We need your help in keeping our parks clean, safe, and free of vandalism! The Park Watch Program is a neighborhood awareness program and encourages neighbors to be aware of what is happening in your park system. If you find any broken equipment or have any other safety concerns about the parks or facilities, please contact the DeKalb Park District at (815) 758-6663. If you see vandalism or any illegal activity occurring in the parks, please contact the police department by calling 911. Thank you for your support in our efforts to provide the residents of the DeKalb Park District with quality park sites and facilities!

A Message from our Mascot

Ronnie the River Otter wants you to know that acts of vandalism and suspicious activities in our parks create an unhealthy environment and impact us all. Vandalism is costly to repair and uses park district resources that could otherwise be used to improve, expand or enhance your parks. These types of activities, whether acts of arson, graffiti, or destruction of property, create a poor image of our neighborhoods and can reduce property values. Vandalism can also make park equipment unusable to patrons.

Litter and illegal dumping have serious impacts on our local water bodies, like the Kishwaukee River where Ronnie lives! When litter is left out in our parks, it can enter storm drains, which flow directly into our local creeks and water bodies without any treatment. Trash in our creeks and water bodies are not just unsightly, but they are also harmful to the fish and animals that live in those ecosystems. Bottles, cans, straws, food packaging, and cigarette butts are among the most common items found during park clean-up events. It is important to never litter and to recycle or properly dispose of your waste.

Keeping trash and litter out of our parks and waterbodies is everyone's responsibility. There are lots of great ways to keep trash from entering our environment, including reducing the amount of waste you create, reusing items that don't need to be thrown away, and properly recycling/disposing of as much of your waste as possible.

Participate in one of our seasonal Park Clean-Up events (Earth Day, 1st Saturday in May, 1st Saturday in June, and 2nd Saturday in November) or reach out to Superintendent of Parks & Development, Mat Emken at memken@dekalbparkdistrict.com or at (815) 756-9939 to inquire about other park-related volunteer opportunities. 

Together we can keep our park system a beautiful, clean, and safe space for all! Check out our Nature Alliance with Kish Kids Outside to learn more about local outdoor activity resources, ways to care for our enviroment, and interact with nature.