Members of the McKinley Park Advisory Council and its Dog Park Committee stand ready to dive into 2018 programs after their meeting on January 8, 2018.

McKinley Park Advisory Council Plots Dog Park Development, 2018 Programs

Published January 10, 2018

The McKinley Park Advisory Council and its Dog Park Committee solidified plans for 2018 at its January 8 meeting at the McKinley Park fieldhouse. Notably, development of the dog park project continues to move forward, with the committee receiving the latest site plans and a detailed breakdown of costs from the Chicago Park District.

The total cost of the dog park is $370,000, all of which must be raised by the dog park committee and supporters from the local community. Regular fundraisers are chipping away at this amount, including an upcoming dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, January 21, at Chipotle restaurant at 1132 S. Clinton St.: Buy dinner and mention the dog park, and 50 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the effort.

McKinley Park Dog Park plan mapThe updated site design displays the park district's latest rendition of McKinley Park's dog-friendly area.Now that specific site plans and costs are available, the committee is also developing outreach to businesses that may have an interest in sponsoring the dog park. The committee also noted an intense need for more volunteers and support: Anyone interested in volunteering or sponsorships should send email to Once constructed, the McKinley Park facility will be the first dog park on the South Side of Chicago.

The advisory council also related news and plans for this year's events and programs, including the following:

  • The council has been invited to send a representative to the 2018 Park Advisory Council Conference, sponsored by the Chicago Parks Foundation. Vice President Samantha Hertel plans to participate in a panel on farmers markets, based on her and the council's successful work with the McKinley Park farmers market.

  • Yoga classes will soon return to McKinley Park, with classes planned to begin within the month and running into the spring. Exact dates and details will be announced soon.
  • The big overhaul of the east side of the park is part of the City of Chicago's Building on Burnham plan, which envisions many different types of park expansions and projects. The east end of McKinley Park is being turned into a protected natural area as part of this plan's initiative to increase the city's protected natural areas to 2,020 acres by 2020. The council noted an all-hands-on-deck stewardship event planned for Earth Day, April 22, during which volunteers will assist with the initial planting of the new natural area.

  • The farmers market is slated to return to McKinley Park on Sundays in the summer of 2018. Dates have not yet been finalized, but should range from June through September.
  • The weekly concert series, which in past years offered performances following the Sunday farmers market, is slated to return to McKinley Park, with specific dates and performers still to be determined. Make Music Chicago is also likely to return to the park on June 21.
  • As one of the most successful locations for the Midnight Circus, McKinley Park looks to again host this event in 2018. Dates are yet to be determined, but tentatively planned for September.
  • The council is planning officer elections for its February meeting: All interested members should attend to participate in voting and elections.

The McKinley Park Advisory Council is always seeking more volunteers to help support their significant and beneficial programs for the park and neighborhood. Community members can get involved by attending one of their monthly meetings, scheduled on the second Monday of the month at the fieldhouse, or connecting with them via email (, through their Facebook page, or at one of their many events.

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