What is SEASPAR?
SEASPAR is recognized as a special recreation association by the Illinois Association of Park Districts and is an extension of the services of its member entities. It is governed by a Board of Directors which represents each of these twelve member entities. It is SEASPAR’s goal to provide a wide variety of programs and services for individuals of all ages with all types of disabilities.
Important Aspects of SEASPAR
SEASPAR maintains the highest rating of “accreditation” in parks and recreation risk management. This status is awarded by the Park District Risk Management Agency (PDRMA), which evaluates the risk management program of the agency on a regular basis.
SEASPAR is proud to have received the following recognition:
- National Gold Medal for Programming Excellence for Special Populations
- Outstanding Program Awards from the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA)
- Outstanding Special Event Award from the Illinois Therapeutic Recreation Section of IPRA
- Agency Excellence Award from the Illinois Therapeutic Recreation Section of IPRA
- Chamber Choice Award from the Downers Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Exceptional Workplace Award – Health and Wellness Committee of IPRA
SEASPAR staff members are dedicated to providing excellent programs and services. The front office staff has many years of experience in the unique field of serving people with disabilities and their caregivers. The professional staff are Certified Park and Recreation Professionals and/or Certified Therapeutic Recreation Professionals. In addition, members of the staff have received individual honors and recognition and are regular presenters at state and local conferences.
What is a Special Recreation Association?
SEASPAR is a very unique type of agency, a special recreation association (SRA). Illinois is the only state which has legislation that:
- enables two or more park districts or municipalities to join together to “establish, maintain, and manage recreation programs” for people with disabilities; and
- grants the park districts and municipalities in such a joint agreement the ability to levy a special tax in order to fund such programs.
An organization is recognized as a special recreation association if:
- it consists of two or more park districts which have entered into a joint agreement with one another, and/or recreation boards and the corporate authorities of cities, villages, and incorporated towns;
- it has a written agreement among the cooperating agencies;
- residents of member agencies are equally eligible to participate; and
- it has a board of directors made up of representatives of the member entities to govern the association.
Each special recreation association is unique in that it is responsible to meet the needs of its residents and works under the direction of its own Board of Directors. As a result, the programs offered by each SRA may be very different than those offered by SRAs serving another area with its own unique needs and expectations.