Park Board President Named to State Board of Directors

Robert Johnson, Sr., President of the Pleasure Driveway and Park District of Peoria Board of Trustees, was recently elected to the Illinois Association of Park Districts’ (IAPD) Board of Trustees.

Robert Johnson, Sr.

As an IAPD Trustee, Johnson will assist the association with its mission of advancing Illinois park districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation, and special recreation agencies in their ability to preserve natural resources and improve the quality of life for all people in Illinois. He will work with the 19-member board to advise the association in providing service, research, advocacy, public awareness, and educational programs to its membership of 350 park, recreation, and conservation agencies and nearly 100 affiliated business partners.

“Robert is an outstanding proponent of enhancing the quality of life in Illinois through the services of park districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation, and special recreation agencies,” said Peter Murphy, IAPD President and Chief Executive Officer. “He is a great addition to the IAPD Board, and I know that with his guidance and expertise, Illinois parks, recreation, and conservation will thrive and continue to rank among the nation’s best.”

Johnson served as a member of the IAPD/Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) Joint Publications Committee, as well as a member of the Joint Distinguished Park and Recreation Accreditation Committee. Currently, Robert serves on the IAPD Program Committee and Joint Conference Committee as the Operations Co-Chair.

Johnson was appointed to the Peoria Park District Board in 1995 and elected to his first term in 1997. In 2019, he was elected from the community-at-large as board president and is currently serving his fifth term on the board.

He was recently presented a Distinguished Service Resolution by the Peoria Park District recognizing his leadership of the organization and his many years of outstanding service on the board. Johnson has also served for many years on the boards of community neighborhood associations and school advisory groups. He is an inductee of the African American Hall of Fame Museum, Inc. and has been recognized for his efforts in conjunction with the development of the John Gwynn Family Aquatic Center and Park, Logan, and Trewyn Park renovations, and most recently, the Proctor Recreation Center Water Playground and Park.

He is the recipient of the 1999 Citizen of the Year Award from Men of Theta Xi, Graduate Chapter Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, recognizing outstanding community leadership. In 2001 and in 2012, he received the prestigious Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major Award for his community service. And, in 2001, he was presented the Hometown Hero award by the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Johnson currently serves on the Peoria RiverFront Program and Policy Advisory Committee. 

IAPD was established in 1928 and is the oldest state association for parks, recreation, and conservation in America. The association serves more than 2,100 elected park, recreation and forest preserve district board members who govern 350 agencies employing 40,000 individuals. 

IAPD strives to improve Illinois’ quality of life through park districts, forest preserves, conservation, and recreation agencies by establishing grants and other new revenue streams for park land, facilities, and services; educating the public about the positive effects parks and recreation have on communities; and meeting the problem of decreasing open space in Illinois.