Larry Piekarz, Executive Director of the Park District of Forest Park, was presented with the Illinois Association of Park Districts’ (IAPD)Honored Professional Award at the organization’s annual conference at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
The IAPD Honored Professional Award recognizes professionals in the field of parks and recreation who have demonstrated remarkable talents in encouraging board members to excel as citizen advocates in advancing the field of parks, recreation and conservation. They believe in the IAPD mission and have a history of supporting its endeavors.
“Larry is a shining example of the kind of person it takes to grow a park district into a true community asset that responds to the needs of the citizens it serves,” said Peter Murphy, IAPD President and Chief Executive Officer. “He has been a true leader in the field, dedicating his time and talents to advancing parks and recreation in Illinois.”
Piekarz has been with the Park District of Forest Park for 26 years. Under his direction, the park district has grown substantially to include a new aquatic center, a building addition and the current construction of the park’s first multi-purpose center.
Piekarz is active in the Forest Park community as a member of the board of directors for the West Suburban Special Recreation Association and a member of the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce, where he served multiple times as Chamber president. He has also served on the Streamwood Park District board of commissioners, on the board of the National Youth Sports Coaches Association and as a volunteer coach.
IAPD was established in 1928 and is the oldest state association for parks, recreation and conservation in America. The association serves more than 2,100 elected park, recreation and forest preserve district board members who govern more than 390 agencies employing 40,000 individuals.
IAPD strives to improve Illinois’ quality of life through park districts, forest preserves, conservation and recreation agencies by establishing grants and other new revenue streams for park land, facilities and services; educating the public about the positive effects parks and recreation have on communities; and meeting the problem of decreasing open space in Illinois.