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Two new Rollin' Rec routes will serve more communities throughout the city in 2022.
Two new Rollin' Rec routes will serve more communities throughout the city in 2022.
Photo: Chicago Park District

Recreational vans and staff visiting sites from July 5 thru August 12;
Pop-up produce markets to provide access to fresh fruit and vegetables at 5 Chicago parks thru August 12. 

The Chicago Park District is bringing back its Rollin’ Recreation program this summer to more than 45 park locations across the city. Starting the week of July 5, vans decorated with Park District and Rollin’ Rec logos will be visiting locations without organized programming to bring recreation opportunities to park patrons. The Rollin’ Rec program will expand its reach this summer and add two new routes to serve more communities throughout the city- the Lakefront Parks and Greater Chicago Food Depository Lunch routes. During the summer of 2019, more than 4,500 children participated in Rollin’ Rec activities.

“During the summer, the Chicago Park District offers a great variety of options for Chicagoans to enjoy the outdoors,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño. “The Rollin’ Recreation program offers more options to engage the community and get kids active and stay healthy during the summer months.”

Running from July 5 through the week of August 8, vans will wheel out equipment to provide an afternoon of sports, games and fitness activities. All activities are geared toward the entire family, no advanced registration is necessary and all events are free to the public. The vans visit select parks for 60-minutes once a week. A full schedule with exact locations and hours is available at www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/rollin-rec.

A brand-new lakefront route is scheduled to visit four sites on Fridays, July 8 through August 12.

The following sites will be visited as part of the Lakefront Park route:

•    12:00-1:00 pm: Loyola Park, 1230 W. Greenleaf Ave. 
•    1:30- 2:30 pm: Margate Park, 4921 N. Marine Dr. 
•    3:00-4:00 pm: Northerly Island Park, 1521 S. Linn White Dr. 
•    4:30-5:30 pm: Lake Meadows Park, 3117 S. Rhodes Ave. 

This year, the Chicago Park District will partner with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to offer the Lunch Bus route, which will bring free meals to four Rollin’ Rec sites from Monday thru Thursday for 6-weeks. The Lunch Bus is just one of the Food Depository’s Summer Meals programs that gets healthy meals to children during the summer months. The partnership with the Lunch Bus will offer youth the opportunity to have fun, while eating a nutritious lunch. 

Meal time runs during the final 30-minutes of the Rollin’ Rec visit at the following park locations: 

•    12:00 – 1:00 pm: Back of the Yards Park, 4922 S. Throop St. 
•    1:30 – 2:30 pm: La Villita Park, 2800 S. Sacramento Blvd. 
•    3:00 – 4:00 pm: Franklin Park, 4320 W. 15th St. 
•    4:30 – 5:30 pm: Magnolia Park, 3224 W. Flournoy St.

In addition to the Rollin’ Rec vans providing programming at parks citywide, the Chicago Park District will be facilitating access to healthy meals and nutrition education resources at five park locations. A partnership with Star Farm Chicago, a non-profit urban farm in the Back of the Yards neighborhood focused on increasing access of local organic produce, will bring pop-up farmers markets to Lindblom, McKinley, Washington Refectory, Cornell Square and Gage Parks from July 6 to August 12. 

Summer campers at the local parks will connect with local Star Farmers from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the day of the pop-up markets to learn about the nutritional value of consuming, growing and buying locally sourced, organic fruits and vegetables. The pop-up market is open to parents picking up their children from camp as well as the community. 

The program aims to increase access to fresh produce at five Chicago Park District sites through pop-up markets and an opportunity to connect with local growers. Community members may shop at the local markets with their Link UP Illinois and supplemental nutrition programs. 

The pop-up markets will be held at the following locations/dates:  

Lindblom Park, 6054 S. Damen Ave.
July 13, 20, 27, and August 3, 10
3:30 p.m.- 5 p.m.

McKinley Park, 2210 W. Pershing Rd.
July 7, 14, 21, 28, and August 4, 11
3:30 p.m.- 5 p.m.

Washington Park Refectory, 5531 S. Russell Dr.
July 7, 14, 21, 28, and August 4 and 11
3:30 p.m.- 5 p.m.

Cornell Square Park, 1809 W. 50th St. 
July 8, 15, 22, 29 and August 5 and 12
3:30 p.m.- 5 p.m.

Gage Park, 2411 W. 55th St.
July 8, 15, 22, 29, and August 5 and 12
3 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.

The pop-up produce market bolsters the Chicago Park District’s commitment to provide Chicago families access to healthier options for wellness. As part of our efforts, the Chicago Park District’s Wellness Department has been an active participant of the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC), and its “54321” campaign to encourage kids to eat five fruits and vegetables a day. 

For a complete schedule of where and when the Rollin’ Rec vans will be visiting a park during the summer, please visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/rollin-rec.