Working with the Urbana Park District (UPD), the Urbana Parks Foundation (UPF) has publicly kicked off its Health & Wellness Campaign, the largest campaign in its history. The Campaign seeks to raise $5.3 million, $2.8 million of this through philanthropy, to fund the construction of a state-of-the-art, public Health & Wellness facility in Urbana.
The Health & Wellness Facility will be located in Urbana’s Prairie Park and will be easily accessible to residents of Urbana and the surrounding region. The facility will offer a wide variety of indoor and outdoor recreational programs to promote the holistic wellness of all Urbana residents. Features will include:
- State-of-the-art fitness equipment
- Full court basketball courts & indoor walking/jogging track
- Multi-use studio space for education and workshops
- Child-centered indoor play area
- Group fitness rooms
Tim Bartlett, Executive Director of UPD noted, “This is a transformative project for Urbana—a new facility dedicated to improving everyone’s daily physical and mental wellbeing. We will now be able to provide a comprehensive approach to inclusive park and recreation experiences for our residents. The new facility embodies our ‘You Belong Here’ message. I can’t think of a better way to say welcome!”
UPD identified the great need for this facility after an extensive, community-focused planning and site selection process. To jumpstart the effort, UPD earmarked an initial $3 million in refinanced Municipal Bonds to the cost of the facility, estimated at $8.3 million. Since early fall 2020, UPF and UPD have been collaboratively engaging community members in the initial phase of the $5.3 million campaign to fund the remaining need.
Former Superintendent of Urbana Schools, Dr. Preston L. Williams, Jr. commented, “I strongly support UPD’s plan to construct a new facility in Prairie Park for all ages and segments within our community to replace the outmoded, heavily utilized facility currently leased in what was once a junior high school gymnasium. I applaud the efforts of the UPF and UPD to secure private gifts to complete the full scope of the new facility. I urge all residents of Urbana and the surrounding region to support this critical fundraising effort.”
To date, UPF and UPD have already secured $1.3 million in philanthropic gifts and commitments. In addition, UPD applied for and was awarded a $2.5 million Park and Recreational Facility Construction Act (PARC) grant from the state of Illinois. Now, a community-wide public initiative is underway to support the completion of this facility. UPF and UPD hope to raise the remaining $1.5 million by September 2021.
Fred Delcomyn, President of the Urbana Parks Foundation, commented, “The possibility of having a state-of-the-art Health & Wellness facility in Urbana to serve the entire region has already excited many generous donors. Now that we are publicizing our campaign to the community, we are offering everyone the opportunity to make this long-needed facility a reality.”
The Urbana Parks Foundation was established to help meet the growing need for supplemental support for the Urbana Park District by raising funds for UPD activities. UPF seeks donations from individuals and organizations who appreciate the value of parks and programs not just for their immediate esthetic or environmental value, but for the impact they can have on future generations.