The vision of Big Marsh is to provide a new type of recreation in Chicago that marries habitat restoration with public use. Roughly 45 acres are developed for eco-recreation opportunities including hiking, adventure courses, and off-road biking. The eco-recreation elements are located primarily on existing slag fields where plants have a hard time growing and good habitat creation is unlikely. Other acreage is reserved for more passive recreation including bird-watching and nature walking. All acreage is being developed to protect or further enhance the overall natural habitat of the park property including sensitivity to flora, fauna, and wetlands. Through much planning, investment, and local stakeholder input, Big Marsh is now a safe, open, and inviting park space for Chicago and the neighboring communities.
The Bike Park is a new type of eco-recreation to Chicago and is the first park of its kind in the Midwest. It is designed for all ages and skill levels – from toddlers to professional biking enthusiasts and provides a variety of trail choices and program including BMX, mountain biking, and Cyclo-cross. The bike park is generally located on the southern 40 acres of the park on existing slag fields where good habitat restoration is difficult and cost prohibitive.