New Trustee Spotlight: Nancy Delcomyn

Feb 2024

An lifelong outdoor enthusiast

Before joining the Urbana Parks Foundation board of trustees, Nancy Delcomyn was no stranger to the Urbana park scene. Nancy served on the Urbana Park District (UPD) board for 30 years, and in her words, she “just couldn’t get enough of the parks.” She believes strongly in the value of our local park district programs, which is why she became a UPF trustee, to continue playing a role supporting the UPD.

Nancy grew up in Minnesota with a love of the outdoors, despite a lack of formal parks in the area. Getting out into nature was a big part of her childhood. She met her husband Fred (former UPF president) while studying at the University of Oregon, and work eventually took them around the world: to Scotland, Germany, and Canada before landing in C-U in the early 70s. Nancy came to appreciate the importance of parks when she settled in Champaign-Urbana and found fewer nature areas in the county (compared to where she grew up). The local park districts provided green spaces, enticing ways to get outside, and lots of recreational activities that Nancy loves.

An Urbana Parks superfan

When it comes to Urbana parks, Nancy cannot bring herself to choose a favorite, though she is quite partial to the pools. She feels that each park around town has something remarkable that sets it apart from the others. She describes the UPD as the jewel of the city and really appreciates how UPD leadership has kept the organization on the cutting edge of what’s happening in parks and recreation in Illinois.

During her years on the UPD board, what Nancy noticed is the district’s commitment to community engagement. She loves how the UPD has gone out into the community to do extensive research and find out what the people of Urbana really need and want, so they can better serve local families. She noted how these conversations helped the UPD understand how transporation impacts access to parks and understand language barriers and adapt to make programming more welcoming and accessible.

Nancy truly appreciates the UPD’s thoughtful, forward-thinking staff, and she is excited to continue to help the UPD thrive. This past fall, Nancy and Fred Delcomyn were recognized as 2023 Outstanding Philanthropists by the East Central Illinois chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. We are thrilled to have her expertise and enthusiasm on the UPF board!