Park District of Highland Park

Master Planning for Sunset Woods
Park and Playground Renovations


An incorrect version of the Park Master Plan has been replaced with the correct copy for review as of 10:00 AM February 11th  The incorrect version represented a parking lot expansion that is not being proposed.  We apologize for any confusion.

Master Plan

The Master Plan serves as a conceptual guide for improvements to the park over the next 10+ years. As funding becomes available, the Park District will conduct a detailed design process for each project. The plan follows a vision developed through community input and Park District guidance that strives to honor the park’s natural character, improve connectivity and parking, enhance existing amenities, re-purpose underutilized areas, and add new recreation opportunities of interest. Some of the key aspects of the plan are as follows:

The proposed improvements will be phased over time as funding becomes available following a prioritization plan informed by input from the community and stakeholders.

Preserve Natural Character of the Park

  • The park’s open and natural character will be maintained with a few new activities of interest that support the enjoyment of the park.
  • New recommendations consider the protection and preservation of the park’s majestic trees.

Improve Connectivity and Parking

  • Adjust the parking lot to allow for 2-way traffic circulation, additional parking, and a drop-off area for buses that can be used for additional parking during designated times.
  • Repurpose the central entry drive as a dedicated pedestrian entry to enhance walkability to the park.
  • The main east/west pedestrian path will be widened with adjustments to the alignment and new lights for increased pedestrian visibility and a stronger link to downtown and adjacent neighborhoods.
  • Enhance path entries at all locations around the park for improved connectivity and visibility.

Enhance Existing Amenities.

  • Renovate the existing three hard surface tennis courts.
  • Replace the existing basketball court with a new full regulation-size basketball court in the park’s SW corner north of the tennis courts.
  • Renovate the field house for improved program space.
  • Renovate the north restroom pavilion for improved program space.

Re-purpose Existing and Add New Community Desired Recreation

  • Improve connectivity between the four play areas with a plaza centrally located to provide a gathering area for families.
  • Activate the northeast corner of the park with enhanced landscaping and a small plaza with seating and pergola, including an opportunity for a memorial garden. The activated space seeks to improve connectivity, visibility, and additional passive recreation on the north-end.
  • Natural style amphitheater area for programs and events, including outdoor classroom use.
  • Splash pad proposed near the main east-west path convenient to playground visitors. A multi-use surface splash pad could be used for other events and as a gathering space in off-peak times with a pergola type structure for shaded seating.
  • Wheel-friendly plaza containing street style skate features, with the plaza being a multi-use seating space for events with shade structures and tables. *
  • A dedicated skate park with potential skate elements such as stairs, ramps, and rails. *
  • Pump track for bikes and scooters to complement the skating and scooter uses. *

* The addition of these amenities would not occur until the Park District implements their district-wide athletic field improvements, which would allow for the removal of this baseball field.

The Park District invites the community to comment on the final plans through February 18th. Comments can be submitted through the Comment tab of this website.