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A rendering of John Ronan Architects’ plan for the Park District’s new headquarters in the Brighton Park neighborhood. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

The Chicago Park District officially broke ground Thursday on the agency’s new $65 million, 58,000-square-foot headquarters in the Brighton Park neighborhood. “This is the wealth-building we talk about,” community leaders said.

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Fairy house, Humboldt Park. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its natural areas, the Chicago Park District, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy of Illinois, has installed 20 fairy houses in parks across the city. Here’s where to find them.

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Garfield Park's Gold Dome fieldhouse and cultural center. (Google Street View)

Garfield Park is set to receive an infusion of Tax Increment Financing dollars for various projects that will help restore some of the park’s historic features, while reimagining others.

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Ping Tom Park, exemplifying Chicago’s motto of “City in a Garden.” (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago gets high marks for access, with 98% of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park versus the national average of 55%.

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Monty & Rose are pinning their hopes on an egg laid in their second nest attempt. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

Just a week after losing their first nest to a skunk attack, Monty and Rose have produced a second nest and laid one egg, the Chicago Park District announced. 

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

Where some see the return of Riot Fest as a step in the right direction for Chicago’s reopening, others say closing their neighborhood green space for a “riot for rich people” is a “slap in the face” to communities traumatized by COVID-19.

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Night Out's kid-friendly programs include Kerfuffle’s “Goose and Gert," pictured. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

More than 450 free programs are scheduled this summer at parks as a way for Chicagoans to reconnect with the city's arts and culture offerings in their own communities.

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Lane Beach is five-star worthy. (Alexandra Silets / WTTW News)

For three months out of the year, Chicago’s every bit as much of a beach town as Los Angeles or Miami. As we kick off summer 2021, here are some things you might not know about the city’s sandy shore.

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One of the "Human+Nature" sculptures at Morton Arboretum. (Courtesy of Morton Arboretum)

Along with the kick off to beach season, a number of other outdoor attractions are opening up in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend.

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(WTTW News)

The city’s lakefront beaches will officially open Friday for the first time since 2019, with lifeguards on duty and concessions returning. 

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Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park. (David Mark / Pixabay)

In yet another sign that Chicago is bouncing back to life, the city’s premiere fountain will be switched on for summer after being sidelined in 2020.

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Three piping plover eggs have been confirmed by wildlife officials. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

The beloved pair of piping plovers have established a nest, smack in the middle of habitat only just protected for the birds this spring. 

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Grass should be kept at least 3 inches high, experts said. (Suzanne D. Williams / Pixabay)

Nearly 90% of Chicago’s parks are managed without the use of weed control chemicals. We’ve got tips for how to follow suit.

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Visitors have been flocking to Jackson Park to catch the cherry trees in bloom. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

With its cherry trees finally in full bloom, thousands of people have been flocking to Jackson Park daily. But hurry, the breathtaking blossoms won’t last for long.

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A section of open beach is being added to the protected Montrose Dune Natural Area. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Conservationists are celebrating a big win for wildlife along Chicago’s lakefront, where the expansion of a “treasured” natural area will give more room to some high-profile occupants: a pair of endangered Great Lake piping plovers, Monty and Rose.

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A plover parent and chick at Montrose Beach in 2019, courtesy of the Shedd Aquarium. (Credit: Susan Szeszol)

Shedd Aquarium is hosting a pair of cleanup and habitat restoration days at 63rd Street beach, where 12 acres of dunes have attracted piping plovers, among other bird species.