To date, the UPF has contributed to the Urbana Park District by supporting projects that include:

Youth Scholarships

Urbana has families from many socioeconomic backgrounds. Now more than ever it is important to reduce financial barriers and help youth from all families to participate in programs and services available from the Urbana Park District.

Keeping all youth engaged with park programs is so important that the Urbana Parks Foundation and Urbana Park District have established increasing youth development resources as one of the three major emphases for their fundraising priorities.

  • Along with tax support, program fees are an important source of revenue supporting the Urbana Park District (UPD) parks, programs and natural areas.
  • For many years [decades?] a combination of donor contributions and UPD program fee waivers have been used to make it possible for youth from families with limited financial resources to participate in UPD programs.
  • Requests for assistance have always exceeded funds available, but recently requests have spiked even further. Requests were $62.5 thousand in 2013-2014 but jumped to $125 thousand in 2015-2016.
  • Scholarship awards were $45,791 in 2015-2016.
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Crystal Lake Park

For more than a century, generations of Urbana residents have been enchanted by the natural beauty of Crystal Lake Park. Whether appreciating the sunlight reflecting across the water from a canoe or gazing up at the towering trees during a family picnic, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this community treasure.

The vision for the future of Crystal Lake Park is the result of comprehensive planning with a significant level of community involvement. Support from the Urbana Park District’s budget can fund some of the core improvements to restore Crystal Lake Park. However, the remainder must
come from other sources, and grant funding has become more limited in recent years.

Annual Fund

We hear often from our visitors and program participants that the parks and programs of the Urbana Park District have a direct impact on their lives, creating fulfillment and lasting memories for them and their families.  Through the stories of joy, exploration, learning, and discovery that are shared with us, we are continually reminded of the value that our community places on Urbana Parks.  You may have your own memories from a park or program. Yet have you wondered what it has taken for the wonderful Urbana park system to become what it is today?  Tax dollars are the bedrock of support on which the Park District is built, but Urbana’s parks are the important community asset they are because of significant support received from other sources.  That’s where the Urbana Parks Foundation (UPF) comes in.  Your donation today through annual giving supports not just the parks immediate esthetic or environmental value, but will make in impact on them and on future generations.

Urbana parks are a resource for everyone. Whether you live in Urbana or a surrounding community, make a positive impact on Urbana’s parks now and in the future by donating today.



In April of 2017, the Urbana Park District celebrated the Grand Opening of the new Friendship Grove Nature Playscape, located adjacent to the Anita Purves Nature Center. This project was a genuinely collaborative and cooperative effort between the Park District and the Parks Foundation. The Foundation helped the district to raise the needed funds to make this amazing playscape a feature that is loved and enjoyed by all who visit it today, and will do so into the future. Without collaborative fundraising to give donors the opportunity in a variety of ways to support the project, it would have been less creative, educational, and exciting.