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Dallas Collins completes her two terms on the H-F Parks board

Dallas Collins attended her last Homewood-Flossmoor Park District meeting as a commissioner April 18. She served two six-year terms on the park board and decided not to run for re-election.

Dallas Collins
Dallas Collins

Angela Coderre won a seat in the April 4 election and will be sworn in as a new parks commissioner at the May 16 meeting.

Collins was a mom with two young children when she moved to Homewood from Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood. She went to a meeting about graffiti at Millennium Park in her neighborhood. That encounter with park staff led to her serving three years on the Leisure Services Committee and gave her an education on all that H-F Park District offers.

“I didn’t realize all that the suburban park district does and the amount of greenspace and the facilities it has, and the recreation programs offered. It was an eye-opener,” she said.


From that volunteer effort, Collins said she decided to run for the board “as a way to give back to the community.”  

Projects big and small were on the park board’s agenda. She still remembers the decision to close Dolphin Lake Pool at 183rd Street and Governors Highway.

“It was bittersweet to start with,” she said, but using the site for the development of The Clubhouse at Dolphin Lake “gave the community a great space to rent, and you have a nice view looking out on the lake.”

After her first term, Collins chose to run again. She remembers she committed “that I would go through (her kids) childhood years.” They are now 19 and 17. The family moved from one Homewood neighborhood to another and now lives in the Irwin Park area “and my kids have used that park many times,” she said.

The major project of her second term has been the rebuild of the H-F Ice Arena. The park district was forced to shut the facility down in November 2021 when the icemaking system failed. The major $6 million project brought the facility up to date. It reopened in February.

Some people in the community recognize her as a parks commissioner, but others know Collins as the director of the preschool at Flossmoor Community Church. She’s held the position for four years and was the assistant director before that.

Her obligation to attend Tuesday park district meetings is complete, but Collins said, “I will continue to be a champion of the part district and I probably will find more leisure time to walk through the parks.”

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