|
(Chicago Park District)

A search for a new leader of the Chicago Park District to usher into “a new era of accountability in our parks system” is underway, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

|
(Jürgen Polle / Pixabay)

Four City Council members share their thoughts on the mayor’s budget proposal, the embattled park district, and more.

|
(WTTW News)

Longtime Chicago Park District Superintendent Michael Kelly’s resignation Saturday amid criticism he’s mishandled a wide-ranging sexual abuse scandal could portend future changes at the city’s sister agency.

|
(Chicago Park District)
Michael Kelly, the CEO and superintendent of the Chicago Park District has resigned. Kelly tendered his resignation via email to Park District Board President Avis LaVelle, according to a news release issued by the Board of Commissioners Saturday.
|
A Chicago beach sign warns people against swimming or diving in Lake Michigan. (WTTW News)

Safety officials are reminding Chicagoans that even if it still feels like summer, the lakefront’s beaches are now closed for the season to swimming, with lifeguards no longer present along the shoreline. So far in 2021, 38 people have drowned in Lake Michigan.

,
|
Are safety signs enough? Some activists are calling for life rings along the lakefront. (WTTW News)

CEO Mike Kelly’s announcement reverses the city’s longstanding argument that life rings along the waterfront would encourage people to enter the water and put themselves at risk of injury or death — and make the city liable.

,
|
Wooded Island’s Japanese Garden, in spring. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

“I know people are upset but you can’t tell me there’s not bad activity there after dark,” Mike Kelly, CEO of the Chicago Park District, said in defense of gates the agency installed that are now at the center of another controversy brewing at Jackson Park.

,
|
Riot Fest is set to return to Douglass Park in September. (Riot Fest / Facebook)

Less than a month after the Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash closed down a swath of Douglass Park and surrounding streets, Riot Fest is about to do the same. Residents said they're fed up with the loss of green space and the “literal paywall.”

,
|
A sign on the Chicago lakefront warns people to avoid potentially dangerous areas, such as piers. (WTTW News)

After recent drownings in Lake Michigan, activists have been clamoring for the Chicago Park District to install life rings along the lakefront, but the agency’s safety plan reinforces messaging surrounding “not safe to swim” locations.

|
A life ring installed on the lakefront by Rogers Park activist Jim Ginderske. (Credit Halle Quezada / Twitter)

After a drowning in Lake Michigan near a Rogers Park beach earlier this month, longtime community activist Jim Ginderske decided to take action in the name of public safety. Now, a local alderperson is joining the effort.

|
An Amazon locker at Leone Beach in Rogers Park. (WTTW News)

The e-commerce giant recently began installing lockers inside Chicago parks, and says the lockers are a “secure and convenient” option. But that so-called convenience has proven controversial. 

,
|
Al Raby High School teacher Jasmine Jones, second from left, and her students talk about their solar panel project. (WTTW News)
A group of students on the West Side are determined to make a big change by confronting environmental issues and working to bring solar energy to their community. We learn more about their vision for Garfield Park.
|
A hawk moth. (Ian Lindsay / Pixabay)

If crack-of-dawn birding isn’t your thing, maybe give under-the-cover-of-darkness moth-watching a try this weekend at Indian Ridge Marsh. 

,
|
Teens can learn to build a fire, pitch a tent and work as a team as part of a new Chicago Park District program. (WTTW News)

From starting a fire to pitching a tent, some Chicago teens are learning what it takes to camp in the great outdoors. We visit the Lincoln Park neighborhood to learn more about the program.

|
Water safety advocates want flotation devices like life preserver rings or life buoys made available throughout the lakefront. (WTTW News)

Lake Michigan is one of Chicago’s biggest attractions. And while it’s scenic, it’s also sometimes dangerous. What water safety advocates are proposing to stop people from drowning and dying in the lake.

,
|
Each hole on the new Douglass 18 minigolf course represents a specific bird. (Courtesy of Douglass 18 Partners / Lincoln Park Zoo)

Three years in the making, the Douglass 18, a bird-themed mini-golf course, opens Saturday in Douglass Park. Neighborhood teens researched and designed the holes, drawing inspiration from Chicago’s bird population.