Peoria Mayor Ardis recognizes Peoria Park District at State of the City address

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis recognized the Peoria Park District for its impact on the community.

The park district was highlighted at the state of the city on Tuesday.

The park district has won the gold medal award from the National Recreation and Park Association multiple times.

It’s an honor for the district, its programs, and all that community parks have to offer.

Emily Cahill, the executive director for the park district, says the awards are impressive. She says the district offers many programs and services that other districts this size are not able to offer.

One highlight she mentioned was the Owens Center. It’s a facility Cahill says would probably be privately owned if it were in another city.

“For a community of our size to have a park district that maintains nearly 9,000 acres of green space and provides thousands of programs each year and that really sees about 1.5 million people across all of its programs and facilities each year, that is a unique amenity that is really part of the story of Peoria,” said Cahill.

The Peoria Park District is the oldest and largest park district in the state.

“We’re glad to be a part of the collaborative effort to really make Peoria a fantastic place and we think that’s something we’ve been a part of for 125 years now,” said Cahill.

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