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Your fun is our business!

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"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
Foundation Treasurer
Mike Burke
Nikki Kazadi

Laura O
Stan Oke Headshot

Laura O'Brien Stan Oke

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!

Check out our park clean-up day opportunities

Join us on Saturday, September 17 (9 a.m. to Noon) for our next "Pitch in at the Parks" Community Work Day. We are partnering with the Kane County Forest Preserve on this Friends of the Fox Cleanup Day at the Glenwood Park Forest Preserve, in Batavia! Sign up to volunteer HERE!

Interested in volunteering? Please visit our volunteer page.


International Day of Peace
  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.

Disc Golf

The Foundation funded equipment for the Disc Golf Course at West Main Community Park.

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.

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

Peace On Earth Campaign

Play it Forward Raffle & SAVE Promotion

On Saturday, May 7, National Play Outside Day, the Batavia Parks Foundation and volunteers from the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association hosted family-friendly stations with interactive games at the South Riverwalk Plaza. Thanks to all who came out to enjoy the fresh air and play games along with us! At this event, the Batavia Parks Foundation also launched a fundraising campaign for the "Peace on Earth" project, in partnership with Craig Foltos.

Help make Peace on Earth permanent art!

This special campaign will fund replacement of the seasonal wooden letters that hang currently on the Batavia bicycle-pedestrian bridge with permanent letters featuring LED lighting to shine all year around. Installation is targeted for the fall of 2023.

A new "Pay it Forward" promotion will earmark funds raised through raffle ticket sales to the Peace on Earth project. Parks Foundation President Britta McKenna encourages residents and business owners to get involved. "Whether you purchase a $20 Play it Forward raffle and save ticket or you have the ability to be a major donor or sponsor, it will take all of us to assure Peace on Earth lights up in Batavia all year 'round," McKenna said.

Raffle tickets feature exciting prizes and discounts from many community businesses, or "play partners." Tickets will be sold at River Rhapsody concerts, the Batavia's Farmer's Market (on June 11), from Parks Foundation board members, daily at Foltos' barbershop (7 East Wilson St.), and online at:

Only 1,000 tickets will be sold, and raffle prize winners will be pulled at Batavia Park District's Pints by the Pond, a new craft beer festival, which will be held on September 24. Laura O'Brien, chair of the Play it Forward Promotion, said the the raffle prizes give winners a "uniquely fun way to experience Batavia...And don't just put the raffle ticket on the fridge! The back side of the raffle ticket is a discount card worth over $50 in fun experiences from our play partners."

The ten community play partners in the Play it Forward promotion include: BOJ-E-BIKES, Mirus, Sturdy Shelter Brewing, Sidecar Supper Club, Katie O'Brien Photography, Batavia Fine Arts Centre, Batavia Park District, Funway, The Comedy Vault, and Pal Joey's.

Play it Forward Raffle and Save Campaign

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"Putting People in the Parks!"



International Day of Peace

Batavia Parks Foundation Announces New #Peaceday in Batavia

Batavia, IL - August 5, 2022 - The Batavia Parks Foundation proudly announces Batavia's participation in the United Nation's International Day of Peace on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. A team of enthusiastic volunteers is working alongside the Batavia Parks Foundation to stage the first ever Batavia #Peaceday celebration sponsored by Drendel & Jansons Law Group. The event coincides with the UN's annual celebration, amplifying their 2022 theme of "End Racism, Build Peace." The celebration will be held at the PEACE Bridge and Riverwalk South Plaza in downtown Batavia (100 N. Island Ave.) from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm. Event Master of Ceremonies, Craig Foltos, is pleased to see the PEACE Bridge as the backdrop to host the new #Peaceday in Batavia, "What started as a simple community sing-a-along on the PEACE Bridge is growing into a way for Batavia to come together and amplify our voices as a community modeling peace to others."

The celebration starts at 5:30 pm and features different performing artists: musicians, dancers, a poetry reading, storytelling, and the lighting of (LED) luminaries at sunset with a community sing-a-long. The event also includes #Peaceday merchandise sales, a luminary decorating station, and "Play it Forward" raffle sales to benefit the PEACE ON EARTH project. LED luminaries and LED candles will be available for attendees (free with a suggested donation to support the project). Out-of-town supporters wishing to send a message of PEACE or remembrance may sponsor a luminary online at:

Those planning to drive to the fest may park on either side of the river near the PEACE Bridge. Limited seating on the South Plaza limestone benches is available, or participants can bring along a chair if needed.

Peace on Earth Campaign Update

The "PEACE ON EARTH" Campaign recently eclipsed the halfway mark (55% of goal) with $27,940 in funds raised since the May 7, 2022, public kick-off. The project's goal is to replace the aging painted wooden letters and seasonal, temporary lighting with permanent metal letters and LED lighting. The project is being designed to be "Dark Skies certified," specifically with downward lighting, white lighting (avoiding the blue spectrum) with bulbs below 3,000 Kelvin. The public is invited to contribute financially as an "Illuminator" (gifts up to $499), Peace Team ($500 - $999), and a "Peace Ambassador" ($1,000 and greater). Corporate sponsorships and donations are also available by contacting Donations via check may be made payable to "Batavia Parks Foundation" and mailed to Batavia Parks Foundation, 327 W. Wilson Street, Batavia, IL. 60510. This QR code takes you to the PEACE ON EARTH RallyUp sites to support the project:

Batavia Parks Foundation president Britta McKenna encourages everyone's participation, "Whether you can sponsor a luminary, purchase a 'Play it Forward' raffle ticket, make a donation, or be a major donor or sponsor, it will take all of us to install our permanent PEACE ON EARTH art as a message of hope from Batavia to the world."

"Play it Forward" Raffle Drawing is on September 24, 2022

Just a few weeks remain for the public to purchase a raffle ticket to benefit the PEACE ON EARTH permanent art. Ten prizes will be drawn at Batavia's new "Pints by the Pond," a craft beer fest on Saturday, September 24th at 5:00 p.m. Winners need not be present, and the drawing will be streamed live at

Batavia "Play Partner" businesses teaming up with the Parks Foundation for the "Play it Forward" promotion include 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. Prizes include Boj-E-Bikes/E-bike; Mirus/5 course wine dinner for 10; Sturdy Shelter Brewery/Party for 15 with pizza from Pal Joey's; Katie O'Brien/Headshot and Family Photo packages; Batavia Park District/2023 Family Quarry Beach pass; Funway/Family Pass; a North River Street Getaway (Sidecar Supper Club, two nights lodging at Airbnb and Comedy Club tickets), and a "Fishing for Peace" canvas photograph by Britta McKenna.

Individual raffle tickets are $20, 3 for $50 and 6 for $100. Each ticket purchased is a chance to win any of the following great prizes from the foundation's play partners. 100% of the proceeds from the raffle benefit the PEACE ON EARTH project. Tickets may be purchased online at:, or in person from Craig Foltos at Foltos Tonsorial Parlor (7 E. Wilson St.) or Stan Oke at Batavia Mobil (27 N. Batavia Ave.)

History of the Peace on Earth Project

Craig Foltos had a dream 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. Today, the dream is expanding with the help of the non-profit Batavia Parks Foundation partnering with Foltos to raise funds for permanent letters with digital LED lighting, art that will shine Batavia's message of hope all year-round.

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

Parks Foundation POA Merchandise Order Form