Inclusive Playground Project

Shore Acres Park –  A foundation of our community filled with years of memories:  the triangle slide, merry-go-round, baseball games, picnics, long summer nights, and that infamous barrel.  Shore Acres Park has provided countless moments of fun, laughter, play, and memory making opportunities with our friends and family for almost a century.

The Chillicothe Park District is proud to announce the beginning of Phase II of the Shore Acres Park Master Plan, a project slated to be completed in 2025, which includes: enhanced ADA accessibility, development of an inclusive playground, baseball/softball field renovation, additional pavilion space, safer walking routes, improved parking, and infrastructure upgrades. A full description of the Shore Acres Park Master Plan can be found on the Chillicothe Park District website at:  

In March of this year, the Chillicothe Park District was awarded the State of Illinois OSLAD (Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development) Grant for the maximum amount of $600,000 for improvements to Shore Acres Park.  This grant combined with the fiscally responsible management of funds procured by the Chillicothe Park District and its board of trustees will provide a foundation for the 2.1 million dollar renovation project. “This project will not raise the district tax rate and will solidify Shore Acres Park as a regional destination similar to the projects created by the park district at Shore Acres Pool, Santa Fe Park, and Coal Hollow Park. These types of development projects are key to bringing new visitors and customers to local businesses in the Chillicothe community and provide that elusive ‘something to do for our residents’,” says Kevin Yates, Executive Director of the Chillicothe Park District.

Yates continues, “It is important that we do everything we can to make our park facilities as accommodating as possible for our visitors. We envision a play space that is committed to creating opportunities for all members of the public to fully participate.  The new playground will include a truly unique experience taking advantage of the Shore Acres Park topography offering ‘play for all’.”

An integral part of the financing of this phase of the Shore Acres Master Plan includes the newly formed Chillicothe Parks Foundation.  The foundation will be working hand-in-hand with the park district by offering individuals and businesses the opportunity to provide financial support through its Shore Acres Park Inclusive Playground Campaign.  Through this campaign, every dollar raised will help us take one step closer to the goal of providing “play for all”!

The Chillicothe Parks Foundation is inviting businesses and individuals to partner with the Chillicothe Park District  through the Chillicothe Parks Foundation Friends & Member Program as well as attending special events held throughout the year! 

The Chillicothe Parks Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which means that all donations not only enhance the lives of our community members, but they are also tax-deductible.   You can become a partner with the foundation by giving a one time, monthly, quarterly, or annual donation.  Foundation friends and members can also give stocks, bonds, or other assets to the campaign as well.  

To further enhance the fundraising efforts for the Shore Acres Park Project, the Chillicothe Parks Foundation has also begun the process of partnering with area businesses and their matching programs, including the Caterpillar Foundation, which will match donations up to $10,000 per year.  All current and retired Caterpillar employees are eligible to participate.

In addition to monetary donations, the foundation has created a unique brand of “Party in the Park” specialized events dedicated to raising funds to help the Chillicothe Park District offer inclusive recreational programs and state of the art facilities for everyone to enjoy.  The foundation’s next “Party in the Park” event is a Grinch themed Christmas party with fun for the whole family. The event is a combined effort with the Chillicothe Public Library and Tim Edwards of Edward Jones Chillicothe.  Tickets can be purchased on the Chillicothe Parks Foundation website at 

For almost a century, Shore Acres Park has been Chillcothe’s most popular and active park.  With the support of the Chillicothe Parks Foundation and under the guidance of the Chillicothe Park District, the next phase of the Shore Acres Park Master Plan will solidify this important outlet for recreation in our community for generations to come.