Chicago Park District
Website: Chicago Park District
From rich pond life teeming with frogs, herons, and dragonflies, to shrubby areas where migratory birds stop to rest, to lush prairies filled with native grasses and wildflowers, the Chicago Park District offers opportunities to explore nature in the city.
2708 West Lawrence
Chicago, Il 60625
Gross Park is a small park located at 2708 West Lawrence Avenue in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. It features four basketball standards, a volleyball court, a soccer field, a playground, and a sandbox. Currently, the park’s advisory council is fundraising for the renovation of the playground.
Youth programs at Gross Park include touch football, floor hockey, soccer, softball, sports camp, an after school drop-in program, and fun and games. For teens, the park offers a teen club, bike camp, sports camp, and weightlifting. Weightlifting is also available for adults. There is a game room and table tennis for patrons of all ages to use.
5941 North Richmond
Chicago, Il 60659
Mather Park shares 13.75 acres with Mather High School where many of the Chicago Park District programs are held. Mather High School features a natatorium, two gymnasia and other rooms for indoor patron use. Outdoors, Mather Park features one senior baseball and four junior softball fields, two combination football and soccer fields, four basketball standards, six tennis courts, four horseshoe pits, a playground, and a sandbox.
1552 West Schreiber
Chicago, Il 60626
Located in Rogers Park (north of Devon Avenue and east of Clark Street), Schreiber Park offers weekday programming for various age groups. Programs include children’s arts and crafts, sports and fitness, dance, games and homework hour, adult walking club, as well as moms, pops & tots.The park’s ping pong table is rather popular.
Schreiber Park hosts many holiday events and is known for both its annual Pine Car Derby Race & Family Fest, as well as its annual National Night Out celebration which helps neighbors get to know each other.
The 1.1-acre park continues to expand its open green space and contains a playground, a soccer field, and a basketball court.
Green Briar Park
2650 West Peterson
Chicago, Il 60659
Green Briar Park, prominently located on West Peterson Avenue just east of California Avenue, serves its community residents with a number of athletic and unique recreational activities, ranging from a weekly drum circle to jewelry making. The historic fieldhouse features a gymnasium on the first floor and an auditorium on the second floor, which is available for rental for private events and parties.
As part of its after-school drop-in program, Green Briar Park offers homework time. The park also provides bitty basketball, basketball for ages 15-17, teen club, and instruction in recreational tumbling and team tumbling. For those who enjoy all sports, Green Briar Park offers a sports club that provides practice and preparation for regional and citywide athletic tournaments, which may include flag football, wrestling, volleyball, tumbling or floor hockey, for example. There are also arts and crafts classes.
Smaller children join in preschool, playgroup, paper craft, or story telling. For adults, Green Briar offers 5-on-5 basketball, volleyball, 14” softball, senior conditioning, and jewelry making/lapidary. All ages are invited to participate in the park’s interactive drum circle on Friday nights, instrumental music classes, and table tennis.
In the summer, Green Briar keeps children active with an extended day camp ideal for working parents. The camp includes both a morning session and an afternoon session.
Outdoors, Green Briar Park features two basketball standards, two junior baseball fields, a tennis court, volleyball court, playground and spray pool.
5100 North Francisco
Chicago, Il 60625
Located at the convergence of the Chicago River and canal, River Park offers a rich wildlife habitat, excellent fishing and a canoe launch.
River Park boasts a swimming pool and an interactive water playground in the summer months. The artificial turf soccer field and running track, as well as the new soft-surface playground, draw visitors from around the city. The park also features seven tennis courts and two baseball fields.
The park’s advisory council, made up of local residents, meets regularly and participates in park events, such as gym showcases and holiday celebrations. Numerous children head to River Park for its strong Park Kids after-school program. Several programs are held in the park’s large auditorium, which is also available for permit by private groups.
Basketball and indoor soccer are two popular programs for both youth and teens. Teens get together for a leadership camp in the summer, and preschoolers gather for play group. Adult programming at River Park includes men’s basketball.
Address: W. Peterson Ave. to W. Foster Ave. at the Chicago River
Legion Park was created by the River Park District, one of 22 independent park systems consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934. Residents of northwest Chicago established the Ridge Park District in 1917 specifically to promote recreational opportunities along the North Shore Channel and the nearby North Branch of the Chicago River. Therefore, when the board of the Sanitary District of Chicago offered to lease a 330-foot, 18-acre stretch of the channel’s east bank in 1930, the River Park District readily accepted. The park district named the site Legion Park to honor veterans who served in the World War I U.S. Expeditionary Forces, and promptly began improvements, installing a playground, a volleyball court, a softball field, and an outdoor gymnasium. In 1933, the Garden Club of the Peterson Woods Improvement Association planted a flower garden in the park. The following year, in the depths of the Depression, the Illinois Relief Commission erected a rustic bridge across the channel at Ardmore Avenue.
All 22 of the city’s independent park boards were consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934. In 1962, the park district began to lease additional property on both sides of the channel. Seven years later, the park district leased still more land, bringing total park acreage to 48.35 acres. Over time, the park district has installed and improved concrete walkways, bike paths, and playgrounds along the length of Legion Park. In 1999, the park district purchased .4 acres of land at the corner of Lincoln and Peterson Avenues from the Public Building Commission, and removed a neighborhood eyesore, a dilapidated motel. This property, with its new ornamental fountain, will serve as a gateway to the park.