2616 South Shields Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616

Located Within: Burnham (Daniel) Park
Features: Prairie


Hours Notes

Natural areas are open from dawn to dusk daily.


The Burnham Centennial Prairie is one the three main areas that make up the Burnham Wildlife Corridor, a 100-acre ribbon of urban wilderness running through Burnham Park. This recreated prairie represents the kind of big, bold vision for which Daniel H. Burnham was famous. Burnham was an architect of landmark buildings, the planner of the 1893 Columbian Exhibition, and co-author of the Plan of Chicago – the legendary blueprint to transform Chicago into a “Paris on the Prairie.” At 50+ acres, the Burnham Centennial Prairie is one of the largest natural areas along the entire lakefront of Chicago; a lakefront for which we have Burnham to thank. The Plan of Chicago, published in 1909, provided civic leaders with the impetus they needed to transform a lakefront that was largely privately owned and little more than a dumping ground into the lush, public parkland it is today.

This natural area provides sanctuary not only for people, but for many different kinds of native plants and animals. Each year, more than 300 species of birds migrate through Chicago. Some species journey from as far away as the southern tip of Central America. Some continue on as far north as the arctic circle. While here, they need plenty of healthy natural habitat to rest and feed, for which this natural area is ideal.

Visit the Burnham Centennial Prairie from the paved Lakefront Trail or from mulch paths running throughout the natural area. Enjoy views of Lake Michigan and diverse prairie habitats from gathering spaces like La Ronda Parakata, an art installation celebrating the butterfly, harmony with nature, and migration. 

Help keep wildlife wild, safe, and healthy by following posted signage and Natural Areas Rules and Regulations


Map & Facilities

Burnham Wildlife Corridor - Burnham Centennial Prairie

2616 South Shields Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616
United States