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There’s something magical happening in the Chicago Park District’s natural areas this summer.
The fairies are coming.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its natural areas, which now range from wildflower meadows to wetlands, the Park District, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy of Illinois, has installed 20 fairy houses at various natural areas across the city (see map).

Why fairy houses?

For one, they represent the enchanting power of nature, but they’re also irresistibly photogenic and likely to pique people’s curiosity.

“We hope that it’s just a catalyst for people to go into a natural area and look around and explore in a way that maybe they haven’t. And once they find one (fairy house), maybe they want to go find another, and another, and another and another,” said Matt Freer, assistant director of landscape at the Chicago Park District, who manages the natural areas. “We really want to get people to explore all different natural areas in all different parts of the city.”

Park District staff collaborated with community members on the houses, from youngsters participating in park programs to Girl Scout troops to local churches.

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