Upcoming Events

Please visit the Chicago Park District web site for information about IBP activities and registration.

by Daniel Ebel on Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Advisory Council News

Audubon Park Bird Walk

by Dan Miller on Saturday, April 19, 2014

Are you wondering what birds are making Indian Boundary Park their home this spring? Have you tried to tell the difference between a Ruby vs a Golden Kinglet at the park? What other birds are migrating this spring through Indian Boundary Park?

Here's your chance to find out. Join the Indian Boundary Park Advisory Council for a bird walk led by Dave Willard, President of the Chicago Audubon Society.

Sunday, April 27, 2013 at 8:00 am
Indian Boundary Park
2500 W. Lunt Ave

Bring your binoculars and meet on the north side of the fieldhouse by the lagoon.

The price is free, and we'll have coffee, tea and breakfast snacks to fortify your walk.

Indian Boundary Park & Cultural Center Neighborhood Update

by Phil Martini on Thursday, April 17, 2014


Work is still being done on the Cultural Center. Details such as hardware and electrical fittings are still being installed. The construction fence is still in place because it will be needed when a foundation restoration around the field house is done in the near future.

Nature Center

Work on the Nature Play Center has begun. The rail fence has been removed and the demolition work inside the former zoo building is complete. The project is projected to be done by early summer with the initial plantings.


Reforestation plans are currently being developed and will be posted when complete. Plans to replace all the trees that were removed in March are moving forward.

Tree Removal Underway A. planispennis

by Dan Miller on Friday, February 28, 2014

Community announcement about the planned tree removal at Indian Boundary Park.

Indian Boundary Park is dormant, but plans aren't

By Dan Miller on Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The former zoo area of Indian Boundary Park lies dormant under snow and freezing temperatures, but plans for renovating the northwest portion of the park are percolating furiously.

Chicago Park District planners met with neighborhood residents and park patrons to detail plans for the reimagined north end of the park, expected to cost about $300,000. The money will come from property taxes collected by the Chicago Park District and are not park of the City of Chicago’s budget.

The planners and architects did a masterful job in re-creating a key part of Indian Boundary Park’s former zoo area. Ben Woodard, a reporter for DNAinfo Chicago, the online neighborhood newspaper, reported after the meeting, "[t]he old animal enclosures outside the former zoo house would be transformed into a space akin to an outdoor conservancy."

Indian Boundary will be an educational and recreational destination, with a focus on young children and families, and with opportunities for park patrons to simply sit and enjoy the park and its new landscaping.

The Indian Boundary Park Area Council plans to schedule a community-wide meeting in early spring to brief park patrons on designs and progress.

The planners see the former zoo area segmented into three main areas:

  • The area to the east of the former zoo building will be transformed into an imaginative play area for younger children featuring winding paths among trees and bushes, tunnels under canopies of trees and bushes, and renovated swan huts for children to play in
  • An area for more active play -- “kinetic activity” in park-speak -- for older, pre-teens will take up much of the southern portion, reusing as much of the existing features of the former zoo area as possible
  • A densely planted grove area will settle west of the former zoo building that visitors can amble through and sit to read, think or just admire the conservancy

The entire perimeter of the new natural area will be enclosed by a fence, which will be gated and closed when park district staff is not present in the field house. A 12-foot-tall wood fence will run along the north border of the area along Estes Ave.

No animals will be housed on a permanent basis in the former zoo area, but visits will be planned by docents who bring animals for short visits, such as a farm day, or even several days to see an egg hatch, and similar educational adventures with raptors, large and small mammals, reptiles and other creatures.

Audience members, including members of the Indian Boundary Park Advisory Council, suggested several new ideas for the space, and Rob Rejman, director of planning and construction for the CPD, said that these ideas and subsequent ideas may be incorporated into the new nature area as planners see how the area will be used by the public when it opens in summer.

His two planning colleagues, who have detailed the plans for the nature center area over several meetings with area residents, joined Rejman: CPD architect Stephen Grant, and landscape architect Erich Sprague.

Among the new ideas and concepts suggested:

  • Outdoor Wi-Fi
  • Goldfish in one or two the water features that will remain in the renovated park
    • Indian Boundary neighbor Beth Martin and other audience members expressed a willingness -- and an eagerness -- to help plan, dig and stock the goldfish area
  • Benches for adults to sit on while the kids played in the "magical" new natural area
  • Pruning help and care for the willow in the lagoon, and dredging for the lagoon itself

    Also attending were two staff members from the Audubon Chicago Region, Rebeccah Sanders, Executive Director, and Judy Pollock, Director of Bird Conservation. Their presence and their consultation with Messrs. Rejman, Grant and Sprague underscored a key concept in the natural area: an attraction for a wide variety of birds for observation and enjoyment.

