Chicago Park District
Written By Chicago Park District

The Chicago Park District owns more than 8,800 acres of parkland, making it the largest municipal park manager in the nation. Visit the Chicago Park District's 597 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 70 nature areas, & hundreds of programs.

“[The Gathering Spaces project] is about the restoration of the land and the restoration of our souls as a people.” –Raymond Thomas, Lead Artist, Sankofa for the Earth

The Gathering Spaces are a series of artist-designed community areas installed along the Burnham Wildlife Corridor in Burnham Park. The project was born out of a commitment to improving the quality of life for Chicago residents through deepening connections to nature in the city. Each of the Gathering Spaces was developed by artists in partnership with a community organization located in a nearby neighborhood. The completed spaces reflect the nature and culture of the area and serve as assembly grounds and rest areas for people exploring the Corridor.

"Nature has always been something important to me, I feel it, I feel its aliveness, so the fact that this project would encourage people [in the area] to come and connect with nature, that was exciting." -Fo Wilson, Lead Artist, Sounding Bronzeville

the gathering spaces

Sounding Bronzeville  / /  Location: West of Lake Shore Drive at 40th Street  / /  Lead artists: Fo Wilson, Norman Teague  / /  Non-profit partner: Bronzeville Community Development Partnership (Bronzeville)

Caracol  / /  Location: East of Lake Shore Drive at 26th Street  / /  Lead artists: Georgina Valverde, Diana Solis, José Terrazas  / /  Non-profit partner: Contratiempo (Pilsen)

La Ronda Parakata  / /  Location: East of Lake Shore Drive at 34th Street  / /  Lead artists: Hector Duarte, Alfonso “Piloto” Nieves  / /  Non-profit partner: Casa Michoacán (Pilsen) 

Set in Stone  / /  Location: West of Lake Shore Drive at 33rd Street  / /  Lead artists: Andy Bellomo, Anna Murphy  / /  Non-profit partner: Chinese-American Museum of Chicago Raymond B. & Jean T. Lee Center (Chinatown) 

Sankofa for the Earth  / /  Location: West of Lake Shore Drive at 42nd Street  / /  Lead artists: Arlene Turner Crawford, Dorian Sylvain, Raymond A. Thomas  / /  Non-profit partner: South Side Community Art Center (Bronzeville)


“Roots and Routes” is a collaborative project aimed at creating and sustaining the Burnham Wildlife Corridor (BWC) in order to maximize benefits for neighboring communities and nature. 

Video by: Amber Mohammad Castañeda  / / Still photos ©Sandra Steinbrecher 2016

Lakefront Gathering Spaces


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