History and Mission

The Crystal Lake Park District was formed in 1921, out of community concern that public access to the lake and beach would be lost to private ownership. The newly formed Park District Board unsuccessfully negotiated with the Consumer Ice Company for this land and then instituted condemnation proceedings, and, in 1923, was awarded 1500 feet of lakefront and 27.78 acres for the sum of $19,250. In 1926, a brick recreation building at Main Beach was built. Whether you have a desire to be active and try a new sport, expand your horizons and meet new friends or just enjoy the beauty of nature, the Crystal Lake Park District has opportunities for everyone.

Beginning in January 2021, We're Celebrating 100! 1921-2021!

The Crystal Lake Park District staff has been busy researching our rich 100 year history and the positive impact our services have had on Crystal Lake residents! Take the journey with us in 2021 as we explore the growth of the Park District through the decades!
Look for:
  • Trivia and other fun social media contests
  • In-depth articles, photos and interactive timeline on our website
  • Park "Pop Up" Events
  • Themes & Games at the Concerts in the Park Series
  • Look for more historic happenings throughout 2021


Organizational Focus

The Crystal Lake Park District is a separate unit of local government, accounting for approximately 5% of a resident's property tax bill. Charged with providing park and recreation services for approximately 55,000 residents, the Crystal Lake Park District system includes 42 parks spanning over 1,400 acres and program offerings of over 1,000 annually. Facilities include the Nature Center, Main and West Beaches, Colonel Palmer House, Lippold Park Family Golf Center, Boncosky Softball Complex at Lippold Park, Grand Oaks Recreation/Active Adult Center, The Racket Club, Barlina House Preschool, and numerous picnic shelters. In addition to parks, facilities and programs, the district maintains miles of bike and hiking trails enjoyed by many throughout the year. The Crystal Lake Park District publishes three seasonal brochures filled with programs and special events designed for participants of all ages.

The Mission of the Crystal Lake Park District is to enrich all lives through Recreation, Parks and Nature