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Peterson Park is a meeting place for the diverse communities of North Park, Hollywood Park, Pulaski Park and Sauganash.  Neighborhood residents and visitors hike and bike the ½ mile trails around the park and through the woods, play tennis, walk dogs. Teens play baseball and basketball.  Everyone plays soccer!

Hundreds of children have used the playground as a gateway to explore the 24-acres of wooded parkland and the 46-acre nature preserve beyond, a unique sanctuary in an urban setting.

It is not unusual to hear Polish, Spanish, Hebrew, Korean, Russian, Greek, English and other languages as children laugh and play together in this wooded area.  As such, Peterson Park provides a special opportunity to create intercultural community along with providing urban families with a natural and beautiful space to enjoy.

Upcoming events for the Friends of Peterson Park:

This October you can really enjoy the blazing colors and peace and quiet in the park.   Celebrate a beautiful fall in the park without the 6 week construction and disruption from Trails of Terror  that has been moved to another venue.

Friends of Peterson Park is partnering with Alderman Margaret Laurino for a “walk and bike the park” event

Sunday, October 16, 10 am

The Sauganash – Peterson Park Ride

A 6-mile ride that highlights the Sauganash Trail and historic and scenic sites throughout Sauganash, North Park Village and Peterson Park. The ride will start at the southern end of the Sauganash Trail (W. Bryn Mawr Ave near N. Kostner Ave) and is open to the public. In the event of rain, please visit www.aldermanluarino.com for updates.

Local historian  Francis Archer will give a brief presentation of the history of the park, North Park Village at the park benches in Peterson Park to riders and park patrons.   Light refreshments will be served and riders will be encouraged to stay and join the afternoon festivities of the Friends of Peterson Park.

Ride or walk the trails around and through the woods in Peterson Park.   Answer Peterson Park trivia questions and enjoy the fall colors!  There will be games (and prizes) for kids near the playground.

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Event for all ages! Saturday, October 4th at 1 pm

Learn about high-tech treasure hunting throughout Chicago and beyond. There are some 900,000 “geocaches” hidden in natural spaces, parks, and other public places throughout the world! You’ll be amazed when you find geocaches in your own neighborhood. Geocaching is a free sport for people of all ages to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

This event takes place at North Park Village Nature Center on Sunday October 4th starting at 1 PM.

All are welcome, families and youths are especially encouraged. RSVP by sending an email to GreeningNorthPark@gmail.com with the number of people in your group.

This event will teach you how easy it is to locate geocaches in your area. All you need is a GPS device which will now be available for check-out. Space and GPS devices are limited. Participants will head out with GPS devices (supplied) to find some new geocaches nearby. We will even release some “travel bugs” that you can track as they travel from cache to cache. For general information about geocaching visit: www.geocaching.com.

This free event is sponsored by Hollywood North Park Community Association and North Park Village Nature Center.

Geocaching Poster, originally uploaded by aaronandjeanne.

The Pirate Ship at Peterson Park is completed and ready for adventure-loving pirates! (Better pics than the one from my cell phone coming soon!)

Avast, mateys! To the Crow’s Nest! Argh!!!!

Homework, soccer practice, ballet—is there time in the schedule to play outside? Visit Greenhour.org/TopTen to see 10 ways to Be Out There, even after school starts.

  • Keep a picnic blanket in your car for an impromptu picnic after picking up a fast food dinner on any spot of green you can find.
  • No backyard? Find your local parks using nwf.org/naturefind.
  • For older kids, start stretching your child’s boundaries, allowing them to go for unsupervised walks in the neighborhood with groups of friends. They’ll love the feeling of independence.
  • Have your child make a map of your neighborhood — using only natural landmarks. This will heighten his or her observation skills and can be the first step in creating a “field guide” to the nature in your neighborhood.
  • Keep flashlights near the door, and go for a neighborhood night hike. Kids will love the novelty, and you can challenge them to identify “night sounds.” Learn how to make a moon journal at greenhour.org/moonjournal.
  • With older kids, combine technology with the outdoors and go geo-caching or, the lower-tech version, letterboxing. There are about 20,000 letterboxes and 250,000 geocaches hidden in North America. Visit geocaching.com and letterboxing.org.

To view the full report, visit Be Out There.org.

Setting Sail!

pirateship2, originally uploaded by aaronandjeanne.

Ahoy Mates! The Pirate Ship is back and better than ever. Construction is expected to be completed in the next two weeks.

Wow, the Friends of Peterson Park sure work fast! We wish we could take all the credit but this new Pirate Ship is courtesy of the Chicago Park District which in a surprise move footed the bill for the replacement of the structure.

So what happens to all the money the Friends of Peterson Park raised? We will hold an open meeting soon to vote on how to apply these funds towards the beauty and maintenance of the park. Stay tuned as we continue to sail forward.

Back to School shouldn’t mean back indoors for children. In fact, National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) new report TIME OUT: Using the Outdoors to Enhance Classroom Performance highlights the vast research linking time kids spend outside to increased classroom preparedness. American’s childhood has largely moved indoors in the past 15 years. The increasingly indoor lifestyle causes several factors that work against high performance in the classroom.

“Today’s indoor kids are distracted, less fit, more aggressive, and hard to manage in the classroom. Some don’t relate well to other students or adults on a personal level.” says Vice President for Education and Training Kevin Coyle. “Outdoor time can improve overall health while lengthening attention spans, diminishing aggressiveness, improving test scores and ultimately advancing learning.”

For more on this, see “Time Out: Outdoor Time Fuels Classroom Performance.”

Many thanks to all of our friends and neighbors who turned out for the Friends of Peterson Park Fundraiser on Saturday, August 29th!  It was a rocking good time, thanks to the efforts of the Fundraiser Team, our generous prize donors, our excellent hosts at The Hollywood on Bryn Mawr, and the very talented band, eleven / eleven!

The event raised $2,212 with the Chicago Park District providing matching funds of $729.96 for a grand total of $2,941.96!  Amazing!

Bonus benefits?  Getting together with new and old friends in the community to enjoy a very cool evening!

Look for more updates about The Friends of Peterson Park soon!

To view the photos from the Fundraiser Event, click here!

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