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Gurnee Park District

Welcome NEW Director of Recreation, Melissa Marsh

Gurnee, Illinois – July 22, 2024. Gurnee Park District is excited to announce and welcome its new Director of Recreation, Melissa Marsh, CPRP.    

IMG 8373 Melissa Marsh joins Gurnee Park District with a wealth of experience in the field of parks and recreation. Most recently, Marsh served as Division Director of Recreation and Museum Services at Glenview Park District, where she oversaw and supported the district’s comprehensive recreation and aquatics department, as well as the district’s museums: The Grove, Historic Wagner Farm, Kent Fuller Air Station Prairie, and Schram Memorial Chapel. Prior to working in Glenview, Marsh was the Director of Parks and Recreation with the Village of Lincolnwood, where she managed parks and facilities, recreation programs, special events, community partnerships, and capital improvement projects. Her background also includes serving National Gold Medal Award-winning and Distinguished Agency Accredited communities such as the Park District of Oak Park, Fox Valley Park District, and Homewood-Flossmoor Park District. 

Marsh holds a master’s degree in public administration from Governors State University and a bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Sport and Tourism from the University of Illinois. She is a graduate of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Revenue Development and Management School and the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) Leadership Academy. She is also a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP). 

Throughout her time working in the field, Marsh has admired the many ways in which the Gurnee Park District builds community and creates a fun environment where people of all ages can grow. “I’m thrilled to be joining the Gurnee Park District and am excited to work with the team to continue providing innovative programs and services in support of the district’s mission,” shared Marsh. “I am passionate about parks and recreation, both as a professional and in my personal life.” Outside of the office, Marsh enjoys being outdoors exploring parks and trails.

Gurnee Park District looks forward to having Marsh join the team. “We are pleased to welcome Melissa on board,” shared Executive Director, Susie Kuruvilla. “Her contributions will play an integral role in our continued growth and ability to provide exceptional services to our community.”

Join the GO Gurnee Walking Club at Lake Carina Forest Preserve. (33319 Milwaukee Avenue in Gurnee)

View map location here!

Directions/Walk Details: 1-mile hard packed loop around a lake. Mostly flat except for a slight hill getting from the parking lot to the trail. On the East side of Milwaukee Avenue between the tollway and Gages Lake Road. Pets allowed. Limited parking so if you can carpool, please do.

Not a Walking Club member? Join for FREE today!

Join the GO Gurnee Walking Club at Gowe Park / Des Plaines River Trail (4621 McClure Avenue in Gurnee.) 

View map location here!

Directions/Walk Details: This trail is an access point to the Des Plaines River Trail. It is packed gravel. Mostly flat. We’ll be heading SOUTH on the Des Plaines River Trail. To Washington Street and back will be 2.5 miles. To Route 120 and back is 4 miles. Gowe Park is located behind Warren Township High School (O’Plaine Campus). Follow the access road (McClure Avenue) between the school and Grand Avenue towards the river. No restrooms. Pets allowed.

Not a Walking Club member? Join for FREE today!

Join the GO Gurnee Walking Club at Fire Station #2 Bike Path. (6581 Dada Drive in Gurnee.)

View map location here!

Directions/Walk Details: This is near the Gurnee Jewel. Park in the EAST lot of the fire station. The bike path is behind the station. We’ll walk WEST along the path for roughly 1.5 miles and then turn around. Crushed gravel. Pets allowed. No restrooms.

Not a Walking Club member? Join for FREE today!

Join the GO Gurnee Walking Club at Raven Glen WEST Forest Preserve (Route 173 in Antioch)

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Directions/Walk Details: This is NOT the same Raven Glen that we usually walk. This one is accessed about a mile WEST of Route 45 on Route 173. Pretend you are heading towards the Walmart in Antioch, this preserve will be on the left just past the light at Savage Road and before Deep Lake Road. 4-mile round trip gravel trail. Mostly flat. Minimal shade. Pets allowed. Limited parking so if you can car pool, please do. 

Not a Walking Club member? Join for FREE today!

Join the GO Gurnee Walking Club at Mother Rudd / Des Plaines River Trail (4690 Old Grand Avenue)  

View map location here!

Directions/Walk Details: This trail is an access point to the Des Plaines River Trail. It is packed gravel. Mostly flat. We’ll be heading NORTH on the Des Plaines River Trail. To the Kilbourne Road and back will be 2 miles. Of course, you can continue further North to the 2nd bridge and make it a 4-mile round trip. Feeling really adventures, to the fishing pond and back is 6 miles. No restrooms. Pets allowed. 

Not a Walking Club member? Join for FREE today!

Join the GO Gurnee Walking Club at Gelatin Park (250 Library Lane in Grayslake.) 

View map location here!

Directions/Walk Details:

Park near the new sledding hill by the smokestack. The actual walk through Central Park is not too long but there is a loop that takes you through downtown Grayslake and the total walk is 1.5 to 2 miles (depending on 1 detour). Paved. Mostly flat. Pets allowed. Take Route 45 to Center Street in Grayslake, Head West. Turn right on Railroad Street (just before the train tracks) and meet by the smokestack.

Not a Walking Club member? Join for FREE today!

Join the GO Gurnee Walking Club at Ray Lake Forest Preserve (23275 W. Erhart Road in Mundelein)

View map location here!

Directions/Walk Details: . This is a 2.3-mile loop circling a lake. Crushed rock path and mostly flat. It is near Route 60 & Freemont Center Road (think the Target in Mundelein). GPS will be helpful but here are rough directions from Gurnee. Take Route 45 South to Peterson Road. Right on Peterson all the way to the end. Left on Route 60. Quick right on Freemont Center Road. Quick right on Erhart Road then look for the forest preserve about a mile down the road on the left. The entrance is marked by a giant Black Angus cow. Pets allowed.

Not a Walking Club member? Join for FREE today!

Join the GO Gurnee Walking Club at Des Plaines River Trail! (Meet at Adler Park Disc Golf Course / Toboggan Run.)

View map location here!

Directions/Walk Details: Take Milwaukee Avenue South to the traffic light at the Libertyville Fire Station, turn left into the Adler Park. The Adler Park Disc Golf Course / Toboggan Run is BEHIND the municipal pool so just keep driving around (even PAST THE PLAYGROUND). This trail is an access point to the Des Plaines River Trail. It is packed gravel. The beginning and end of the walk will be a decent size hill, after that, it will be mostly flat. Pets allowed. We’ll walk South for 20 or so minutes and then will turn around and head back to the parking lot. If we go to Oak Spring Road & back, it will be roughly a 3-mile trip. On the return trip if you hit Route 137 (or Gurnee), you went too far. 

Not a Walking Club member? Join for FREE today!

Join the GO Gurnee Walking Club at Prairie Crossing Subdivision (960 Harris Road in Grayslake)!

View map location here!

Directions/Walk Details: Crushed gravel trail with some hills. Pets welcome. We’ll have 2 trail options. One is 3 miles and goes around the entire perimeter of the property. The other cuts that roughly in half so about 1.5 miles. We’ll meet in the parking lot off of Route 137 just West of Route 45, it is kind a mini-mall. If possible, park BEHIND the businesses so that their clients can park in front of the businesses.

Not a Walking Club member? Join for FREE today!