Groundbreaking at Welles Park: Turning green space into the NaturePlace

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A taste of what the NaturePlace will offer. (Patty Wetli / DNAinfo)

LINCOLN SQUARE — Construction equipment is about to rip up an acre of grass at Welles Park and replace it with a wild kingdom, complete with mud kitchen, sunflower fort and sensory garden.

Members of the park’s advisory council and greening committee were up with the sun Monday morning to attend a groundbreaking and blessing ceremony as work gets underway on the park’s new NaturePlace area, which, paradoxical as it may seem, is designed to bring a bit more of the Great Outdoors to Welles.

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The contradiction of many Chicago parks, including Welles, is that these green spaces — with their ball diamonds, soccer fields, tennis courts and playgrounds — aren’t particularly connected to the natural environment.

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