Five Ways to Support Urbana Parks All Year Round

Sep 2021

It is easy to take something for granted that has always been there, such as a local park. For as long as I’ve been alive, the trees, natural areas, walking paths, sports facilities, and so much more have always been there. It has always been “Nature when you need it.” From countless baseball games, picnics, or just a stroll through the park while enjoying a lazy summer afternoon, Urbana Parks have been nearby, ready, and waiting for me, my friends, family, neighbors, in fact just waiting for the entire community to use in endless ways.

After so many years of utilizing the parks for enjoyment, I realize that I should also be supporting them. After all, the tradition of private generosity began back in 1903 when Samuel and Mary Busey gave the land that now forms Leal Park to the City of Urbana. Since those early years, Urbana residents and friends have continued promoting nature and fostering their city’s health. Private generosity from individual donors, area businesses and corporations, and dedicated Foundation Trustees and Park Commissioners remain vital for Urbana Parks. Here are FIVE ways YOU can support Urbana Parks throughout the year.

ONE – Volunteer:

Annually, volunteers provide help with various programs and hands-on assistance in the parks and at the facilities. Since the parks have given you so much, why not give some of your time and talent and personally help make the best better. Visit to discover upcoming volunteer opportunities and to complete an application.

TWO – Join a Board or a Committee:

Are you interested in contributing at a higher level of commitment? Why not consider participating with the Urbana Parks Foundation Board. Contact a current trustee and see how you could assist and help support the Foundation’s fundraising efforts in a more advanced role.

The Urbana Park District Advisory Committee (UPDAC) is a citizen’s advisory committee. Members are chosen for appointment based on their interest in park issues and their ability and willingness to represent their neighborhood in an advisory and informative capacity. Urbana Park District residents 18 and older are encouraged to apply. Download an application. Questions? Contact Kelsey Beccue to learn more about how you can contribute to the committee.

THREE – Giving a Gift:

Maybe your time is in short supply, not a problem. There are many ways you can show your support to the Urbana Parks Foundation directly or indirectly.

It’s very easy to make an online donation! Your gift of any size can impact the success of Urbana parks and programs and ensure high-quality programs and diverse open spaces for future generations. You can also mail a check to the Urbana Parks Foundation, 303 W. University Ave., Urbana, IL 61801, with a note if you wish to direct the gift to a specific purpose.

Workplace Giving is a purposeful and carefree way to offer support, and it doesn’t matter if your employer is a private company or a public organization. You can use the ease and convenience of a payroll deduction to make your gift. Be sure to check if your employer matches your charitable contribution for an even more significant impact.

Stocks, Trusts, and Planned Gifts are an excellent way to support Urbana Parks and leave a lasting legacy, honor a loved one, or preserve a memory.

If you wish to speak in person to an Urbana Parks Foundation Trustee or Urbana Park District staff member regarding a specific gift, please contact the Urbana Park District Development Manager by phone at (217) 367-1536 or to obtain more information.

UPF is a 501c(3) organization, and contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

FOUR – Contribute while you Shop!

What could be easier than helping the Urbana Parks Foundation just through shopping? Your weekly grocery list can make an impact over a year. Just enroll in the Schnucks Grocery Give Back Program, designate the Urbana Parks Foundations your favorite non-profit, and start earning up to 3% of your purchase amount  

Do you shop online with Amazon? Just sign up for an AmazonSmile account and designate Urbana Parks Foundation as your charity of choice. Select your AmazonSmile account each time before you shop, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of all your eligible purchases to the Urbana Parks Foundation.

FIVE – Event or Program Sponsorship: Whether it is financial support or the in-kind contribution of goods and services, an event or program sponsorship will offer you long-lasting exposure and recognition to a targeted demographic of potential customers and clients. Gain the marketing upperhand while showing community support and become a sponsor. Urbana Parks Foundation will work with your organization to create a sponsorship that mutually benefits your company and our Urbana parks. A great event to sponsor is the Urbana Parks Foundation Barn Bash – a benefit concert with great music, incredible local food, and an opportunity to celebrate with family, friends, and new customers! For information, please email or call (217) 367-1536.

Get involved, participate, join in, donate in any manner that works for you, regardless of the amount of time or size of the contribution. Because great parks build great communities, and we can’t do it without people exactly like you!

The Urbana Parks Foundation was established in 2007 to help meet the growing need for supplemental support by raising funds for district activities. A donation to UPF helps enhance the quality of life in Urbana through recreation, leisure, and neighborhood-based park activities that promote the health and wellness of all residents. Your donation helps provide affordable, accessible programs that bring the whole community together – into our parks – and gives them great reasons to stay and play for a lifetime. To learn more or to make a donation, please click here.