The mission of the Park District of Oak Park states “In partnership with the community, we enrich lives by providing meaningful experiences through programs parks and facilities.” Since 1912, the Park District of Oak Park has provided park and recreation experiences to the citizens of Oak Park. Currently the District offers nearly 3,000 recreation programs and special events annually including youth and adult sports, fitness programs, cultural arts classes, early childhood offerings, swim, skate and hockey lessons, Active Adult trips, community special events, summer camps and much more. These activities are held in the District’s 13 parks, including Austin Gardens and Scoville Park, and in its facilities including Rehm and Ridgeland Common outdoor pools, Ridgeland Common Recreation Complex featuring the Paul Hruby Ice Arena, the Gymnastics & Recreation Center, 7 neighborhood community enters, the Oak Park Conservatory, Cheney Mansion, and Pleasant Home.

Through its many offerings, the Park District of Park makes a significant contribution to the physical and mental health of Oak Park residents, helps to build strong families and a more connected community, protects and preserves our environment and positively impacts our local economy. For more information about Park District of Oak Park programs, parks and facilities please visit www.pdop.org.

Austin Gardens Environmental Education Center

The new 2,400 sq. ft. Austin Gardens Environmental Education Center features a large meeting room/classroom used for programs and available for private rental, a small preschool classroom, indoor and outdoor restrooms, a small kitchen/concession area and an outdoor patio with picnic tables. It was designed as a LEED Platinum certified facility. Energy-Efficient and High Performance and sustainable design elements include:

  • Geo-thermal system uses the earth’s constant temperature to provide heating, air conditioning and comfort control year-round.
  • Photovoltaic array on the roof to supply the projected energy needs of the building – Net-Zero Energy (uses sun energy)
  • Green Roof – absorbs rainfall, reduces heat loads, and gives CO2 back to the atmosphere.)
  • Storm water harvesting through a cistern and diversion for toilet flushing.
  • Raingarden/bioswales to absorb the cistern overflow and the excess rain run-off as a feature in the garden.
  • Energy efficient mechanical systems in the building
  • Passive House Design – one of only 16 projects in the United States that will potentially be Living Building Challenge Net Zero Energy Certified.

For Austin Gardens Environmental Education Center rental information, please visit www.pdop.org.

AGEEC Classroom/Meeting Room

AGEEC Preschool Classroom





Oak Park Festival Theatre is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, charitable organization. Donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

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