District workforce busy sprucing up parks, opening comfort stations, activating drinking fountains, prepping beaches; Parks offer free, water safety trainings to help keep families safe at the beach
As Summer approaches, the Chicago Park District is preparing its 600+ parks and 26 miles of lakefront for its busiest season of the year. Annual Spring upkeep is currently underway, including routine cleaning, maintenance and repairs to parks and lakefront features. The District has started opening amenities that are closed during the colder months in anticipation of the millions of residents and visitors that enjoy the parks and beaches during the summer.
“Summer is right around the corner and the Chicago Park District is working hard to ensure that residents in all neighborhoods can enjoy all that our parks and beautiful lakefront have to offer,” said General Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño. “As residents look forward to warmer weather, they’re also planning family cookouts in our parks, playdates at our playgrounds and fun days at the beach. These events are what memories are made of. We’re excited to prepare our parks to host these and other fun activities in our parks this Summer.”
The District is hard at work to ensure that our parks are beautiful, clean and ready to residents to enjoy. Crews have already begun grooming and maintaining our sports fields and prepping flowers beds for planting, which will begin later this month. We are also mowing and performing maintenance on our green spaces. As the City’s leading environmental stewards, the Chicago Park District practices sustainable lawncare techniques including the minimal use of chemical herbicides. As a result of the District’s commitment to protecting our patrons, wildlife and natural environment, dandelions do grow in our parks.
The District is also busy grooming its 26 lakefront beaches. A deep clean is performed on each beach to remove debris that has washed up over the Winter. The District utilizes beachcombers to rake and sift through the sand. Work is also being done on the lakefront trail to repair minor damage sustained from extreme cold temperatures and high wave action. The 18-mile multi-use trail is a popular destination for recreation accommodating walkers, runners, strollers and bikers.
The Park District has begun the phased opening of its comfort stations starting with 23 locations across the lakefront. These seasonal amenities offer restroom facilities and are open seven days a week, 11am to 7pm. Additional lakefront restroom stations, located in beach houses will open May 27th.
As part of its yearly water safety campaign, the District will host 15 water safety trainings at Chicago beaches to help families stay safe while enjoying the lakefront this summer. All trainings will begin at 5:30 pm at the following locations:
- Tuesday, May 24th at Leone Beach
- Wednesday, May 25th at Dr. Margaret Burroughs Beach
- Thursday, May 26th at Rainbow Beach
- Wednesday, June 1st – Montrose Beach, 12th Street Beach and 63rd Street Beach
- Wednesday, June 8th – Foster Beach, Oak Street Beach & South Shore Beach
- Wednesday, June 15th – Ostermann Beach, 41st Street Beach & Calumet Beach
- Wednesday, June 22nd – Hartigan Beach, North Avenue Beach & 57th Street Beach
As announced last Fall, the Chicago Park District has also begun installing life preserver equipment along the lakefront in preparation for this year’s beach season which begins Friday, May 27th and runs through Labor Day.
Over the next few weeks, thousands of boats will stream into the Chicago Park District’s ten harbors as owners prepare their vessels for the city’s boating season, which runs May 1 through October 31st.
Keeping parks and beaches clean and enjoyable is a collective effort. The District urges patrons to do their part and put their trash in the garbage and recycling cans.