Welcome to the Department
of Parks and Planning


We're responsible for maintaining and enhancing the Wilmette Park District's facilities and 314 acres of parks, which include the 59-acre Gillson Park on Lake Michigan's shore, 12 tot lots, baseball, football and soccer fields and other parkland and facility green spaces located throughout the Village of Wilmette.

Each season, our Parks Crew and Building Crew are hard at work, completing a wide variety of indoor and outdoor projects, some huge, some tiny. On this page, you'll learn what we've been doing lately.

Throughout the year, our department works alongside Park District staff, the Board of Park Commissioners and myriad architectural, construction and trade professionals on larger, special projects around the Park District. Please click on the links to the left for updates on special projects underway.


Beginning in 2023: Follow our activities and updates in our new monthly blog, Nuts & Bolts!

January 2023 Nuts & Bolts
February 2023
Nuts & Bolts

December 2022

  • Parks crews relocated a soil pile from Mallinckrodt to Howard Park, leveled out sand at Gillson Beach, completed athletic field work (biosolids, aerating), installed a snow fence at Hibbard Park. repaired a split rail fence, and pruned trees at Shorewood Park.
  • Building staff decorated the pavilion at Mallincrodt for Santa's Mailbox
  • Building staff also installed a car charging station at Wilmette Golf Course.
November 2022
  • Parks crews provided bleachers to the Fire Department for their open house, worked the Wicked Wilmette event, installed snow fences at Gillson, mulched leaves, repaired memorial tree plaques, winterized water fountains, transitioned vehicles and equipment from summer operations to winter operations, and removed batting cage nets.
  • Building staff built the last sailing rack for Gillson Sailing Beach, replaced the sump pumps and the ejector pumps within the Golf Clubhouse, installed a chemical controller at Centennial Family Aquatic Center, completed Activity Pool repairs, and, on November 9, assisted with the installation of a car charging station at Village Hall.
October 2022
  • Parks crews were busy this month with various flower and tree plantings; tree treatments and removal from beaver damage and declining trees; and playground maintenance, split rail fence repair and turf work.
  • Building staff completed several projects including building a cabinet at the Paddle Hut; painting the north wall at the Golf Club Restaurant; installing carpeting in Mallinckrodt halls, offices and program spaces; painting the doorways at the Center Fitness Club, and tearing down a wall to create the new Functional Training Studio.

April 2022

We're Planting Trees!
On Saturday, April 16 our Parks and Planning staff planted 19 trees within Gillson, Centennial, Hibbard and Howard Parks! And, we're working with the Village of Wilmette to add four trees to the parkway around Centennial Park this spring.

Look for more trees around our parks, thanks to a collaboration between our staff and the Village of Wilmette, who will be developing a long-term tree plan for the parkways around our parks and facilities this year.

Heads Up: Tree Maintenance Work in Coming Weeks
You may notice crews in our parks in the next few weeks, trimming branches. This is part of routine maintenance to help our trees thrive. Sadly, a hazardous cottonwood tree in Gillson Park must come down this week. It breaks our hearts when we must remove a mature tree. However, after consulting with two arborists, it was agreed this tree has reached the end of its life cycle and is so rotted that it poses a hazard, so it must come down.

Landscape Master Plans Approved
At the December 13, 2021 Regular Park Board meeting, the Board approved Landscape Master Plans for Centennial Park, Community Playfields, Hibbard Park, Howard Park, Maple Park, Thornwood Park and Vattmann Park. The plans include details on current conditions, and recommended plantings for each park. Landscape work has been in implementation.

Click Here to download and view the document.