No sled? No problem. The Park District of Oak Park has you covered. Its “Sled Library” program at Barrie Park allows kids without a sled to borrow one, as well as offers a convenient option for people looking to give their sleds a second life. A sort of leave-a-penny-take-a-penny situation for winter activities. 

“This is really a lot of fun,” said Diane Stanke, park district customer service director, of the new program. “People are looking for feel good kind of stuff.”

Since the Sled Library went up a few weeks ago, it’s gotten a wonderful response from the residents of Oak Park. Barrie Park is at Lombard and Garfield.

“It’s gotten so much community praise,” said Ann Marie Buczek,  park district social media specialist. “People were so excited and happy about this and just thought it was a great idea.”

The park district’s Feb. 5 Facebook post announcing the new program received almost 400 likes and 113 shares, making it the park district’s highest performing social media post, according to Stanke.

The inspiration to create the library came after a staff member saw online that one had been set up in a different community. The idea to put one in Barrie Park went over very well with the rest of the park district’s staff. 

“We just jumped on it,” said Stanke. 

Several park district employees donated their sleds to fill the little library up. Those with limited space in their garage can clean house and do good simultaneously by donating sleds to the library. 

Another new addition to Barrie Park is the “Sled Cemetery,” where kids can dispose of sleds broken after too many turns going down the park’s steep manmade sledding hill. In the past, people would just leave the sled debris scattered around the hill leaving park crew members to clean up the pieces. 

The popularity of the program begs the question of if it will return next year.

“Weather permitting, it will,” said Stanke. “But maybe we got all the snow that we’re going to get for the next two years.”

Join the discussion on social media!