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Warren Park to get wildlife playground, pickleball courts and cricket batting cages thanks to $1.5 million city grant

Warren Park to get wildlife playground, pickleball courts and cricket batting cages thanks to $1.5 million city grant


WEST RIDGE Warren Park is getting a major upgrade thanks to a city grant.

Warren Park, one of the Far North Sides’ largest parks, is one of seven public facilities to win a $1.5 million city grant for community area improvements. The grant will help bring a wildlife playground and a slew of new and updated athletic facilities to the park. The renovation will start in the fall.

The conservation area will open in the southern part of Warren Park, close to Western Avenue, Chicago Park District officials said Wednesday at a community meeting. The area will feature kid-friendly play stations made from wooden logs, some of which are stationary and some of which can be moved around for building or other creative endeavors.

In the nature reserve there will also be a stage, a wooden snail sculpture that can be climbed and a slide and other play equipment on a small hill. It will include a landscaping walkway and a vine tunnel at the entrance to the play area.

Major changes are also planned for the Warren Parks athletic facilities.

Four pickleball courts and two volleyball courts will replace the park’s batting cages, which are closed to the public. The courts will be fenced off, said London Walther, senior project manager with the Chicago Park District.

Credit: Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago
Warren Park’s unusable batting cages are replaced.

The area will also be home to new batting and pitching cages for baseball and cricket. The Warren Parks cricket ground, adjacent to the existing batting cages, will have new artificial turf and lighting for nighttime play.

Repurposing the area where the closed batting cages now stand was a big priority for the community, Walther said.

FROM THE DNAINFO ARCHIVE: An Evening in Warren Park Glimpses the World (PHOTOS)

Warren Parks shuffleboard, horseshoes and bocce courts will also be reviewed as part of the grant.

The bocce court will have a new grass area and the area around all three courts will be revised to become more accessible, Walther said. That includes new accessible seating and pathways around the courts.

Warren Park is already a sports destination on the Far North Side, especially for cricket enthusiasts. The park regularly hosts cricket matches and competitions, including the Illinois Premier League Cricket Conference.

In addition to the cricket ground, there are five baseball diamonds, an outdoor ice rink, six tennis courts and a nine-hole golf course at Warren Park.

With the renovations, the park will upgrade underutilized facilities and make them available to a wider range of visitors, said Pamela Stauffer, chair of the Warren Park Advisory Council.

Warren Park is a team park. You see the basketball, the cricket ground, the baseball fields, Stauffer said. We asked: who are we not seeing? How can we improve the intergenerational use of this park?’

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