Grand Opening of Nature Play Center
August 1, 2014
The new Nature Play Center at Indian Boundary Park and the redeveloped spray pool are set to open to the public at 1 p.m. Thursday, August 7, the Chicago Park District reports.
“That’s what we’re shooting for,” says Patrick Levar, chief operating officer of the Chicago Park District.
The opening of the the Nature Play Center and splash pool inaugurates a new era for 92-year-old Indian Boundary Park. The Chicago Park District closed Indian Boundary’s zoo in 2013, and began often contentious negotiations with park users and neighborhood activists over the mission of the former zoo area.
The Nature Play Center to be unveiled August 7 re-imagines the former zoo area as a gathering spot for children and adults, families and individuals, lured by intriguing gardens and creative landscaping, areas for educational programs and play, and sections for quiet enjoyment.
A detailed map of the Nature Play Center can be viewed here.
The single pole of the former spray pool was replaced and expanded using federal funds remaining from underwriting the summit meeting of NATO countries in Chicago in 2012. Fears about social unrest failed to materialize, and Mayor Emanuel redeployed unused funds to various parks throughout the city, with Ald. Debra Silverstein winning funds for the Indian Boundary spray pool.
The pool features three “dancing bear” sculptures that spray water at synchronized intervals, and three misting sprays with continuous action.
The CPD’s Levar says park visitors will be able to wander through the Nature Play Center, and weather permitting use the spray pool.
People United to Improve Indian Boundary Park has created a Facebook event for this opening. The park district has announced that the occasion will be marked by a ribbon cutting celebration. We hope to see you there!