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. 

Under review

District Dog Days

Kelse Gengler 6 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Cori Veverka 4 months ago 4

When I was in college they would bring in therapy dogs during stressful times of the year (finals, midterms, etc). I was thinking we could do a similar thing and bring in some therapy dogs during various times during the year.

It could be a short thing or have a time frame where staff could drop in to play with some dogs for a little bit.

Not sure if we could have it in one of our buildings or if it would have to be outside.

Under review

10/10 - Internal OPD Holiday

Kendra Potter 5 months ago in Brand New Idea updated by Professor of Innovation 5 months ago 3

1010 is what phone number the community knows us by. Wouldn't be great if we could create an internal holiday on October 10 of every year celebrating us...OPD employees? Ideas could include a picnic in the park, a potluck, celebrate with t-shirts, a parade, flag football game, bonfire, hold a triathlon, support one of our OPD athletic events by attending a game, pick a charity to donate to, volunteer, attend one of the Cubs playoff game, etc. The ideas are endless. 

Under review

Program Themed Picnic Tables

Erik Enslen 6 months ago in Brand New Idea updated by Cori Veverka 5 months ago 5

This will bring attention to different programs throughout the Park District. Each Department/Program can design & paint their own picnic table and it be placed throughout the parks in the spring/summer. Contest for each area to design the most creative.

Similar to the ones that were done at Prairie Fest this year, or the "Cows on Parade" from Chicago years ago.



Kimberly Rutkowski 5 months ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Professor of Innovation 3 months ago 4

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


Smartsheet for IT requests

Rockie Veverka 9 months ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Rich Zielke 4 months 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. 

Under review

Projector and computer access at primary meeting locations

Brian Everhart 2 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Cori Veverka 2 weeks ago 3

Many of the districts leadership teams, committees, and departments meet at the same few locations throughout the district.  It would be nice to have quick easy access to projectors and computers to help share information digitally at these meetings instead of paper.  While we do have a projector and laptop that can be checked out, it can be cumbersome to haul this around, set it up and the laptop itself can be hard to get connected to the network.  Also a large screen or blank area to project this on to.

Having a dedicated projector and computer or connection point at these main meetings hubs could be more efficient and effective and also help in cases of community meetings and training with staff, etc.

The South Point Conference, Prairie Point loft, Planning & Development office, Civic Center Room 1 as well as one of the rooms at Boulder Point.

Along with moving us along technology wise this would also help environmentally with paper waste and could improve efficiency.


Employment page in catalog

Jen McFall 2 months ago in Customer Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 1 month ago 3

We should have a page in our catalog dedicated to the open positions in the park district. I ran across Naperville Park District's page and I think we would benefit from something similar.  Naperville page.pdf

Under review

New building access control system at all locations - FOBs or keycards for entry

Brian Everhart 2 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Mary Drew 2 weeks ago 2

With Boulder Point set to have renovations it could be a great time to transition from our current system of keys and passcodes at our various locations to a universal key card or FOB entry system for all staff.  Boulder Point could be done first with a phased implementation for other facilities year by year to help with budget/cost concerns.

The same system could be implemented at all locations so employees would have one card/FOB to access all facilities or rooms they need access to do perform their job functions.  In the case of termination or change of duties, it would be easier for supervisors, system administrator to either deactivate or change access on a staff members card.

Eliminate the need for large rings of keys for some employees as well as access codes, duplicated keys, etc.

I believe the school district already uses something like this for their facilities.

Not Selected

Hand Dryers in Buildings

Alex Shields 3 months ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Rich Zielke 2 months ago 2

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


planning and brainstorming meetings

Jen McFall 4 months ago in Employee Experience updated 3 months ago 4

I believe having our brainstorming meetings a year in advance would be more productive than a week or 2 before catalog entries are due. For example, we meet this November to discuss how our fall classes are going, what we would change and any ideas for collaborations for next year. I feel talking about the season we are currently in will give us more insight when planning for next year. We always come up with great ideas in these meetings but I don't feel we fully devote the time and energy to produce those great classes due to such limited planning time.

Under review

Electronic Sign In Sheets for Staff Meetings

Rich Zielke 6 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 5 months ago 2

Attending the catalog meeting we signed in on paper, got me thinking about an electronic solution.

Just one of many that came up during a quick search - https://signinsheets.org/


Online store for staff apparel & accessories

Abbie 9 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 4 months ago 8

Work with Next Generation to create an online store for staff to order branded apparel, accessories, etc. Departments currently do this individually, and some departments not at all. A district wide approach and opportunity to everyone would be beneficial. Not mandatory or "uniforms" but an opportunity for staff to purchase Oswegoland logo-ed apparel.


Putting a name to a face

Mary Drew 7 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 5 months ago 8

For our internal email you can add your picture to your profile. This would be nice for those staff you never see to put a name to a face. 


Kids Connection summer camp

Jonathon Lorenz 2 weeks ago in Brand New Idea updated by Cheryl Lutz Gerstung 2 weeks ago 1

I’ve been to countless summer camps for kids over the years. And one of my favorite things every year is the aspect of the (color wars) Red team vs Blue team. But those camps are only a week long. My idea would be for the Kids in the summer program on the “out and about” to meet with another site. And play games, relay races etc. vs another site. (Like red teams vs blue team.) and this would go on all summer program, each game won would essentially get them points. Teams could also come up with color team theme chants to cheer on there team. For extra points. Towards the end of the summer program the team with the most points would receive either some kind of trophy for the year or the winning site would get a pizza party.  


Online Registration

Kelly Summers 1 month ago in Customer Experience updated by Cheryl Lutz Gerstung 3 weeks ago 1

In an effort to save time for our customers and trees for the environment I think we should look to offering as many of our programs online as possible. After having worked though putting preschool registration online it would be very easy to offer a majority of our payment planned based activities available for online registration. 

Going along with that Kids Connection and Preschool currently utilize the ePACT program. This website houses all of the heath and emergency information for a specific individual. This could be information that is shared across departments. For example my daughter Ciara has attended kids connection her ePACT includes emergency contacts authorized pick up individuals and any important health information. She is also part of Dance Company if dance was also using the ePACT website they could view this information online. I as a parent would only have to complete the ePACT process once and if all of our departments were utilizing ePACT that information could be viewed as soon as I registered her for an activity or program. 

Parents would not need to fill out this information multiple times and would would not have to keep track of paperwork.