ELMHURST – Serving as a volunteer board member for a local unit of government can seem intimidating to some, but for Elmhurst Park District Commissioner Patricia Morrisette-Moll, it became a passion.
After attending more than 500 park board meetings, countless events and being part of numerous large-scale projects, Morrisette-Moll was recognized in April for her 24 years of service to the board.
Throughout her tenure on the board, Morrisette-Moll played a part in a number of significant projects, ranging from the renovation of Wilder Mansion and multiple intergovernmental agreements to the creation of the Hub at Berens Park and the completion of The Playground for Everyone, an inclusive playground at Butterfield Park.
She also had a role in the installation of the Marjorie Davis Community Garden, rebuilding of East End and Smalley pools, the construction and completion of the Salt Creek Greenway Trail and the construction of the softball diamond at Salt Creek Park in partnership with Elmhurst College.
“I initially chose to run for the board because I wanted to ensure equal access to parks and recreational activities for all families and individuals,” Morrisette-Moll said. “I’m proud to know that the Elmhurst Park District provides lifelong memories for children, families and adults. I’ve loved every year I’ve served on the board.”
Morrisette-Moll is looking forward to volunteering at events and being able to get more involved in the community she’s lived in nearly her entire life.
“In our busy modern world, it’s my wish that families still continue to connect using our parks, facilities and programs,” she said. “I think that’s the way we’re going to keep our families connected.”
Filling her shoes won’t be an easy task, but resident Claire Kubiesa is up for the challenge.
Kubiesa, who was sworn in at the May 13 park board meeting, was born and raised in Elmhurst and attended York High School before graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She returned to Elmhurst to pursue a masters in clinical psychology and later moved to complete her Ph.D. in counseling psychology.
She came back to her Elmhurst roots in 2016 to settle down and start a family, which includes her husband, TJ, and 1-year-old son, Palmer.
“I enjoyed many programs, classes and parks offered by the park district throughout my life,” Kubiesa said. “My participation in those programs really shaped me into the person and professional I am today. As a young mother, I want the best for my children. This is a wonderful place to raise a family, and I want to be able to give my time back to my community and help continue to enhance the park district for the future.”
Kubiesa is looking forward to getting to know the park district in a different light and learning more about its operations and staff. She also plans to familiarize herself with Vision 2020 and related projects that will help shape the future of the district.
“I am looking forward to help move these projects forward with more community input,” she said. “As trends and the needs of our community change, I want to be able to support the district on its mission of enriching lives while having fun, and also sustain the core values and vision while offering a fresh perspective.”