Welcome to the Oswegoland Park District’s Innovation Lab! Your ideas, comments, and feedback are encouraged! All ideas are welcomed, big and small! If your idea is related to pay and/or benefits, it will be addressed to Human Resources.

How to Submit your Idea 

  • Select "+Add a new one"
  • Fill out the form 

Under Review: All ideas will be labeled “under review” until a decision is made. It will be reviewed no later than 90 days after posting. Each idea is rated based on:

  • Feasible – How feasible is this idea to implement?
  • Effective – Will the idea have a clear outcome/impact to show effectiveness?
  • Values – How well does the idea align with our Values of integrity, collaboration, and innovation?
  • Strategic Themes – How does the idea serve our Strategic Themes of Land & Facilities, Fiscal Awareness, Customer Experience, and Employee Engagement?

Decision Time

  • Selected: Congratulations! Your idea is leaving the lab and being put into practice! You will be receiving an ATOM (Adding to Our Mission) award. The Values Team will work with the appropriate departments to identify project leader(s) to implement.
  • Not Selected: Unfortunately, some ideas are not selected. If we do not select an idea, you will receive a notice in the Innovation Lab with an explanation of the team’s decision.
  • Big Ticket: If your idea has merit and may incur additional expenses, it will be tagged as a Big Ticket item. We will collect more information about the scope and scale of information.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Values Team at valueteam@oswegolandpd.org. 



Kimberly Rutkowski 2 years ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Professor of Innovation 1 year ago 4

I would like to look into bottle filling stations to replace current water fountains


Smartsheet for IT requests

Rockie Veverka 2 years ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Rich Zielke 2 years ago 4

It would be awesome to be able to complete a smart sheet similar to how we already do marketing or website request for any IT related issues or concerns. Scott isn't here everyday, so it might also be nice for him to be able to prioritize tasks,  get them on his calendar and mark off things that are completed. I'm not 100% sure of how the smartsheet works, but it seems like a nice way to get things organized for all. 

Not Selected

Hand Dryers in Buildings

Alex Shields 1 year ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Rich Zielke 1 year ago 2

The district could look into getting hand dryers for restrooms instead of continuously supplying paper towels.

Under review

Google Drive/Doc Help

Kristen Desler 1 year ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Cheryl 1 year ago 5

Many Supervisors use Google Drive/Documents to share information with their staff. I'd love for one of these supervisors to present a quick "how-to" for those interested. It would also be nice for us to share how we are currently using Google Drive and brainstorm ways we can eliminate some of our paper forms with the use of Google docs.

Under review

Amazon Smile - Oswegoland Park Foundation

Zack Donati 1 year ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Laura Finch 1 year ago 2

I know Chad sent something out in the past, but I thought I'd make a quick post about Amazon Smile. 

When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added benefit that Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice

We all make plenty of personal and work purchases on Amazon and we should should definitely be more aware of the small kickback we can get. 

Under review

Smartsheet for Operations Requests!

btingley 1 year ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Jen McFall 1 year ago 3

Since marketing and IT have switched over to ticket requests, why don't we switch operations from emails as well? We could  track what buildings/areas are needing help more often and there could be options for how quickly you need it done. Operations could also put questions that would help them know exactly what needs to be done/what equipment needs to be brought. 


Reduce reliance on paper/printing

There are many reasons to be proud working for a park district. Let’s face it, life would be joyless without recreation. When we talk about what we do, what do we mention before recreation? We use the word “parks”. I feel the importance of parks in our lives could never be understated. We preserve land and nature in all its beauty while preventing something as trivial as a gas station or condominiums built in its place.

With that said, I feel a park district should lead the way in the green initiative, and save our trees! “Climate change” was one of the top concerns going into the 2020 election as it should be, and I feel we should do everything we can to fight climate change. Unfortunately, I believe we are excessively reliant on paper and printing in our district. With technology the way it is, I believe there is little need for a printer in 2020. Ask yourself this question, “when is the last time your received a paper bill or invoice for anything”? I know I never do. They are emailed to me, or I check them on a monthly basis on a vendor’s website.

Eliminating our need for printers and printing could never happen overnight. I propose we form a committee that can slowly investigate common uses of our printers, and find ways to convert those uses to digital. I know it is possible; we just need to work to find a way to replace our paper needs.

By slowly eliminating our reliance on printers, we save money on equipment, electricity, ink, and paper while helping our environment. I say that’s a cause each and every one of us can get behind!

Under review

Job / Shift Posting Portal for Internal Staff seeking to Work matching staff looking to fill jobs or shifts

Tom Betsinger 2 years ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Professor of Innovation 2 years ago 1

I would like a clearing house where each department can post position openings or available shifts for existing staff. 

Ideally, staff from any department would be able to access the open position / shift and then apply or agree to fill shifts. 

Jobs or shifts would include any specific requirements, rate of pay, ect...  

Possible internal software with potential include When 2 Work, Springbrook & Time Pro. 


Free Conference Call Website

I was just collaborating with a few people from different agencies and we were on a conference call using /www.freeconferencecall.com/. It was an easy way to connect with a conversation and sharing the host's desktop.

I am always on the lookout for effective and efficient ways to share information and get feedback. This could be an option for topics that warrant more than an email, but maybe not a full leave-your-desk-and-drive-to-a-different-location meeting.

Let me know if anyone tries this and what you think!


Recycling Plastic Drums for Recycling

Zack Donati 2 years ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by KristieBV 1 year ago 7

Use old plastic drums at Prairie Point Community Park fields for recycling. Similar to the current garbage cans we use, but instead we could leave the lid on and cut the hole out to fit cans. We would use blue barrels and clearly mark them for recycling.

Figured this would be an easier system to recycle. It would be harder to contaminate recycling since the hole would fit cans only. High winds cause current recycling containers to knock down and blow around easily. 

Under review

PCP Pipes

Zoe 1 year ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Abbie 1 year ago 2

Buy pcp pipes to put in hockey boards so they move less (athletic department)