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CHICAGO — A former slag dump on the Southeast Side was once slated to be the city's next landfill but instead ended up home to egrets wading in search of fish to spear, BMX bikers looking to catch serious air, and one of the most comprehensive exhibits about Calumet Region history.

The 297-acre Big Marsh Park features the centerpiece of the $7.8 million, 9,300-square-foot Ford Calumet Environmental Center, which tells the story of the bistate Region's development, environment and people.

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