Friends of Big Marsh Meet, Greet & Tour!

August 27, 2014
  • Big Marsh Meet Greet

September 13 • 9am–10:30am

Location: Big Marsh/Park No. 564
Directions: Stony Island Ave. between 103rd and 122nd St., southeast Chicago—get a map

We took the photo above standing in the middle of Chicago's first eco-recreation park, an area called Big Marsh. For the longest time it was a dump—literally! Big Steel tipped over whole train cars full of slag from smelting iron here back in the day. It's a bit off the beaten path. And...are those landfills over yonder? (Yes. Yes they are.)

But you can't stand where we were standing and miss the opportunity to create something amazing for southeast Chicago, for the city, for the entire region. It's in every direction you look:

  • Over there, a BMX pro teaches bike control skills to local grade schoolers on a beginners pump track while parents sit and talk
  • Two competitive women challenge either other on a dual slalom mountain bike course
  • On a dedicated cyclocross course, a sales associate pushes the VP of marketing up the Belgian stairs, careful not to push too much
  • Past the bird watching platform, a youth corps clears phragmites before building a walking and biking trail to a planned kayak rental and put-in
  • And at water's edge, a man and his grandson just sit and fish 

We want to share Big Marsh with you, and let you experience all that's planned to open in 2015. You can tour the site, talk to park designers about the plans, and meet others who are ready for world class cycling and outdoor recreation opportunities to begin improving lives and landscapes in the Calumet region.

RSVP to give us a heads up. Have questions? Write to, or call Steve Buchtel, Trails for Illinois, at 708-365-9365.