The newest park serving the South Lawndale Community. The new park features include two artificial turf athletic fields with lighting; three natural grass athletic fields; a skate park; basketball courts; community gardens; passive landscape areas; a large playground with a water spray feature; a picnic pavilion; comfort stations that include concessions; a multi-use trail with fitness stations; and environmentally-friendly utilities.
While there will be limited structured programming taking place at this location, we invite you to check out our great programs offered at nearby Piotrowski Park.
La Villita History
Dedicated in December of 2014, La Villita Park is an impressive 21 ½ acre park in the Little Village neighborhood of the South Lawndale Community. It occupies a former brownfield called Celotex in reference a former industrial complex that had polluted and degraded the site. Designated by the EPA as a Superfund site, the property went through remediation. The clean up process was completed in 2009 and the Chicago Park District acquired the site in 2012. The new park is extremely significant to the surrounding Little Village neighborhood. Not only does this area have one of the highest needs for open space in Chicago, but its residents long-contended with the negative consequences of living near a polluted site.
For years, the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) had advocated for cleaning up this site and converting it to parkland. The Chicago Park District worked closely with LVEJO and Little Village community members to develop plans for the new park. Designed by Smith Group JJR the $ 18,920,000 park (including acquisition costs) has two artificial turf athletic fields with lighting; three natural grass athletic fields; a skate park; basketball courts; community gardens; passive landscape areas; a large playground with a water spray feature; a picnic pavilion; comfort stations with concessions; a multi-use trail with fitness stations; and environmentally-friendly utilities.
LVEJO conducted a democratic and inclusive process to identify an appropriate name for the new park. The organization discussed possible names at several community meetings and then engaged more than 700 residents in an on-line survey. There was strong consensus for naming the site as La Villita Park. The name recognizes the vitality of a great immigrant neighborhoods as well as the contributions Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans have made to Little Village and the city of Chicago.