Bike Park at Big Marsh opens Sunday

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Sunday, November 6, 2016
A rendering of a new bike park at Big Marsh.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago opened a first bike park of its kind Sunday.

The bike park at Big Marsh is designed for riders of all ages and skill levels. It's located in the South Deering neighborhood at 116th Street and South Stony Island Avenue.

"Until now, no bike park like this existed in the Midwest; it is an asset for residents and an attraction for tourists," Mayor Emanuel said. "Today, we celebrate the transformation of what was an industrial site to a place where families and children from across Chicago can experience nature. The completion of Big Marsh is building on Burnham's vision for the City of Chicago and providing a recreational asset to the far South side."

The park has features for BMX, mountain, and cyclo-cross riders. This is part of a project to invest in Chicago's waterfronts, parks and neighborhoods. The park will be free of charge for general riding and will host organized cyclo-cross races. The goal is to host the U.S. Cyclo-Cross Championships within the next five years, the city said.

Officials also announced the design phase for the new Ford Calumet Environmental Center at Big Marsh. The city says the center will celebrate the region's environmental, cultural and recreational assets. The center will be funded by The Chicago Environmental Fund for $5.5 million and is expected to open in 2018.