McHenry Veterens Parks


Welcome to the McHenry Parks and Recreation Department. The department is governed by the City Council of McHenry and provides recreation Programs and Trips & Special Events for all ages. The Parks and Recreation Department manages Merkel Aquatic Center, Petersen Park Beach, as well as 38 Parks & Facilities which can be utilized for family, individual and community activities. Discover the benefits of parks and recreation!

Mission Statement

Recognizing that leisure time activities and recreation are an important aspect of individual, family and community life; and that well planned public recreation programs, facilities and attractive, well maintained parks that supply the needed outlet for much of the leisure activity within a community; the City of McHenry will strive to efficiently and economically provide a variety of recreation programs, facilities, and open space which are designed to provide wholesome, constructive and enjoyable leisure time experiences that benefit the community.

Community Recreation Center

Construction of the Community Recreation Center began in Spring of 2015 and is expected be completed in Spring of 2016. The 18,200 square foot facility will include a 4,500 square foot fitness center, group exercise room, dance room, locker rooms, babysitting room, a large multipurpose room with a service kitchen and offices for recreation employees. Information on fitness memberships and community rentals will be coming soon!


Why Trees? Click the Tree City USA logo to see a 12 minute video on why trees are important to the community.

Spring is coming and Arbor Day would be an excellent time to plant a tree. Trees can be planted for a variety of special occasions and as memorials for someone special. It’s a great way to honor them. The Arbor Day Tree Donation Program has been established to help with all the details of planting your tree.

For further information on this program or to donate a tree, please contact the McHenry Parks & Recreation Department at 815-363-2162. The Arbor Day deadline for tree donations is April 8, 2016. Arbor Day will be celebrated on Friday, April 29, 2016, with a ceremony at 3:00 pm in the McHenry Municipal Center Council Chambers. We hope you can join us for this community tree planting celebration.

Volunteer Opportunities

The McHenry Parks & Recreation Department has several opportunities to assist with special events and recreation programs. Click here for FALL 2015 opportunities. Volunteers are needed for special events, dance recital, Fiesta Days events, day camp programs, athletic programs, aquatic programs, swim lessons, swim team and pool special events.

If you are a student of McHenry High School, you can earn credit through S.O.S. (Service Opportunities for Students) program by volunteering hours.   

Staff Directory

Office Hours

Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Telephone Directory
  • Parks & Recreation Department - 815.363.2160, Fax - 815.363.3186
  • Park Maintenance - 815.363.2168
  • Lakeland Park Community Center 815.363.7243
  • Merkel Aquatic Center - 815.363.2169 (summer only)
  • Petersen Park Beach - 815.363.2126 (summer only)
    Parks & Recreation Staff
  • Superintendent of Recreation - Cindy Witt
  • Athletics & Aquatics Supervisor - Nicole Thompson
  • Recreation Center Manager - Matt LaPorte
  • Park Planning & Forestry Superintendent - Tom Schmidt
  • Park & Downtown Maintenance Superintendent - Pat Gorniak
  • Park & Downtown Maintenance Assistant Superintendent - Jeff Friedle
  • Park Maintenance - Tracy Crowder
  • Downtown/Park Maintenance - John Dillon
  • Park Maintenance - Chris Etten
  • Park Maintenance - Mike Harper
  • Park Maintenance - Bob Zimmerman
  • Administrative Assistant - Kathy Quick
  • Office Assistant - Tina Conaway

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