Parks in Danger

Privatization in south side parks: a concerning trend

The City of Chicago is not doing right by its South Side Parks.

From the Obama Center, to Riot Fest, to the Tiger Woods Golf Course, there have been too many proposed or actual conversions of our public parkland into gated, privatized areas or ticket-selling event venues. These uses make the parkland and its amenities unavailable for what should be their main purpose - free outdoor spaces for the members of the local communities - in favor of creating tourist attractions targeted at city visitors. We believe public city parks should primarily be for the use of those who live nearby, with attractions for visitors always coming second to local community preference.

Parks are also threatened by maintenance plans that would flout community input (the Point) or by new restrictive rules, gates, and hours (the Wooded Island). We want our South Side Parks to be open and available to all in our communities, and we want maintenance and usage choices to be informed by community opinions. Public parks should be public!