellent job!”

That same weekend, the Batavia Chamber of Commerce held the annual awards dinner. The Batavia Park District was announced as the special Ole Award winner for the renovations to Hall Quarry Beach.

“The Ole Awards are given to businesses or organizations that have completed new construction or building renovations in Batavia, and those renovations should be an investment in the community,” said Batavia Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Roger Breisch. “There was no question the investment made to Hall Quarry Beach was significant. The chamber and the community are very thankful to the park district for those renovations.”

In fall 2011, Hall Quarry Beach underwent a major renovation to repair cracks in the foundation causing water to leak. Because of the leaks, spring water was consistently being pumped into the quarry. Temperatures hovered around 65 degrees, and many residents wanted a solution.

Focus groups were conducted, and the Batavia Park District heard overwhelmingly that residents wanted the quarry repaired rather than shut down.

“The renovations at the quarry were a direct result of those focus groups,” said Pat Callahan, president of the Batavia Park District board. “The community took the time to give us the feedback, and we’re proud to accept the award on their behalf.”

The renovation was a success, and Hall Quarry Beach had a record-breaking season in 2012. More than 2,500 season passes were sold, more than double those sold in 2011, and more than 45,000 people visited the quarry. The average water temperature last summer jumped to 73 degrees.

Hall Quarry Beach season passes go on sale April 1. For information, visit

• Kari Miller is director of marketing and public relations for the Batavia Park District. Contact her at

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