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InProximity September•October 2010

Parks Parks & More Parks! Feature Story

Independence Grove Forest Preserve

This Month in ‘On The Road’

Mount Rainier National Park

Located in the Pacific Northwest in Washington State

Editors Notes



hope you enjoy this edition of in proximity. this is a magazine that has been designed to help you explore, from your easy chair, some choices for getting out and about in a given area. This month we are featuring parks, most of which are in the Northern Chicago area. When you think of parks, most would think of city parks, state parks and national parks. I have included these concepts and I have also stepped outside of the box. This month I feature stories about a ballpark, an amusement park, a forest preserve, and a national park. My articles about each of these parks not only gives pertinent information about the place, but I have also included a history of the park. So grab that cup of joe, sit back and relax, and let your imagination go. Imagine yourself at each of these locations, then I must ask you to get out there and have some fun. Find your thrills at an amusement park, discover nature at a forest preserve or national park, have some fun and laughs with your friend at a baseball game. Whatever you do, just get out and explore our world.

Happy Discovering!

Pamela Horn



September/October 2010



Amusement Parks

Six Flags Great America:

This theme park features seven miles of outrageous roller coasters.


City Parks

Kenosha Harbor Park & Harbor Market:

This farmers market is open 50 Saturdays of the year. Located in Kenosha, Wisconsin.


National Parks

Mount Rainier:

Nestled in the Cascade Mountain Range, looms this active volcano.


County Parks Independence Grove:

One of Lake County, Illinois’ premier forest preserve.


Sports Parks Wrigley Field: Home of the Chicago Cubs Baseball Team. InProximity is published and written by Pamela Horn All images copyrighted Pamela Horn For more information, email me at

Amusement Parks

Six Flags Wanted: Thrill Seekers!


RE YOU A THRILL SEEKER? fifty attractions and twelve amazing Six Flags Great America has a roller coasters. Each area of the park ton of the thrills for you. The features a different facet of Americana. theme park is designed with the whole For the same admission price paid, family in you can enjoy Hurricane mind. They The park has seven miles Harbor, the water park have rides is located within the of extreme roller coasters! that for all ages, amusement park. everyone in the family is sure to enjoy Six Flags Great America features some their visit. The park is located between of the fastest, highest, outrageous, and Chicago and Milwaukee, in Gurnee, gut-wrenching rides in the country. The Illinois, just off of Interstate 94 on park has seven miles of extreme roller Highway 132. coasters. In addition to the extraordiThe theme park opened in 1976; nary coasters the park is loaded with it has grown to expand 300 acres with rides and activities that is sure to please



September/October 2010

every family member. There is lots of fun for the little ones too. The kiddies can enjoy all the little thrill rides that have been designed just for them. There are three kid areas throughout the park, so be sure to include your little thrill seeker in the festivities. Six Flags Great America also offers great shows and concerts. The parks’ shows feature top-notch entertainment that will provide many lasting memories for all. They also put on blockbuster concerts, which showcase many of your favorite artists. Don’t forget to visit Six Flags online. The official web site is www.sixf lags. com/greatamerica. The web site offers tons of information that includes, current pricing, park hours, park policies, additional park information, and a description of all the fantastic rides they offer. You can also find concert and show time listings. So if you are ever in the Gurnee, Illinois area, check out what everyone is screaming about. Six Flags Great America, get your thrill on!

Contact Information

542 N Route 21, Gurnee, IL 60031 Telephone: (847) 249-4636

September/October 2010



City Parks

Kenosha Harbor Park & Harbor Market


UST A HOP SKIP AND A JUMP from Chicago, Illinois is the quaint town of Kenosha, Wisconsin. There you will find Harbor Park, which is home for the Kenosha Harbor Market. The farmers market is open year round. The market is open on Saturdays only, from 9:00am to 2:00pm. During the winter months, October 23rd - May 14th, the Winter Market is open, on Saturdays, and is held in the lobby of the Rhodes’s Lakeside Player Theater, which is located at 514 56th Street.

If you are a visitor or a possible vender, you can get more information about Harbor Market visit the website: The Harbor Market is just a small piece of this puzzle. Harbor Park is a re-development of an industrialized area of Kenosha. The area is a combination of park and open space, coupled with the Kenosha City Museum, marina, and children’s’ play areas. There has also been a large development of housing in the area. The Harbor Park area has many special events though out the year, to include the Taste of Wisconsin and the Harbor Park Jazz and Blues Festival. So don’t forget to check out   the website for upcoming events. One of the things I love about this farmers market is the quaintness that comes with it. By being located within Harbor Park in Kenosha, Wisconsin, you can also enjoy the park that surrounds the market. Take a walk or bicycle along the bike trails that run along Lake Michigan and the marina. While you are there you can also visit the Civil War Museum, the Kenosha City Museum, or check out the historical lighthouse. Not far from the marina is Wolfenbuttel Park. This park is the center for many special events. Weddings occur frequently, in the formal Wolfenbuttel flower gardens. The trails that start in the Harbor Park area, near the marina, September/October 2010

