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APA-IL Pro Bono Program Completes Stites Township Project!

Updated: Mar 1

In 2020, the APA-IL Pro Bono Services Program provided assistance to the Stites Township Park District to kick-start planning efforts to redevelop/renovate an existing building, formerly a skating rink, to be used as a Community Center.

report cover with rendering of new building

Over a period of six months, the project team worked with the Stites Township Park District and community of Brooklyn, Illinois to address the community’s recreation needs, desired outcomes, and priorities. Although COVID-19 prevented in-person engagement, through an online event and survey, the Project Team was able to gather valuable input to provide the basis for conceptual development plans. The resulting Action Agenda includes a proposal for a new facility that brings together the community's consensus for desired site improvements, resources/uses, and programming. The Action Agenda will assist Stites Township Park District with budgeting and fundraising, and provide planning support for a future Illinois Department of Natural Resource (IDNR) PARC grant application.

Thank you to the amazing APA-IL Project Team who recognized the need and expressed a desire and commitment to delivering something great for this community. Members included:

  • Cristen Hardin, Project Manager

  • Valerie Berstene, AIA, AICP, LEED AP

  • Erich Bohrer, AICP

  • Diane Gormely-Barnes, AICP, ENV SP, LEED AP

  • Caren Kay, AICP

  • Pete Pointner, FAICP

  • Edward Tombari, AICP

  • Andrew Weiss

  • Lily Wilcock

  • Andi Yancey, AICP


APA-IL Pro Bono Program thanks the residents, local government officials, community leaders, key

stakeholders, and other community members for your participation in community engagement efforts. Your input, experiences, and local knowledge were an integral part of this planning process. Your vision helped shape the final recommendation of this plan. This project could not have been completed without your support.


Jesse Wolfork, Commissioner (President)

Annie Cooper, Commissioner

Ruby Mattox, Commissioner

Adoria Warren, Commissioner

Jaycynthia Wolfork, Secretary



Mayor Vera Banks


Vanessa Chapman, Township Supervisor


Dr. Raelynn Parks, Superintendent


APA-IL Pro Bono Program

The mission of the APA-IL Pro-Bono Planning Service Program is to provide urban planning services on a pro bono basis by APA-IL members, to assist municipalities, nonprofits, and community organizations in the initiation, organizing, and fine tuning of early stage planning projects. Through the APA Illinois Pro Bono Service Program, organizations walk away with an action plan and a clear understanding of the goals and vision for their city / community / neighborhood. To read more about the Program and previous projects, please visit

Interested in submitting a project for our 2021 Pro Bono Services Program? Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the spring 2021 Call for Projects will be pushed back until the fall of 2021. Check back to for announcements.


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