October 25, 2022

Park Avenue Breakwater / Boat Ramp-FundraiseUp

Sailing Into the Future: Park Avenue Boating Facility

It’s where special moments became memories. It’s where campers played, neighbors bonded, and families formed. Let’s create special moments again. We are incredibly grateful for the past support that helped the Parks Foundation exceed its original $300,000 funding goal for this project Thank you very much to everyone who made a gift. We were all surprised by construction bids for the total project that came in much higher than the original estimates due to supply chain shortages. Despite the increased price for the total project and to keep the project moving forward, at the April 27, 2022, meeting, the Park Board approved construction of the base scope of the Park Avenue Breakwater Project in the amount of $2,221,890. The base scope includes construction of a new steel sheet pile breakwater and a new concrete boat launch. Funding includes $2,000,000 from the Park District’s capital fund and $400,000 from the Parks Foundation of Highland Park, made possible from community donations. Construction begins this Fall.

The second part of the project is construction of ancillary items that support beautification and safe use of the boat ramp including an ADA accessible floating dock, safety bollards and lighting. This part of the project is currently not funded and is estimated to cost $280,000. The Park District has applied for a Boat Access Area Development Grant through IDNR for $200,000 and is anticipating confirmation of the grant award in November of 2022. If the Park District is awarded this grant, additional funds will be needed to complete the project. If the Park District is not awarded the grant, an estimated $180,000 will be needed to complete the second part of the project. The Park District will likely seek construction bids for the ancillary items in December 2022 for construction to be completed by Memorial Day Weekend 2023.

The campaign isn’t over yet. We must now focus on reaching our stretch goal to cover the $180,000. Donate today and help us reach our new goal to take this project to the finish line.

Why is this important?

Highland Park has an historic relationship with the water as a unique lakeside community. For over 50 years, Park Avenue Boating Facility and Beach has provided safe water recreational activities.  The breakwater and boat launch have been essential for the safe launching of watercraft for recreational enjoyment and emergency rescue services. The breakwater also provides a safe place to walk, fish, and enjoy stunning views of Lake Michigan. Having a beautified, accessible, and revitalized shoreline fosters a sense of pride, a cohesive sense of community and provides a place for friends, neighbors and family to connect and build multi-generational ties. In keeping with the Park District’s commitment and obligation to encourage the use of Park District facilities, we want to ensure that every resident – which includes those with ADA restrictions – can safely access our shorelines to nurture their mind, body, and spirit through outdoor activity.

New Breakwater & Boat Launch Rendering

Future Vision for All of Park Avenue

A new three-phased Park Avenue Concept Master Plan will ensure this important facility will continue to serve our community and provide essential connections to nature and our lakefront for generations to come. A new breakwater & boat ramp is Phase 1 of the Park Avenue Master Plan and will allow families to continue to enjoy the sailing, paddle boarding, power boating, fishing, and stunning views that Lake Michigan offers our community.

Phase 2 of the Park Avenue Concept Master Plan includes:

A future, Phase 3 of the Park Avenue Concept Master Plan will address the stairs down to the beach and other site improvements. Funding for the Phase 2 & 3 projects will come from the Park District capital fund, a potential IDNR grant and donations.

Phase 2 of the Park Ave Concept Master Plan

*If you wish to write a check and save us the 2% credit card processing fee, send it to:

Parks Foundation of Highland Park, ATTN: Liz Gogola
636 Ridge Road, Highland Park, IL 60035