is part of a trail system that connects the south and north sections of the city. So the next time you are up for an intriguing day trip, remember Harbor Park and the Harbor Market. You will be pleasantly surprised. Directions to Harbor Park and Harbor Market: Exit # 342 (Hwy 158), off of Interstate 94. Go east until you get to the lake, Michigan. Turn right, (south) at the intersection of 6th Avenue, then proceed to 56th Street and turn left onto 56th Street (east). Follow 56th Street to Second Avenue. There are several parking lots in the area, and parking is allowed along 56th Street. If you’d rather take public transportation to get to the market, you can take the Metra Train from Chicago, and all points in between. From the Metra station you can catch the Kenosha Trolley that will drop you off right in the area of the market.



National Parks

mount rainier national park


VER WANT TO CHECK OUT AN ACTIVE VOLCANO? If you are ever in the Seattle, Washington area, Mount Rainier is a must see. Standing at 14,410 feet, Mount Rainier is the highest peak in the Cascade Mountain Range. Located in the western part of Washington state, the mountain can be seen looming in the distance for miles around. It stands almost three miles higher than the valleys to the west, and about one and a half miles higher than the surrounding mountains. Mount Rainier is an active volcano, it’s last eruption was roughly 150 years ago. Mount Rainier National Park is visited by nearly 2 million people every year.

National Parks The mountain is located within the Mount Rainier National Park. It covers 235,625 acres and is located about 50 miles southeast of the Seattle-Tacoma area. About 97 percent of the park is wilderness and the other 3 percent is National Historic Landmark Districts. Of the 97 percent wilderness area 58 percent of that area is forested. You can also find alpine and subalpine areas within the park. Within the alpine parts of the park, half is vegetative and the rest is covered with permanent snow and ice. There you can see trees as old as 1,000 years and heather plants that have been around for up to 10,000 years. The first recorded history of Mount Rainier was done by Captain George Vancouver, a British explorer, while he was mapping out the Puget Sound in 1792. The mountain was named after his friend, Peter Rainier. Mount Rainier became established as the United States fifth national park on March 2, 1899. For more interesting history about Mount Rainier visit: http://www. Mount Rainier National park is home for many species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and native fish. The park has 26 named glaciers, 382 lakes, and 470 rivers and streams; all waiting to be explored and discovered. Of the 26 glaciers, 25 of them are considered to be major glaciers. The Emmons Glacier


takes up the most space (4.3 square miles) and Carbon Glacier has the lowest terminus altitude (3,600 feet) of all the glaciers in the contiguous 48 states. The natural habitat is there to be explored by everyone from the novice hiker to the expert rock climber. The park is adorned with multiple trails, from easy to extreme. You can find waterfalls of all sizes inside the park. Marvel at the fields of wild flowers and breath taking views. The park has several amenities available. It offers campsites for your

overnight stays on the mountain or you can rough it by camping at one of the parks out range campsites. Some of these sites do not have any amenities; it is just you and nature. If camping is not your style, there is lodging available at Longmire and Paradise. There are three visitor centers, Paradise, Longmire, and Sunrise. You can find the a museum at Longmire which houses lots of rich history about the park and the surrounding area. All visitor centers and hotels offer dining facilities or snack bars. Mount Rainier is a must see!


September/October 2010

County Parks

independence Grove Lake County Forest Preserve


AKE COUNTY IS HOME FOR MANY OUTDOOR recreational areas, and wildlife and forest preserves. One that stands out from the crowd is, Independence Grove. This forest preserve provides outdoor recreation and offers educational opportunities for the nature knowledge hungry. Independence Grove is located on Route 137 (Buckley Road) near Libertyville, IL. The entrance is just east of Route 21 and west of River Road.

County Parks Nature anyone?

The forest preserve features a lake and multiple trails. There is a swim beach for those who wish to sun bathe or frolic in the water. You can rent paddleboats, canoes, kayaks, fishing boats, bicycles, or adaptive trikes. The lake also allows fishing, however, there is a mandatory catch and release, licenses are required. There is a large pavilion available for reunions, corporate picnics, or even outdoor weddings. In the area of the Visitors Center, is the Children’s Grove, which has state-of-the-art-handicap-adaptable play equipment, and is completely fenced. The preserve also has free concerts during the summer.


