History

The Worth-Palos Park District was formed by a referendum in 1965 and it consists of a five-member Board of Commissioners. The measure passed by a slim margin of just 26 votes.

 

The park district's first meeting was held at the village hall on May 3, 1965. The first tax money received by the newly formed district was in June of 1966. Through its 40 plus years the park district continues to grow with 10 parks to serve its residents and a staff dedicated to serving the community's changing needs.

Looking Back Through The Years.....

  • 1966 – A 5-acre parcel of land was donated by contractor, Wayne Peak, which is known today at Peak's Park located at 107th and Oak Park Ave.

  • 1967 – The village turned over 2 half-acre parcels to the park district, which later became known as Worthwoods Park, at 109th & Oketo and Penny Park, at Home Ave. & Normandy. Penny Park was named for the early promise given to tax payers that the park district would only cost them pennies each year. Also a 2-car garage was given as a gift to the park and moved to Peak's which was then converted into a three-room community building known today as the Helen Goy Community Center.

  • 1970 – The triangular piece of land across the street from Peak's Park was purchased and is now used as our Maintenance Garage. A 5-acre wooded tract of land located at 109th and Nordica was also purchased. It was dedicated to the memory of Gale Moore in 1974.

  • 1975 – 1976 – Development of Smile, at 114th & Neenah; Stahlak, at 112th & Natchez; and Altman Parks took place along with the maintenance of 3 ball fields at Worthwoods School. The Altman Park had been just south of the Terrace Center where the village-owned ball fields are today.

  • 1977 – Baldwin Park, at 109th & Nashville, was donated by Jack Baldwin in honor of his son.

  • 1982 – The park district signed a lease with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District for a 13-acre parcel of land for a period of 39 years. The park, located at 116th and Oak Park, was named after Frank Homerding in 1983.

  • 1985 – Worth Terrace School, located at 11500 Beloit, was purchased. It was renamed the Charles M. Christensen Terrace Centre in 1989.

  • 1990 – The official name of the park district was changed from Worth-Palos Park District to Worth Park District. The popular Recreation After School (RAS) program began. The football field at Peaks Park was named the Harold Choot Field.

  • 1993 – The Veterans Memorial Park, at 111th & Harlem, was unveiled.

  • 1995 – The first Worth Park District Historical Museum was opened at the Terrace Centre. The Board of Commissioners also formed the Worth Historical Society.

  • 2004 – A new Historical Museum was opened. The Department of Natural Resources Illinois State Museum's Public Museum Capital Grant primarily funded the expansion.