Decatur Parks Foundation


Please Support the Foundation!


2013 marked a year of excitement and growth for your Decatur Park District and Decatur Parks Foundation! Nelson Park continues its amazing transformation with the completion of a disc golf course, dog park, fitness trail, promenade in front of the Beach House Restaurant, and beautiful new docks. Construction is under way for the new miniature golf facility and clubhouse that will include CherryBerry Frozen Yogurt!
Across the lake, Scovill Zoo completed its exciting new penguin exhibit. Stay tuned for a ribbon cutting date this spring, and join us at Scovill Zoo! Thank you for your continued support.  ~ Judith Locke, President




About Us

Through the work of a committed board of directors, the Decatur Parks Foundation benefits park and recreation projects and programs by securing contributions from corporations and individuals.  We appreciate the generosity of all who have made the following projects possible:

  • Anna Bethel Fisher Rock Garden
  • Big Creek Riding Center Renovation (2008)
  • Decatur Park District Bike Trail System
  • Dreamland Lake
  • Fairview Park Rose Garden (2012)
  • Fido Fields Dog Park (2007)
  • Project Playground I and II
  • Rotary Park
  • Schaub Floral Display Center, Greenhouse & Norma Schaub Memorial Garden
  • Scovill Zoo Shilling Environmental Education Center
  • Scovill Zoo Endangered Species Carousel
  • Scovill  Zoo Penguin Exhibit (2013)
  • Scovill Zoo Zebra Exhibit (2007)
  • Ursula Beck Tennis Center
  • Wikoff Oriental Garden at Scovill Park


Foundation Directors

Judith Locke President
Dr. William Van Alstine Vice President
Cindy Black Secretary
Chris Riley & Cindy Deadrick-Wolferspace Park Board Liaisonsspace
Erv Arends
Brian Byers
Melinda Chadwick
Kara Demirjian-Huss
Ed Flynn
Tom Hostetler
Dr. Stephen Huss
Kara Johnston
Chuck Kuhle
Cindy Laegeler
James Neff
Pete Paulin
Rod Schanefelt
Jim Schwarz
Mark Tupper
Kathy Wiesemann


Foundation Fall/Winter 2013 Newsletter

To view the Fall/Winter Newsletter for the Decatur Parks Foundation, please click here.



Jerry Menz Arts Scholarship

The Jerry Menz Arts Scholarship provides opportunities for talented youth to succeed at the highest possible levels in the arts by offering scholarships for the Park District’s programs in music, theatre, and dance. Awards are based upon staff recommendations, prior participation in Park District programs, and a demonstrated talent and passion for the performing arts. Gifts of any size are most appreciated and will keep the arts alive in the greater Decatur area.

To make a contribution, please call the Foundation office at 422-5911. For details information, visit the Arts Scholarship page.


Fun for All Scholarships

Children grow and learn from recreation, sports, the arts, and play! The Fun for All Scholarship program ensures that all qualified Decatur residents are able to participate in Park District activities. To donate to this important program, call 422-5911.



Zoo-rific Evening

On August 24, big kids had a fun-filled, one-of-a kind experience at the 2013 Zoo-rific Evening at Scovill Zoo! Guests enjoyed “wild” animal encounters, while the Ring Masters (our media friends) drew attention to the ISU Gamma Phi Circus acts of daring on the rings, silks, high wire, and trampoline. The highlight of the evening was the behind-the-scenes peek at the amazing new penguin habitat! And what a habitat it is…with a spacious swimming pool, nesting areas, and a fun pop-up window. We know that Wild Liz, John Henry, MK, Chief, Ella, Royce, Huffy, Bogey and all of their friends will be happy to be in their new home at Scovill Zoo. Thanks to our sponsors, donors, and guests, over $63,000 was raised! These funds help greatly with our continued efforts to make the zoo a place for young and old, tourists and locals…and big kids too!

Special thanks to our generous sponsors: Dee and Larry Altenbaumer, Sally and Mick Andreas, Linda and Erv Arends Foundation, Ramona Borders, Brechnitz Group of Raymond James, Brandy and David Brown, Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Chadwick, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Couch, Dr. and Mrs. Alan Frigy, Peggy Madden and Dick Phillips, E.L. Pruitt Company, and Kathy and Bob Wiesemann.



Scovill Zoo Open

Special thanks to the sponsors and participants in the 2013 Scovill Zoo Open! Over the years, this fundraiser has generated over $300,000 for Scovill Zoo. Presenting sponsor: Team Soy; tee gift sponsor: Wood Printing; reception sponsor: Refreshment Services Pepsi; Hole in One sponsor: Flora Gems; and reception music: Decatur Park Singers band.


Fido Fields & Nelson Park Dog Parks

Looking for a fun place to exercise your pet? Visit Fido Fields in Fairview Park or Nelson Park! These multi-acre, fenced recreational spaces provide an exercise area for dogs and an opportunity for socialization for their owners. Both parks feature an electronic, double-gated entrance, with separate play areas for large and small dogs. To register your pet, call the DISC at 429-3472 or visit the dog parks page here.  To help fund future improvements, call the Foundation office at 422-5911.


Memorial Gifts

Living Tribute Program

Honor a loved one or commemorate a special event by having a tree planted through the Park Foundation’s Living Tribute Program. With your $500 donation, the Park District will plant and care for your tree. In addition, you will be presented a Living Tribute Certificate and a map highlighting the location of your tree. The trees are also linked via an online map here.

Select from a red maple, red oak, or dogwood. The Living Tribute program offers a natural gift that will beautify Decatur’s parks for years to come.

Park Bench Memorials

The park bench memorial program is not available at this time. The program will resume after the branding process at Nelson Park’s Lakeshore Landing is complete.

Download a request for Living Tribute trees here or call Jill Applebee at 422-5911.



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Schaub Floral Display Center's Fragrance & Foliage Showcase


Kite Festival at Sinawik Park


World Penguin Day & Earth Day presented by Advanced Disposal