Decatur Parks Foundation


Please Support the Foundation!

2014 has been a year of excitement and growth for the 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 complete for the Overlook Adventure Mini Golf facility that includes CherryBerry Frozen Yogurt and Ted’s Taters!

Across the lake, Scovill Zoo is enjoying record visitor numbers thanks to the new penguin exhibit. Hope you can join us for Boo at the Zoo this year! Thank you for your continued support.  


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
  • Decatur Park District Bike Trail System
  • Dreamland Lake
  • Fairview Park Rose Garden (2012)
  • Fido Fields Dog Park (2007)
  • Project Playground I and II
  • DSC_0951Rotary 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

Dr. William Van Alstine, President
Jim Schwarz, Vice-President
Mindy Chadwick, Secretary
Rod Schanefelt, Treasurer
Chris Riley, Park Board Liaison

Erv Arends
Brian Byers
Kara Demirjian-Huss
Ed Flynn
Tom Hostetler
Dr. Stephen Huss
Kara Johnston
Chuck Kuhle
Cindy Laegeler
Judy Locke
James Neff
Cyndy Smith
Mark Tupper
Kathy Wiesemann



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.



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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Boo at the Zoo


Halloween Fun Days at Overlook Adventure Mini Golf


Boo at the Zoo