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 4 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Cori Veverka 2 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 3 months ago in Brand New Idea updated by Professor of Innovation 3 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 3 months ago in Brand New Idea updated by Cori Veverka 3 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 3 months ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Professor of Innovation 3 weeks ago 4

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


Smartsheet for IT requests

Rockie Veverka 7 months ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Rich Zielke 2 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. 

Not Selected

Hand Dryers in Buildings

Alex Shields 4 weeks ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Rich Zielke 6 days ago 2

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


planning and brainstorming meetings

Jen McFall 2 months ago in Employee Experience updated 3 weeks 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 4 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 2 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 7 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 1 month 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 5 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 3 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. 

Under review

Me Too at the Pool

Kendra Potter 6 months ago in Brand New Idea updated by Cori Veverka 3 weeks ago 4

We should pick a couple of summer days and set aside inclusion hours at the pool (CC or WR), like the ME TOO event we do for PrairieFest


Collecting Testimonials

Cori Veverka 4 weeks ago in Brand New Idea updated by Laura Finch 3 weeks ago 1

I was at an IPRA meeting yesterday where we were discussing different ideas for marketing. One agency mentioned that they have a method of following up when they receive positive feedback via email or on social media. They shoot back a quick message to thank them, ask if they can use the quote for promotional purposes, and how they would like their name to be listed. This allowed them to be anonymous, represent their entire family, or just be "Cori V." It was cool to see their examples calling out specific instructors or classes.

We know that people have great things to say about our programs, events, and customer service, so let's capture that and share with Marketing. We are brag-worthy, and it is great when we can let our patrons help tell our story!

Under review

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

Tom Betsinger 2 months ago in Better/Faster/Smarter/Cheaper updated by Professor of Innovation 2 months 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. 

Under review

Employee Intranet Page

Christine 2 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 2 months ago 1

I'm new to the park district, so I'm not sure if we have something like this. Do we have an employee intranet type page that is like a one stop shop for employees to get information? Access is only for employees. Information would consist of emp. benefit summaries, forms, how to's for Springbrook access, links to web pages that are important (Innovation Lab), volunteer opportunities, parties and events, etc.

Under review

What do you want to know? What do you want to share?

Laura Finch 2 months ago in Customer Experience updated 2 months ago 16

The Community Awareness Team needs your input! We’re compiling a list of Fun Facts/Did You Know Details/A Brag Board/General FAQs. We want to share more of the awesome things we do with you and the community but need your help. We don't know the things we don't know! Help us by throwing in on the following:

  • Is there a burning Park District question that you want to ask?
  • Is there something awesome that we do that you want others to know about?
  • Is there a question every resident asks that we could better answer?