Parks Foundation

The River Forest Parks Foundation is an independent group of River Forest residents and business representatives who support the need of parks, recreation, education, conservation, and sustainability for their community.  The Parks Foundation was created to enhance the quality of life for all River Forest residents by helping provide, through volunteerism and contributions, the best parks, facilities, recreation, education, conservation, and sustainability opportunities.  All donations to the Parks Foundation are tax deductible, as defined by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.   The Parks Foundation augments the established direction of the Park District by supporting and funding the following initiatives:


Village of River Forest Sustainability Committee: The Parks Foundation works on behalf of the Village and serves as an advisor to the Village regarding sustainability and conservation initiatives, providing recommendations regarding matters of policy and resource support relating to sustainability and conservation.   


yard sign photo
Natural Lawn Care and Native Plants:  Scheduled to roll out this spring, this initiative is designed to promote best practices for lawn care and landscaping at the residential level to reduce use and impact of lawn care products on human health and the environment.  This outreach campaign will communicate to the public the positive environmental and health benefits associated with changes in outdoor landscaping practices to control weeds and other pests by promoting natural lawn care and native gardens.  This initiative is supported through a grant from the Oak Park Community Foundation.

Click here to download the Healthy Lawns brochure and pledge sheet.

Go to the following link for a June 12, 2015 Article on Healthy Lawn, Healthy Family


Curbside Composting:  Rolled out in August, 2015, the Village of River Forest and Roy Strom Refuse Removal Service are offering a yard waste and food scrap compost program to residents with the goal of decreasing the amount of organic waste sent to landfills.  The program will be offered on a voluntary, subscription basis.  The subscription cost will be $18 per month for a one year contract, which is about the cost of one yard waste sticker and bag per week.  Residents who sign up will receive at 64-gallon cart that is comparable in volume to two bags or containers of yard waste collected in the current program.  Residents who sign up before the 20th of the month will receive their compost container before the end of the month.  Their compost collection will begin the following month.  No more brown bags and stickers for yard waste.  Include all food scraps and organics.For more information about Curbside Composting and to sign up, please visit:


rain barrelRain Barrel Program:  Scheduled to roll out in Spring, 2016, the Village of River Forest has entered into an Inter-Governmental Agreement with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago for residents to obtain up to four rain barrels from the MWRD free of charge.  Rain Barrels are a form of green infrastructure that are designed to capture and reuse rain water. The largest benefit of rain barrel use is achieved by disconnecting the roof runoff from the system and installing rain barrels to reuse water.  Roofs comprise 41% of the impervious surface in Cook County. Many of these surfaces are directly connected to the public drainage system.  The goal of the MWRD  Rain Barrel Program is removing the direct load from entering the sewer system, reducing basement backups, and reducing combined sewer overflow volume, overland flooding, and infiltration and inflow. The District believes the value of keeping water out of the system will benefit the community.  Additional information regarding the Rain Barrel Program will be forthcoming.




All Heads in Helmets: The Parks Foundation is partnering with the Village of River Forest Police Department to encourage our children to wear their helmets through education, rewards, and stepped up enforcement of our Village bike helmet ordinance.  The program kicks off annually in May in celebration of National Biking Month.


Community Gardens: The Parks Foundation has partnered with the River Forest Park District in developing a community herb garden at the corner of Keystone and Augusta and butterfly gardens at Memorial Parkway.  The community herb garden is open to River Forest residents to utilize for the preparation of their family meals.  The community herb garden is replanted every spring, and is open for community use July 1 –November 1 annually.   


Special Events:   


Bocce Bash: The Bocce Bash is the annual Parks Foundation fundraiser held in the early summer.  The bocce ball tournament and social is a great event for neighbors to get together and support conservation and sustainability initiatives for their community.   

The seven (7) member Parks Foundation Board of Directors is made up of River Forest residents and business representatives.  The Park District Executive Director serves as staff liaison to the Parks Foundation Board.  Terms for each Board of Director shall be three (3) years.  The Board meets on the third Monday, 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM in the months of May, July, September, November, January, and March at The Depot, 401 Thatcher Avenue, River Forest.


Current Parks Foundation Board Members

Katie Brennan, President

Katarina Berin

Susan Crothers Gee

Jimmy Durham

Chung Lee

Julie Moller

Ross Roloff


Interested in Serving on the Parks Foundation Board:

If you are interested in serving on the River Forest Parks Foundation Board, please view the bylaws and questionnaire posted in the right column of this page.  If you have any questions, please contact Michael Sletten at 708-366-6660 x101.


Congratulations to our Bocce Bash Champions:

  • 2015: Tim Brangle, Cheryl Cargie, Tom Cargie, and Katie O’Brien
  • 2014: Madeline Bazzale Brown, Gabriella Ferrante, Phillip Ferrante, and Allan Lowson