Batavia Park District Logo
Your fun is our business!

"Putting People in the Parks!"


Sarah Ryerson
Britta McKenna
Foundation President
Stefin Steberl
Foundation Vice President
Sarah Ryerson
Foundation Secretary
Dawn Moecher
Mike Burke
Dawn Moecher
Mike Burke
Nikki Kazadi

Laura O
Stan Oke Headshot

Laura O'Brien Stan Oke Katie O'Brien

Adam Thorne

Batavia Parks Foundation Mission Statement:

To foster recreation and open space initiatives that enhance residents' quality of life.

Visit for more information! Interested in becoming a Parks Foundation board member? Submit an application and share your experience and skills by contributing to this organization!

POE Campaign Goal

Batavia Parks Foundation's

Peace On Earth CAMPAIGN

REACHES $50k Community Goal

Batavia, IL - December 21, 2022 - The Batavia Parks Foundation proudly announces the best kind of gift at Christmas. A gift of PEACE ON EARTH.

Parks Foundation president Britta McKenna comments, "The Batavia Parks Foundation is overjoyed to announce today that we have reached the $50,000 community goal for the PEACE ON EARTH permanent artwork." McKenna adds, "It is fitting that we met our community goal at Christmas - what a gift to the community from the community." A big reason the goal was met before the year-end is due to a generous year-end donation from the Dunham Foundation for the permanent artwork. A $5,000 check was presented to the Parks Foundation president, Britta McKenna, Vice President Stefin Steberl, and project founder, Craig Foltos, today by Dunham Foundation Program Director Lindsay Cochrane. Fittingly, a group selfie was taken on the Wilson Street bridge overlook featuring the iconic PEACE ON EARTH sign in the background.

Dunham Foundation President & CEO Vicki Morcos shared, "The Dunham Foundation is pleased to support this special local project to help make the 'Peace on Earth' sign a permanent landmark in Batavia, and we look forward to witnessing the many ways this sign will continue to inspire the community." The Dunham Foundation gift meant that the goal was only $35 away, so a challenge was quickly issued on the Parks Foundation RallyUp fundraising platform. The donation that surpassed the $50,000 goal was "In Memory of Nancy McCloud." That tribute gift, along with hundreds of others who purchased "Play it Forward" raffle tickets, donated money, purchased merchandise, sponsored Batavia #peaceday, or sponsored a letter, all crossed the goal together.

Partners in the PEACE ON EARTH project include the Batavia Park District, Craig Foltos of Foltos Tonsorial Parlor, the Batavia Parks Foundation, and members of the community invested in promoting and preserving PEACE ON EARTH.


Contributing to the "PEACE ON EARTH" Campaign were the following generous major donors: Anonymous, Barco Products, Batavia Rotary Club, Batavia Woman's Club, Boyce Body Werks, Inc., In Memory of Dan Brace, Drendel & Jansons Law Group, Dunham Foundation, Earthmover Credit Union, Foltos & Friends, Richard & Joanne Hansen, Rob & Karen Hollis, Kluber Architects + Engineers, Alice Bonifas Lee, Marconi Family in Memory of Joseph Marconi, Steven & Britta McKenna, The Matt Novak Family, Lezlee S. Nuesca, Maureen O'Brien, Stan & Carolyn Oke, Premium Waterproofing, The Matt Rowe Foundation, Weaver Partners, Inc., Sarah J. Ryerson, and Steve Hopkins & Associates.

Community Engagement Was the Main Ingredient

The Batavia community is well known for rolling up its sleeves and volunteering to get "it" done, whatever "it" is. The PEACE ON EARTH project founder is Craig Foltos (and his band of merry barbershop donors), who was ignited by the Batavia Parks Foundation marketing and fundraising efforts last May. Joining in for the "Play it Forward" raffle were Batavia "Play Partner" businesses who teamed up with the Parks Foundation to donate raffle items. Many thanks to Boj-E-Bikes, Mirus, Sturdy Shelter, Katie O'Brien Photography, Sidecar Supper Club, Batavia Park District, Funway, Batavia Fine Arts Centre, The Comedy Vault, Pal Joey's, and Four Hawks for their donations. Fold in the dozens of people who purchased PEACE ON EARTH merchandise, those who gave monetary donations and tips at community events, major donors, and those that wrote a check, and you have the recipe for a Batavia community project. Perhaps the best way to tell the impact of the project came from Batavian Betty Prestler, who shared her sentiments recently in a card to the Batavia Parks Foundation with her check:

"Dear Members of the Batavia Parks Foundation,

You make our parks so incredible! Thank you for this wonderful way to make the Peace on Earth letters permanent! How I have loved seeing this over the years - has brought such joy to my life - reflecting the prayer of my heart." Betty Pressler - Batavia, IL

History of the Peace on Earth Project

Craig Foltos had a dream some twenty years ago to place 12' "PEACE ON EARTH" letters on the bicycle-pedestrian bridge in downtown Batavia, IL. That dream came true through his efforts alongside volunteers, who donated resources and time to build the letters. In partnership with the Batavia Park District, the message of hope has been proudly hung annually on the "Peace Bridge" during the Christmas season. The Batavia Parks Foundation teamed up with Foltos, who had already raised $4,000 through donations and merchandise sales toward the permanent art. The Batavia Parks Foundation launched a community campaign in May of 2022, securing letter sponsors, selling "Play it Forward" raffle tickets, accepting donations, and selling merchandise that all added up to $50,000 on December 21, 2022. Any funds raised above the actual final costs of the project will be placed in a Batavia Parks Foundation dedicated fund to pay for future maintenance expenses for the artwork and lighting and Batavia #peaceday.

