Nature Play Area

Indian Boundary Park 2500 West Lunt Avenue Chicago

Indian Boundary Park/Nature Play Area
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.

Audio Commentary:

Once a Zoo

In the 1920s, Indian Boundary Park Zoo’s first animal, a black bear named “Teddy,” loved to eat canned salmon and chocolate cake, but Park Policeman James Bixler thought it healthier to give him milk from a bottle. By the spring of 1928, in addition to Teddy, the zoo had dozens of pheasants, ducks and other birds, and several opossum. 

By 1950, it housed a total of 71 animals 1950 including “Bucky,” a white fallow deer, “Petey” the black crow who could chuckle and say hello and goodbye, as well as several black bears, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, ducks, swans and a peacock. In 1954, a boy named Leonard Radermacher climbed under the guardrail of the bear enclosure and tried to give the 400-pound bear a peanut. When the bear clamped his teeth around Leonard’s hand, the boy poked his nose with his other hand and the bear let go. Leonard’s story was covered in newspapers across the country.

Cover photo credit: Indian Boundary Park playground, 2014, Chicago Park District

Indian Boundary Park

Nature Play Area

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