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Beckley: Park district announces new strategic plan, mission, vision and values

Having a clear vision of where parks and recreation in Downers Grove should be in the future is a vital step in reaching our goals.

Downers Grove Park District’s new strategic plan, Vision 2020, will lead us over the next five years through specific themes, objectives and initiatives. The strategic plan also introduces the district’s new mission, vision and values that will guide how we move forward on developing master plans for parks, facilities, programs and administrative projects.

The planning process began in early 2013 with focus groups and surveys involving community members and civic organizations. We gathered information from these groups and individuals to guide a committee made up of park district employees across different departments.

Our Mission Statement defines our organization's purpose and primary objectives. While its prime function is internal, to define the key measures of our success, its prime audience is our leadership team and stakeholders (residents). Because the Park District covers such a broad range of services, it was not easy to create a simplified mission statement to encompass all that we do. Here’s our new mission statement: Enriching our community through natural area preservation and exceptional recreation, parks and facilities that inspire memorable experiences.

A vision statement also defines our purpose, but it does so in terms of our values rather than bottom line measures. For our employees, it gives direction about how they are expected to behave and inspires them to give their best. Shared with our residents, it shapes their understanding of why they should participate in the Downers Grove Park District. Our Vision: To be the community resource encouraging PLAY for L.I.F.E. (Leadership, Imagination, Fulfillment, Enjoyment). This means across all ages and generations, from ages 1 to 99. Life in this statement also correlates to health and wellness; physically, mentally and emotionally.

Our Values are the standards that guide our conduct in a variety of settings. While our circumstances may change, ideally our values do not. Downers Grove Park District’s Values are:

• Safety: Emphasizing a fun environment where residents and staff feel socially, emotionally and physically secure.

• Ambition: Leaders in exploring and creating innovative opportunities based on evolving needs and trends.

• Responsibility: Preserving and maximizing community resources and partnerships through historical, environmental and fiscal stewardship.

• Integrity: Serving consistently, openly and honestly.

• Professionalism: Committed to fostering a supportive culture that develops, empowers, respects and appreciates residents, volunteers and staff.

We have a bright future ahead of us and are blessed to have such wonderful community assets. Thank you to our residents who participated in this process.

Vision 2020 is available for review at For questions or comments regarding the strategic plan, mission, vision or values, please contact

Brandi Beckley is the external affairs manager for Downers Grove Park District.

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