Chicago Park District

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For more information on the Chicago Park District, please visit the Chicago Park District website.

Overview

The Chicago Park District owns more than 8,100 acres of green space, making it one of the largest municipal park managers in the nation. The Chicago Park District’s 580 parks offer thousands of sports and physical activities as well as cultural and environmental programs for youth, adults, and seniors. The Chicago Park District is also responsible for 26 indoor pools, 51 outdoor pools, and 26 miles of lakefront including 23 swimming beaches plus one inland beach. From canoeing to batting cages to arts and crafts, there is never a shortage of activities to participate in Chicago’s parks.

The Chicago Park District oversees the Garfield Park and Lincoln Park conservatories, two tropical paradises within the city that house thousands of rare and exotic plants. In addition, the Chicago Park District oversees 16 historic lagoons plus 10 bird and wildlife gardens. From rich pond life teeming with frogs, herons, and dragonflies, to shrubby areas where migratory birds stop to rest, to lush prairies filled with native grasses and wildflowers, the Park District offers many ways to explore nature in the city’s parks.

Popular attractions that fall under the management of the Chicago Park District include the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain, which is located in Grant Park. Proudly referred to as Chicago's front yard, Grant Park is among the city's loveliest and most prominent parks. Ten world-class museums are located on Chicago Park District property, three of them in Grant Park: the Art Institute, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium. More than 20 million people visit Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain annually, making it the second most visited park landmark in the U.S.

In addition to these landmarks, the Chicago Park District offers 220 stunning facilities, many of which can be rented to host special events.

There are so many ways to get involved with the Chicago Park District, including as a volunteer. We need all hands on deck as we strive to continually improve and expand our park system. There are volunteer opportunities for every interest and level of time-commitment.

From enjoying movies or concerts to exercising in our facilities to working in our community gardens, we hope to see you soon in our parks.


Mission

The mission of the Chicago Park District is to:

  • Enhance the quality of life in Chicago by becoming the leading provider of recreation and leisure opportunities
  • Provide safe, inviting and beautifully maintained parks and facilities
  • Create a customer-focused and responsive park system that prioritizes the needs of children and families


Core Values

Children First

Our most important task is to bring children and families into our parks and give them great reasons to stay and play for a lifetime.

Best Deal in Town

We prioritize quality in our programs and accountability in our fiscal management to provide excellent and affordable recreation that invites everyone to come out and play.

Built to Last

We use our capital to renew our aging infrastructure and leverage partnerships that produce new parks and facilities that are forward-thinking and world class.

Extra Effort

We support innovation and welcome new ideas. We believe that professionalism, communication, technology, and team work serve as the foundation for great customer service and a productive workplace.