GHA: Shaping Community Parks, Enhancing Local Connections


Park districts are integral components of any community, offering much more than playgrounds and sports fields. They’re dynamic spaces that invigorate, inspire, and contribute to the wellness of community members. At GHA, we understand the pivotal role of these public spaces, and for decades our Site Design division has worked alongside park districts, helping them evolve with the changing needs of the communities they serve.

Partnering with more than 35 northern Illinois park districts extends beyond just civil site design and infrastructure. We have provided master planning services, guiding the future development of parks & recreation facilities in a sustainable and thoughtful manner. Our dedicated approach fosters long-term relationships, making GHA a trusted partner for park districts and their communities.

Waukegan Park District - Greg Petry SportsPark
Thomas A. Rychlik, P.E., Senior Engineer

“Having the opportunity to shape the public spaces where memories are made and community ties are strengthened is a role we approach with passion and fidelity. At GHA, our extensive experience with parks & recreation has made us understand that our designs impact more than just landscapes; they touch lives. Our expertise lies in creating solutions and spaces that serve communities in meaningful ways today and for generations to come.”

-Thomas A. Rychlik, P.E., Senior Engineer


Our collaboration with the Waukegan Park District on Greg Petry SportsPark demonstrates GHA’s innovative and responsive approach to parks & recreation projects. Tasked with the transformation of a 135-acre golf course into a sports complex in response to strong community demand, GHA served as the lead consultant, overseeing all stages, from planning to final construction. Given the substantial scope of the project, including large-scale earthwork, utilities installation, and a robust stormwater management system, we identified the need for a comprehensive and well-structured strategic plan. Implementing this plan, GHA was able to acquire all necessary permits within four months. This resulted in a state-of-the-art complex recognized by Enjoy Illinois as “the top sports complex in Northern Illinois” and “a perfect place to host tournaments and events.”


Forest preserves are nature’s retreats within bustling urban landscapes. GHA has a history of serving forest preserve districts around Chicago by enhancing open spaces and creating trailways for the public’s enjoyment, while also improving infrastructure such as roadways and parking to allow access to those places.  To facilitate the ongoing management of the lands, we further assist in developing state of the art maintenance and operation facilities.

GHA’s specialty lies in delivering these projects with an emphasis on minimizing disturbance beyond the site improvements. We work diligently to ensure the natural serenity and ecological integrity of forest preserves are preserved while implementing necessary enhancements. Our commitment to this delicate balance solidifies our position as a leading provider of engineering services for forest preserves.

Lake County Forest Preserve District – Grassy Lake Forest Preserve

In both park districts and forest preserves, GHA’s approach has been about more than just design and infrastructure. It is our passion for preserving, enhancing, and revitalizing public spaces that sets us apart and aligns us closely with the communities we serve.


Thomas A. Rychlik, P.E.
Senior Engineer

Brian Wesolowski, P.E., CFM
Director of Site Design Services