Family Day at Big Marsh Park

Tags: Attend and River education

Oct. 16, 11am-3pm
Family Day at Big Marsh Park (11559 S. Stony Island Ave. 60617)
150 people max (indoor activities capped at 30 - Registration required)
Program is designed for 6 years of age and older
Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult

Registration link

Join the Chicago Park District and Friends of the Chicago River at Big Marsh Park for a day of fun and educational activities for all ages. As part of the Friends of the Chicago River Inside, Out & About initiative, come tour the new Ford Calumet Environmental Center, hike (or bike) the park trails and participate in hands-on science activities, cozy up in the reading nook or choose your own adventure. The day culminates in a special presentation on the history of the Chicago River.

Schedule of events:

11 - 11:45am Welcome & Self-guided Tour of the new Ford Calumet Environmental Center
11:30am - 12:30pm Little Beaver Story Time*
12noon - 1pm Self-guided Nature Exploration Hike (Wetlands, Birds, Insects, Eco-Recreation)
1 - 2pm Macroinvertebrate Study in the Science Lab
2 - 3pm History of the Chicago River Presentation* - two sessions starting at 2 and 2:30pm

*Registration Required (30 max)

Outdoor Activities throughout the day (No Registration Required)

Bike Rentals
Slack Line/nature based games
Binocular/ Guides loans
Bonfire (1 - 3pm)

Big Marsh Park is a 280-acre property in the South Deering Community Area on the southeast side of Chicago in the area commonly known as the Calumet Area Reserve. Once an active industrial property, the site was acquired by the Park District in 2011 and opened as a new public park in 2016. The vision of Big Marsh is to provide a new type of recreation in Chicago that marries habitat restoration with public use. Roughly 45 acres are developed for eco-recreation opportunities including hiking, adventure courses, and off-road biking. The eco-recreation elements are located primarily on existing slag fields where plants have a hard time growing and good habitat creation is unlikely. Other acreage is reserved for more passive recreation including bird-watching and nature walking. All acreage is being developed to protect or further enhance the overall natural habitat of the park property including sensitivity to flora, fauna, and wetlands.