Lakefront Protection and Public Trust

Principles of Friends of the Parks

Friends of the Parks supports Park District and City policies that achieve these goals:

1) Land Policies

  • Preserve existing park lands.

  • Insure only public use of parks – no private or public encroachment.

  • Add new parkland wherever and whenever practicable, especially in neighborhoods with the greatest need and at the lakefront.

  • Remove inappropriate park encroachments such as parking lots, unnecessary roadways, signs, etc.

  • Restore historic landscapes, historic boulevard system and park facilities.

2) Lakefront Protection

  • Comply with the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance.

  • Maintain the “Forever Open, Clear, and Free” Lakefront park system.

  • Preserve Lakeshore Drive as a boulevard only.

  • Discourage the construction of additional buildings on lakefront parkland except for public recreational uses that are defined as “accessory buildings”.

  • Work to complete the lakefront park system by constructing the “last four miles” of parks, two miles on the north from Hollywood to Evanston and 2 miles on the south side from 71st Street to the Indiana border.

  • Encourage water based recreational activities in lakefront parks.

3) Improve Bureaucracy and Enhance Transparency in Governmental Agencies

  • Partner with the Chicago Park District to increase responsiveness to the public.

  • Support the hiring of park and forest preserve personnel with degrees and/or experience in the field of parks, recreation and resource management.

  • Adhere to the legal requirements for open meetings and an open bid process.

  • Promote the efficient and equitable spending of tax dollars in all Chicago neighborhoods.

  • Support the broadening of the tax base for the museums in the parks as well as for the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Brookfield Zoo.

  • Urge the appointment of Park District Board members who have expertise in and are committed to Chicago parks.

4) Improve Environmental Education and Practices

  • Establish pro-active programs for park landscaping.

  • Support the elimination of environmentally damaging practices.

  • Implement comprehensive energy conservation program.

  • Encourage Audubon certification for all Park District and Forest Preserve golf courses.

  • Expand natural area plantings throughout the parks.

  • Support the adoption of “green building” standards for all new building construction.

  • Promote clean water practices in lakefront harbors, beaches and in rivers and lagoons.

  • Encourage the restoration of savannas, woodlands and prairies in the forest preserves.

5) Develop Healthy Communities Through Connections to Neighborhood Parks

  • Provide opportunities for active recreation for the health and wellness of all citizens.

  • Expand programs to engage children in enjoying nature and the outdoors.

  • Promote community determination of local park needs in park planning.

  • Increase use of field houses during the day and night, as well as on weekends.

  • Develop recreation programs for children, teens, adults and seniors.