Lucy Flower has long been considered the “hidden gem” of West Bucktown. This lovely family friendly park is 0.37 acres and it has recently received a newly renovated playground from the Chicago Plays! playground renovation program. The playlot is surrounded by mature trees provides patrons plenty of summertime shade, and an intimate setting that makes it particularly attractive to families with small children.
Features in the new playground include a soft play surface, modern playground equipment with age-appropriate features, two new benches, three picnic tables, and a small water feature. The designs also retain the existing sandbox and raised flower beds.
Over the last several years, Lucy Flower received grant money to install raised beds and planter boxes, upgrade the water supply, and beautify the park with plants and flowers. The Lucy Flower Garden Club was formed, several "community clean-up days" were organized, and a free Children’s Garden Club was held at the park every other Saturday during the summer months.
The Chicago Park District acquired this property in 1973. Formerly known as People's Park, the site was renamed Lucy Flower Park in 2005 as part of an effort by the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners to recognize the contributions of Chicago women.
Lucy Louisa Flower (1837- 1921) was a social reformer who spearheaded many Chicago and Cook County initiatives to improve the lives of women and help children and eliminate juvenile delinquency. After briefly working in the US Patent Office in Washington D.C., Lucy moved to Madison, Wisconsin where she taught in the public schools. In 1873, some years after marrying a Madison attorney, James Monroe Flower, Lucy and her family moved to Chicago. She soon became active in charitable efforts. In 1880, Lucy helped to found the Illinois Training School for Nurses (later named the Cook County School of Nursing). At a time when County nursing positions were generally doled out through political patronage, the school sought to provide professional training for nurses, establish standards, and make nursing a respectable profession for women. Serving on the Chicago Board of Education from 1891 to 1894, Lucy Flower inspired progressive initiatives in the schools such as manual training and kindergartens, and providing bathing facilities for children who lived in the tenement districts. Lucy also championed compulsory school attendance, which became law in 1897. She led the movement to create a new type of court for children under the age of 16. The resulting bill, approved in 1899, established the Cook County Juvenile Court, the first of its kind in the world. Peoples Park is located approximately 2 ½ miles from Lucy Flower’s home at 1920 W. Wellington Ave.
2nd Wednesday of the month at 6pm
Out of an abundance of caution Park Advisory Council Meetings will be held virtually for the near future. Please contact the Maplewood PAC for details.