Wildwood Park, located just south of Touhy Avenue, west of Lehigh Avenue, and blocks away from the Billy Caldwell Forest Preserve, serves an active community with a rich history. The park fieldhouse is a hall of fame for many of the children who have grown up in this neighborhood park. Photos and news clippings cover the walls and ceilings, memorializing the community members who have made the park what it is over the years.
The gymnasium is shared with Wildwood School, where basketball, floor hockey, and volleyball programs take place. Outside of the fields the park staff offers soccer for youth. Adults looking to get in the game are invited to check out the 3 on 3 basketball league.
For those looking to get involved being a volunteer coach for the youth soccer league stop by the park and get a volunteer application.
Wildwood Park contains a senior and two junior baseball fields, a softball field, a football field, four basketball standards, two tennis courts, and a playground.
Wildwood Park was created as part of a ten-year initiative by the Chicago Park District to serve the city's booming post-World War II population. In 1949, the park district began purchasing vacant land in the rapidly-growing Forest Glen community, acquiring neighboring city streets and alleys late the following year. That winter, the park district flooded a section of open field to create a temporary ice skating rink. However, no further improvements were made until Wildwood Elementary School was constructed on adjacent property in 1953. Using the school gymnasium for recreational programs during evening hours and on weekends, the park district began joint operations with the Board of Education. Within a few years, Wildwood Park had an athletic field, playground equipment, tennis courts, and a comfort station. Additional improvements, including tree planting, playground rehabilitation, and a new sand volleyball court, came in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Wildwood Park and the adjacent school take their names from nearby Wildwood Avenue. All three recognize the heavily wooded nature of the surrounding territory, once a Potawatomi hunting ground. Only a few blocks from the park and school, the Billy Caldwell Forest Preserve cuts through the community. Caldwell, a half-Indian, half-English chief of the Potowatomis, also known as Sauganash, sold most of his land to farmers when his tribe was removed from the area in 1836. Some of Caldwell's former land has been developed into the residential areas of Forest Glen, while a large portion was set aside for the Cook County forest preserve.
For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.
1st Tuesday of the month @ 7pm