Saturday, August 18, 2012

Chicago's Hidden Hogwarts

I have really started to love our new neighborhood, Rogers Park.  And I think I'm beginning to understand the "Park" part of the neighborhood's name...could this be because there seems to be a park every two to three blocks in every direction?
Not only is there a park right outside our door but there is another one a block South of us. It seems that everywhere I turn we are finding new parks to explore...all within walking distance.  But on Thursday Gunnar and I discovered the most magical park I have ever been to...and it's only 5 blocks away.
It's totally hidden...I would have never have known it was there if I hadn't accidentally turned on the wrong street coming home one day.

Tucked between Touhy and Lunt one block West of Western you will find Indian Boundary Park. A huge mass of grassy land and trees complete with lots of walking paths, a fountain pond (with ducks, large goldfish, and turtles), a field house (which is closed indefinitely for repair after a fire destroyed part of the building earlier this year) tennis courts, a bird and butterfly sanctuary, several gardens, a splash pool (that isn't running currently...sad) a small zoo with goats and chickens, and the most imaginative castle type play structure I have ever seen.  The structure was lovingly built in 1989 by over 1500 volunteers from the community in five days and although it needs quite a few fixes, it has to be one of the coolest playgrounds I have ever seen. All sorts of moving bridges and tunnels, hundreds of nooks and crannies, passageways and towers, a stage with built in seating, a sandpit moat, slides, monkey bars, tire swings, regular swings, baby swings and obstacles galore. I have never seen more kids using imaginative play than I have at this park...

"Don't touch the wood chips they are on the side of the zumon beasts (?) and they protect the trolls"

Whatever that means...I don't know but I sort of wanted to join them...

"You stand on guard I'll check the boundaries for goblin intruders" 

These were sentences I heard spoken on two different trips by two completely different sets of kids.

I'm telling you this park is magical. And its free...

The only thing needs some love. I truly hope someone out there will see what a beautiful park this is and help it receive the updates it needs. I hope they keep the play structure intact but just go in and fix a few pieces of wood here and there and pound in some nails. The zoo certainly needs some updating and I hope they can fix the splash pool.  I was going to put a donation button at the bottom of this blog post but the CPD's donation page is not instead I will list the email address of the park's Advisory Council President: Ann Glapa,  email Ann if you're interested in joining the council or making a donation.

To learn more about the Park click here. Here are some pictures of one of Chicago's best kept secrets:

Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary

See the castle peaking out from behind? Magical!

Turtle and Goldfish!

One of about 3 dozen ducks!

I mean look at this playground...don't you just want to put on a robe and play Hogwarts? Or dungeons and dragons or something?

Even a Choo Choo train!

WARNING: This slide is not appropriate for toddlers (sit with them when they slide)...its too fast.
 Gunnar did a face plant shortly after I took this picture...but he still wanted to get up and do it again!

The kid in the orange shirt was the one searching for "goblin intruders"

On our first two visits I didn't see any animals and thought the zoo was abandoned....but on todays visit we did see goats and chickens (of course I didn't have my camera with me today)

Gunnar thought Monkeys should live in here

Tennis Courts

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