    In a sharp contrast to the combative tone that characterized meetings last summer among CPD staff and skeptical neighborhood residents, the meeting ended with applause.

Fieldhouse Now Open Ribbon cutting

By Dan Miller on Sunday, January 3, 2014

The Indian Boundary Park fieldhouse, damaged in a fire on May 20, 2012, formally re-opened to the community in much of its former glory.

Chicago Park District Chief Operating Officer Patrick Levar was on hand for the reopening celebration along with 50th Ward Alderman Debra Silverstein and her husband, state Sen. Ira Silverstein. Chicago Park Historian Julia S. Bacharach offered guided tours of the Tudor Revival fieldhouse, designed by Clarence Hatzfeld in 1929.

Much work remains to restore this city-landmarked structure to its full former glory, including hanging of the repaired chandeliers and wall sconces in the auditorium, and reinstallation of some of the Native American decoration and imagery.

Photo credit: Daniel Ebel

Harvest festHarvest Fest

Sunday, October 13, 2013

On a perfect fall day, neighbors from near and far gathered at the park to enjoy a Harvest Fest featuring games, face painting, taffy apples and bubbles. The longest lines were for the pony rides and petting zoo where the kids were able to interact with animals ... an activity they love.

We wish to thank all of the folks who supported the Advisory Council through their purchase of our tasty taffy apples.

This event was sponsored by the Chicago Park District.

March in the Park

Sunday, July 28, 2013

March in ParkSave Zoo

Over 100 people gathered for a march in the park to listen to several speakers and learn about the issues of concern to the park including the proposed closure of the zoo.

To view the agenda items and notes in PDF format, please click here.

A new community organization, People United to Improve Indian Boundary Park, is being formed to address the issues of communication between community members and the Chicago Park District.

Cultural Center Update

July 15, 2013

Roof repairs have begun even though the temperatures are in the 90's!

May 3, 2013

The restoration of the Cultural Center has begun and may be completed by October of this year.

CC in Flames

Fire at the Cultural Center

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A fire in the ventilation system of the Cultural Center, a Chicago landmark, caused extensive damage to the west end of the 2nd floor breaking through to the first floor. The quick response of the park manager, Phil Martini and the Chicago Fire Department most likely saved the building from total destruction. Although our hearts were broken to see the building in flames, the good news is that it will be totally restored to its original splendor and will have internal systems updated in the process. The restoration has started and will take at least a year. The park is still open so don't let the closure of the Cultural Center keep you away.

Putting Fire OutFire Truck

Roof DamageRoof Tarp

Photos taken by community member, Jeffery Moore.

Activities - 2012

Plant Sale 2012Spring Plant Sale

May 12, 2012

Once again, the weather was cold and rainy for our plant sale. Despite that, a group of volunteers was on hand at 7:00 A.M. to unload the truck and set up the tables. Perennials donated by the community were potted and sold as well as packs of annuals, baskets, herbs and tomatoes. The money earned from the sale supports the gardens of Indian Boundary Park.

Plant sale 2012Plant sale 2012Plant sale 2012

Bird Walk 2012Bird Walk


Led by a Chicago Audubon Society volunteer, a small group of community members braved the elements to view the birds of the park and pond. New sightings were a Purple Finch and a Belted Kingfisher.

Visit the new web site section, Birds of IBP (under Menu on left), to see photos of birds seen in the park.

Mulch PileEarth Day Celebration


IBPAC Advisory Council members, interested neighbors and students from Boone School led by their teacher, Shamaila Haveebuddin, participated in a clean-up and tree mulching event at the park. With all of the volunteers, the mulch pile disappeared quickly. The help was greatly appreciated and the park looked wonderful when the work was done.

Our helpers......

ED NeighborsBoone Students

Boone GirlsBoone Boys

Spreading MulchTrash Pickup

Pat S MulchingDaugherties

Activities - 2011

KOF Garden 2011Cleanup of the Keepers of the Fire Garden started in April with the help of council members. The small bulbs were blooming as a nice reminder that spring has arrived. The new wooden picket fence, shown on the left, was installed in June.

In July, the tennis courts were resurfaced much to the delight of the neighborhood tennis players. We do ask that the tennis courts be used for tennis only to preserve the surface.

The Advisory Council was awarded an Open Lands grant to develop the East Enclosure on the north side of the park as a bird sanctuary.


Park Entrance 2011If you haven't visited the park recently, you haven't seen the entrance garden planted by the Park District. It looks like Chicago has been moved to Arizona with a mix of cacti and succulents. We wish to thank the Park District horticulturists for designing an extremely interesting and comment producing attraction.


