Building Trails & Connections with "Friends..."

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A nonprofit fundraiser supporting

Friends of Big Marsh
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Help Friends of Big Marsh reach our goals by donating today!


raised by 143 people

$500,000 goal

Trails bring us together. Biking, running, and exploring nature connects us with each other, our city, and our planet. "Friends..." find opportunity in Big Marsh.

In 2022, Friends of Big Marsh is focused on the pursuit of 3 major trail projects and the connections that these will enable. 

 - The Big Hill: This is the last major bike park development necessary at Big Marsh. The hill, adjacent to the jump lines and pump tracks, is being graded, capped, and seeded in late 2021. In 2022, we hope to begin building new bike-optimized trails that will invite beginners and challenge expert riders. These experiences are rare for urban park goers, but will produce the next generation of cycling enthusiasts. We believe that eco-recreation can exist in harmony with stewardship and that the promotion of eco-recreation will benefit the health and well-being of Southeast Side residents. 

- Lake Calumet Bike Path - A feasibility study was completed in 2021. This proposed path will connect Big Marsh to the Pullman National Monument District and Roseland. "Friends..." will continue to support this project to get it to construction in the coming years. 

- East Side connection - A feasibility study funded by Invest in Cook will take place in 2022 exploring the possibility of linking Big Marsh and Indian Ridge Marsh at 116th and Torrence. This trail connection will allow residents of South Deering, East Side, and Hegewisch to safely bike or walk to Big Marsh. This project will also require several years of engineering to get to construction, but it is an important component of community access. 

The connections we build, though, are bigger than infrastructure. "Friends..." connect at the Major Taylor Trail and Burnham Greenway, and in Beaubien Woods and Steelworker's Park. "Friends..." include bird watchers, bicyclists, community advocates, and youth workers. 

We look forward to connecting with more "Friends..." on the trails and beyond. 

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