Located in the Edison Park community on Harlem Avenue, just south of Touhy Avenue, Brooks Park is the most northwestern park in the Chicago Park District. At nearly nine acres, the park features a number of sports and recreational activities, including an established boxing program for youth, teens and adults.
The athletes compete in an annual boxing show each December at the park. Youth can choose from basketball, volleyball, floor hockey, and recreational tumbling. Or, they can participate in arts classes. Brooks Park also serves a large population of young preschoolers in its Edison Park community area, with music and movement classes, play group, preschool and moms, pops and tots programs that include parents. Adults stay active in walking and fitness programs at Brooks Park, or popular softball or basketball leagues.
Brooks Park contains two baseball fields, one soccer/football field, two tennis courts, six horseshoe pits, a water spray feature and playground.
Brooks Park is among the four parks created by the Edison Park District, one of 22 independent park boards consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934. Established in 1913, the Edison Park District was still developing parks in the early 1930s. During the preceding decade, the population of the Edison Park neighborhood had increased from 950 to over 5,000 people, but the area's fine homes were still interspersed with farmland. In 1931, the park district purchased a 2.7-acre tract of open land in the eastern portion of its territory. The site was known as Brooks Park in honor of Edison Park District President Oscar E. Brooks (1869--), a prominent local resident and general contractor, who had served as village trustee for five years before becoming a park board member in 1920. By the fall of 1932, improvements were under way at Brooks Park. The site soon had tennis courts, a wading pool, a playground, a trellis-like pergola, and a lawn area that could be flooded for ice skating in winter. Within a few short years, the park became part of the newly-created Chicago Park District. By 1950, the Chicago Park District had acquired additional land east of the original park site, nearly tripling the park's size. Improvements followed in subsequent years. These included ball fields, a small recreation building, a spray pool, and bocci courts. The park district constructed a new fieldhouse at the east end of Brooks Park in 1979, replacing the original recreation building near the west end. A new soft surface playground was installed in 1992.
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