Park Historical TourRPGG Walk


On a pleasant evening, the Rogers Park Garden Group and the West Ridge Historical Society sponsored a historical tour of the park. Speaking at the event were Julia S. Bachrach, Chicago Park District historian; Chris Gent, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and landscape architect; Phil Martini, IBP Park Manager; Michael Oster, IBPAC board member and Ginny Davis, Northtown Garden Society representative. After a tour of the park and the gardens led by Mr. Oster and Ms. Davis, an active discussion of the history of the park and field house was led by Ms. Bachrach and Mr. Martini.

Proceeds from this event will be contributed to the restoration of the Garfield Park Greenhouse, the Northtown Garden Society, and the IBPAC.

Bird SanctuaryBird Sanctuary Cleanup Day


The clearing of the East Enclosure in preparation for the creation of a bird sanctuary was begun by a large number of volunteers led by Michael Oster, IBPAC board member. With the help of chainsaw-wielding and IBPAC board member, Frank Glapa, the trees (not the good kind!) were toppling like toothpicks. Volunteers from the community and the Tree Keeper's organization were picking up the cuttings and stacking them for pick up by the Park District. The clearing of the trees and shrubs revealed the pond and swan houses left from the days that swans from the zoo were over-wintered in the park. In addition to clearing the East Enclosure, another group of community volunteers were mulching trees in the park.

Bird SanctuaryTree keepers

Stacking limbsBird Sanctuary



Independence Day Parade Cute Girl

July 4, 2011

On a perfect morning, an exuberant group of neighborhood families celebrated the 4th of July with a do-it-yourself parade led by a local band, Banda de Guerra de Cuidad Hidalgo Michoacán México, and a variety of decorated "floats". The parade set the tone for a very Happy Birthday celebration for our country.


PrangasTricycleGirl on bike

Boy with hatThe bandParade 1

Park Open HouseOpen House Social

May 22, 2011

A park Open House was held to educate the community about our park's history and show the beauty of the park and the historic field house. The event included a mime show, tours of the park and facilities and a presentation on the history of the park.

Refreshments were provided by the Advisory Council and the park manager, Phil Martini.

A Day Camp scholarship certificate was presented to a Boone School representative to be awarded to one of their students. The scholarship was provided by the Advisory Council as a community service.

Scholarship AwardMime Show

Growing TomatoesSpring Plant Sale

May 14, 2011

On a cold, blustery day, a fund-raising plant sale sponsored by the Indian Boundary Park Advisory Council and the Northtown Garden Society was held at Warren Park. In spite of the weather, the sale was a success and the proceeds were used by the sponsoring organizations to support the gardens of Indian Boundary and Warren Parks.

Many weeks of effort were expended by a dedicated group of volunteers to grow tomatoes from seed, dig up and repot donated perennials, organize pre-orders of flats and baskets of annuals, unload and organize pre-ordered plants and assist customers on the day of the sale.

We particularly appreciated the help of Rev. John Hoekwater, manager of the Gale School greenhouse, for providing space to grow the tomatoes; Pat Grunde, principal of the Bethesda Lutheran School, for providing space to store plants; and Diana Schilz, Warren Park manager, for providing space and support for the sale. To show our appreciation for the use of the greenhouse at Gale School, we participated in the planting of pansies along Howard Street.

Planting PansiesPlant sale preordersPre-orders 2

Plant SaleVolunteersPre-Orders 3

Spring Bird Walk

May 1, 2011

Joe Lill, of the Chicago Audubon Society, once again led a group of community members on an informative bird walk in the park. Everyone was thrilled to see a nesting pair of wood ducks at the lagoon. This was the first sighting of these colorful ducks in the park.

Bird walk Spring 2011Wood Ducks

Earth Day CelebrationEarth Day 2011

April 16, 2011

A group of Advisory Council and community members along with a group of students and their teachers from Boone Elementary School worked for a morning cleaning up the park and mulching the trees.

Earth Day 2011 2Earth day Boone School

FOTP Conf 1Park Advocacy Conference

March 19, 2011

IBPAC board members, Ann Glapa and Michael Oster, gave a presentation, Planting the 1st Seed - Gardening in Your Park, at the 2011 Park Advocacy Conference sponsored by the Chicago Park District and the Friends of the Parks. The well-attended presentation generated a lot of interest by community members who have been trying to start community gardens around Chicago with varying degrees of success. An impressive display of photos of the park and gardens provoked "oohs and aahs" among the attendees.


GrassesAbout the Park

Indian Boundary Park is located on the far north side of Chicago, Illinois in the West Ridge neighborhood. It is a 13+ acre park featuring gardens, a lagoon, a spray pool, a children's playground, tennis courts, a walking path and a Cultural Center/Fieldhouse.

For more information about the park and its history, select Visiting the Park or Park History.

Updated 1/10/2014 GD