Next Up: 2023 Construction

Now that the community fundraising is wrapped up, construction planning for the permanent PEACE ON EARTH artwork is underway. A familiar name to the Batavia community project, Dennis Kintop, is the volunteer construction manager. Dennis is working with the Batavia Park District, Batavia Parks Foundation, and community volunteers to get the metal letters fabricated, install permanent electricity and lighting, and leverage in-kind donations wherever possible. Kluber Architects + Engineers' in-kind donation of structural and electrical plans for the permanent artwork is already underway. Project installation is targeted for 2023 with fall ribbon cutting plans on the 2023 United Nations International Day of Peace on September 21, 2023. Local tradespeople interested in assisting with the construction project, especially electrical installation, should contact Dennis at .

About the Batavia Parks Foundation

The mission of the Parks Foundation is to foster recreation and open space initiatives that enhance residents' quality of life. Follow the foundation on Instagram and Facebook. More information on the non-profit is available at

Check out our park clean-up day opportunities

Join us on Saturday, April 1 (9 a.m. to Noon) for our next "Pitch in at the Parks" Community Work Day. No pre-registration is needed. Wear work clothing and bring work gloves to register between 8:45-9:00 a.m. at the Peg Bond center. Volunteers need to sign waiver (under 18 requires parent/guardian signature). Sign up to volunteer HERE!

Interested in volunteering? Please visit our volunteer page.


  1. To act as a fundraising and investment mechanism in support of the mission.
  2. To explore and create partnerships.
  3. To be inclusive of all segments of the community.
  4. To advocate and develop responsible stewardship of the communities, parks and open spaces.
  5. To develop and pilot new park and rec initiatives that promote an intergenerational community.
  6. To be a resource for the Batavia Park District Board of Commissioners.

Since its inception in 2005, the Batavia Parks Foundation has raised more than $500,000 in funds and completed a number of capital projects. They continue to search for ways to raise funds and to complete projects that will enhance the community.

Funded Projects

Space Net

The Batavia Parks Foundation funded the return of the Engstrom Family Park Space Net, which is enjoyed by thousands of kids.

Batavia Riverwalk & Peg Bond Center

The Batavia Riverwalk and Peg Bond Performing Arts Pavilion were planned and funded by the Batavia Parks Foundation and constructed primarily by volunteers.

Batavia Riverwalk Boardwalk Project

Volunteers completed the Batavia Riverwalk Boardwalk Project in 2014 with $150,000 from the Batavia Parks Foundation.

Bulldogs Unleashed

The return of the successful, fun-filled public art event, Bulldogs Unleashed, in 2018 raised $22,962 for each of the three founding organizations, including the Batavia Parks Foundation, Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence and the Batavia Library Foundation.

Engstrom Park Ballfield

In 2019, the Foundation funded the application of a new, high-quality ballfield lime material that will allow wet condition playtime.


In 2022, the Foundation raised $50,000 to fund PEACE ON EARTH permanent artwork.

Peg Bond Bandshell

The Batavia Parks Foundation needs your help!

As a nonprofit 501(C)3 organization, we depend upon contributions of time, talent, and financial gifts to sustain our mission "to foster recreation and open space initiatives that enhance residents' quality of life."

Please consider sharing your gift to the Batavia Parks Foundation to any of our dedicated funds established on focused areas of work:

  • Parks Fund
    Supports innovative land management and open space initiatives;
  • Batavia Riverwalk
    Provides support for new and sustaining programs at the Riverwalk and projects to enhance our jewel on the Fox, designed and built by Batavia volunteers;
  • Encore Incubator Fund
    Supports the creation and pilot of new, intergenerational and community-led initiatives.
    Supports the construction of permanent 12' letters and LED lighting on the PEACE Bridge and support for PEACE Day.
Checks may be made to Batavia Parks Foundation, 327 W. Wilson St. Batavia, IL 60510, submit your donation online HERE or contact Britta McKenna at to discuss your donation in person.



"I sat on the foundation board for over 14 years and found great satisfaction and fulfillment from serving the community. The reason I become involved and volunteered was, to "give back". Batavia is a special town, and it is a great place to raise a family, socialize, play and learn. As such, I wanted to support an organization that promotes and enhances community spirit and living a healthier lifestyle. The Batavia Parks Foundation is here to serve through the advancement of recreation, a celebration of diversity, stewardship of the environment and enhancement of every citizen's quality of life. Foundation projects and programs mirror my philosophy of providing service with meaning and impact." - Matt Ellman, former Parks Foundation Board Member

"I joined the Batavia Parks Foundation in early 2012. As a resident since 2008, I was looking for an opportunity to get more connected with the community and use my financial skills in the process. One of the main reasons my family decided to live in Batavia was the proximity to the Fox River and the abundance of parks and open spaces. The riverwalk the bandshell are two special places to me. When I saw an add on a community website looking for board members and realized this was the organization that helped deliver these great additions to the community, I knew this was the place for me. Since joining the Batavia Parks Foundation we've added the West Main disc golf course and reconstructed the Boardwalk and I couldn't be prouder to a part of this valuable community organization." -Dave DiVerde, former Parks Foundation Board Member

"I was a volunteer for the Riverwalk Boardwalk Renovation and grew to feel very passionate about the work we were doing (mission and the fact that all work and supplies were completed with volunteer hands and dollars). I loved the people I worked with and their dedication to the project and organization so when I was asked to become a member I did not need to consider too long. My primary reasons for joining, in addition to those mentioned, were to understand more of what the organization did, assist with future recreational/outdoor projects, and become a more active member of my community." -Sarah Ryerson, current Parks Foundation Secretary

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