Planners Expect Big Things For Big Marsh On City's Southeast Side

Big Marsh
Photo credit Friends of Big Marsh

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Planners believe a recently announced state grant is going to make a Southeast Side park a "major attraction" and the “hub of nature” in the Calumet region in which people can see a wealth of migratory birds and other wildlife right in the city. Big Marsh Park, at 116th and Stony Island Avenue, will receive $900,000 from the State of Illinois, part of $29.7 million in grants announced Friday."Big Marsh is by far our largest natural area. It’s nearly 300 acres," said Lauren Umek, project manager for the Chicago Park District. 

Umek said only 35 acres are accessible in the form of a trail and other amenities, but with the state grant, "it will give us multi-use trails, a paved, ashphalt trail that anyone can use on wheels or feet that will go throughout an entire 300-acre natural area and so, over water a few times, you see prairies, you see marshes."

One key new feature, Umek said, will be a wildlife observation platform.