Campaign for the Next Century

Donations in support of Campaign for the Next Century, as of January 2019.

The Urbana Parks Foundation (UPF) announced the launch of a $2 million fundraising campaign titled, Campaign for the Next Century.

The campaign seeks to build on more than a century of generosity from individuals, businesses, and civic organizations by supporting a variety of Urbana Park District (UPD) parks, programs, and activities.

The Campaign for the Next Century targets three specific areas of emphasis which include the following:

  • Broadening the financial base of support for UPD through the creation of the Urbana Parks Endowment. The endowment will generate a steady and reliable stream of income for UPD for years to come.
  • Revitalizing Crystal Lake Park. Critical improvements have already begun but work remains in an $8 million dollar multi-year complete park makeover.
  • Expanding funding for Youth Scholarships, so that all young people can benefit from UPD programs and facilities regardless of family income. Scholarships will help families with financial needs cover fees for summer camps, swim lessons, dance classes, and other enriching activities.

UPF chose these three targeted areas of support as they align with UPF’s mission to strengthen the local park system and enhance the health and vibrancy of the community. Learn more about these three campaign pillars from the tabs below:

Urbana Parks Endowment

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.

The Urbana Parks Foundation has created an endowment in order to generate a steady and reliable stream of income for the Urbana Park District. An endowment gives donors, like you, an opportunity to leverage your contributions with those from many others creating a impact that will continue forever.

  • An endowment broadens and deepens the base of financial support for all parks.
  • Multiple donors increase the impact of any single gift, many times over, and in perpetuity
  • They will help to ensure that future generations will enjoy the important benefits that a strong Urbana park system provides
  • A strong park system enhances the community economically, environmentally, educationally, socially, and contributes to an overall healthier and fit community

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. Strengthening parks strengthens the entire community. Whether you live in Urbana or a surrounding community, you can make a positive impact on Urbana’s Parks, by donating today.

Crystal Lake Park

For more than a century, generations of Urbana residents have been enchanted by the natural beauty of Crystal Lake Park. From canoeing and paddle boating, special events at the Lake House or family picnics in the park, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this community treasure.

Throughout its history, the park has received periodic upgrades, and it’s now been 30 years since the park has last seen improvements. Right now the park is facing a critical time as the lake, and aging amenities, require immediate attention to preserve it for future generations.

Critical improvements have already begun but much more work remains in an $8 million dollar multi-year complete park makeover. Your help is needed to enhance the beauty and vitality of Urbana’s first historic park. To help improve water quality and shoreline restoration. Enrich the wildlife habitat and expansive lake views. To improve trails, lakeside plazas and boating areas. You can help to restore this area as the gateway to downtown Urbana and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Donors like you can help guarantee success in implementing this multi-phase rejuvenation of Crystal Lake. Whether you live in Urbana or a surrounding community, you can make a positive impact on Urbana’s Crystal Lake Park, by donating today.

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 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 $62,000 in 2013-2014, $125,000 in 2014-2015, and $200,000 in 2016-2017

Donors like you can help more youngsters benefit from Urbana’s parks and park programs. Whether you live in Urbana or a surrounding community, you can make a positive impact on the youth in our community now, and in the future, by donating today.