Urbana Park District
The park tradition in both Champaign and Urbana was initiated by the establishment of an ‘anchor’ park.

Urbana's anchor park was Crystal Lake Park. Originally known as Union Park, it was set aside as a private park by J.K. Wallick in the late 1880s to preserve the site’s natural beauty. It was a popular "destination park" for boating, camping, picnicking, and ice skating.

The land was transferred to Benjamin Swartz and renamed Crystal Lake Park in 1897. Crystal Lake Park was donated to the newly formed Urbana Park District in 1908 and was enlarged with additional land.

Many of the early activity of the Urbana Park District was centered at the park as the boat house held it’s offices.

During the 1960s, aggressive land acquisition took place as there was a need to preserve and retain open areas before they became developed. In this period Lohmann, Patterson, Prairie and King parks were established. Meadowbrook Park was also acquired.
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