Lincoln Park Conservancy Opens New Nature-Based Playground

Lincoln Park Conservancy Opens New Nature-Based Playground

October 16, 2019


Contact Doug Widener: 773.883.7275 ext. 6 


A unique children’s play experience blending the best of traditional playgrounds with natural play elements

Chicago, IL – October 15, 2019 – The Lincoln Park Conservancy recently completed construction of the new Sunshine Playscape in Lincoln Park, located just north of North Pond.  The Playscape offers a unique play experience that blends the best of traditional playground equipment with nature-play elements.  The Playscape is designed to inspire curiosity and connection with the natural world and features native trees and plants found throughout the North Pond Nature Sanctuary.

The Lincoln Park community raised over 90 percent of the funds for the Sunshine Playscape to ensure that children and families from all over Chicago can experience nature play in this child-friendly area.  “The support of the community has been overwhelming,” said Doug Widener, Executive Director.  “Over 100 individuals, families, and businesses contributed to make the project possible.”  “This amazing contribution demonstrates the strong commitment of the Lincoln Park community to bettering Lincoln Park and supporting our mission,” added Board Co-Presidents, Julie Jahn and Chris O’Neill.  The Chicago Park District generously contributed the remainder of the funds for the project.

As the non-profit champion for Chicago’s largest and most visited park, the Conservancy raises private funds and galvanizes community engagement to enhance Lincoln Park for all.  The Conservancy celebrated the opening of the Sunshine Playscape with their annual Walk the Pond Family Party on Saturday, September 21, with over 300 persons in attendance.  A donor and VIP ribbon cutting is scheduled for Thursday, October 24th at 10AM.  Invited speakers include Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael P. Kelly and 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith.

The Lincoln Park Conservancy is dedicated to restoring and enhancing the cultural and natural resources of Lincoln Park.  The Conservancy is putting the final touches on a comprehensive restoration plan for North Pond.  The Sunshine Playscape’s opening is the first phase of that plan, which relies solely on community and private funding.  To donate or to find out more about this exciting project, please visit or call 773-883-7275.


The Lincoln Park Conservancy was established in 1984 and is celebrating its 35th year of partnership with the Chicago Park District in supporting Chicago’s largest and most visited park.   The Conservancy provides additional stewardship, site management, resources, staff, and programming throughout the Park.  The first park conservancy in Chicago, the Conservancy provides volunteer docent tours and programs at the Lincoln Park Conservatory and Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, coordinates volunteer stewardship events and corporate service days at North Pond and throughout the Park, and raises millions of dollars in private support to restore and maintain park assets, including its current restoration efforts at North Pond.  As it embarks on its next 35 years, the Conservancy looks to step into an even greater leadership and stewardship role to meet growing need across the entirety of Lincoln Park, from Osterman Beach to Ohio Street Beach and all the wonders in between. To learn more about the Lincoln Park Conservancy and its work, visit:

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