The land for Independence Grove was purchased in 1978. The preserve is a recycled gravel quarry; the quarry was originally 75 feet deep and 3,500 feet across. The parks evolution was slow but well worth it. In the early 1990’s plans were created for what is now Independence Grove. The preserve opened in 2001 and is  considered one  of Lake Counties  most  attended  outdoor recreational  forest  preserves. The quarry went through many stages to prepare it to become a lake and a wildlife preserve. Mining continued to deplete the rest of its resources and a special fund, from the mining royalties, was created to help pay for the reclaim-

ing of the land. The quarries walls were straight and steep, shelves were created in the rock walls and along the edge; this was to ensure safer shorelines and to ward off erosion. Once the lake was created another challenge came into play. They needed to figure out how to create a habitat for fish out of a sterile lake that was void of vegetation. To solve this dilemma, they placed trees, concrete pipes, and fish cribs at the bottom of the lake before the water rose. To develop the rest of the preserve, millions of cubic yards of fill dirt was trucked in to help develop 60 acres of fertile land. Plants, shrubs, and trees were planted throughout the preserve. Trails were also created so visitors can enjoy walking and bicycling within the preserve.


The preserves is laced with many trails. The Lakeside trail (2.3 mi.) has a gravel surface, best for hiking and jogging. The Overlook trail (2.5 mi.) is paved. This trail winds through scenic areas of the preserve. The paved surface is great for biking, in-line skating, and other general uses. There are two shorter trails, the paved, South Bay loop (0.7 mi.) and combination, North Bay loop (0.75 mi.) which connect with the Lakeside and Overlook trails. A short section of the Des Plaines River Trail,

which is a neighboring trail, connects to preserve trails.

Swim Beach

The sandy swim beach spans 400 feet and is located in the South Bay. There is a beach house, it has washrooms, showers, and lockers for your personal needs. The swim beach is also handicap accessible. Those in wheelchairs can use one of the beach wheelchairs for easier mobility over the sand, these are at no cost to you. The beach also has umbrellas and chairs which are available to rent. Independence Groves’ swim beach is open daily 10-6, and there are lifeguards on duty. There is a minimal fee to swim, Lake County residents do however get a nice discount; so bring proof of residency.


The preserve is home to many species of birds and wildlife. It is a perfect place to do a little bird watching; you can find lots of colorful species of songbirds along the Des Plaines River Greenway path. During the spring, the preserve is visited by birds who are migrating to their nest grounds; they stop to rest and feed during their journey north. Visitors can take a guided night hike; this hike is great for possibly spotting owls that live in the wooded areas. The preserve is also home for several of our four legged friends, such as beaver, muskrats, mink, raccoon, and deer. The area has rolling prairies, 12


September/October 2010

wooded areas, and wide-open spaces; all of which help attract our furry friends. The aquatic plants that were planted, and some of the shelves that were created within the lake, provide cover, food, and nesting areas for all types of wildlife.


When entering the preserved you will be asked to pay for parking. It is free for Lake County residents and those with military ID’s, $5 per car for non-residents Monday through Thursday, $10 Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Lake county resident parking stickers are available for a fee of $5. The vehicle window sticker allows entry to the preserve without having to stop and show the required proof of county residency each time you visit. Just point to the sticker when coming through the gate, and the attendant will wave you through. The sticker is nontransferrable and is good for the life of your vehicle’s windshield. The sticker

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can be purchased during regular office hours, 9:00a.m. to 4:30p.m., daily, at the Visitor Center, located inside Independence Grove. So, when it is time for you to get your nature on, or to just play a little outdoors time, come to Independence Grove, one of Lake counties premier forest preserves.

Contact Information:

Independence Grove 16400 W Buckley Rd Libertyville, IL 60048 847-968-3499 (phone) 847-918-9017 (fax)



Sports Parks

Wrigley Field


 RIGLEY FIELD, HOME of the Chicago Cubs. A cubs baseball game, at Wrigley Field, is a must see while in Chicago. When you go to a Cubs baseball game you are instantly surrounded by the rich history of the ballpark, and that history has made it one of the most infamous stadiums in the United States. Wrigley Field is one of  Chicago’s most prominent historical locations and it is filled with a rich history. The stadium was built in 1914 by Charles Weeghman, and it was part of the Federal League. The stadium’s capacity held 14,000  people  a nd  went by the  named Weeghman Field. This ballpark was originally the home of the Chicago Whales; they played there for two years before the Federal League went bankrupt. The Cubs started playing in Chicago in 1893 and by 1915 they were struggling to attract fans to their ballpark, the West Side Grounds. This is when Charles Weeghman bought the Cubs, he then moved them to his north side ballpark where they began playing in 14

the 1916 season. The first game to be played by the Chicago Cubs on Weeghman Field was on April 20, 1916. By 1920 the stadium was renamed, Cubs Park. Both the Cubs and Cubs Park were sold to William Wrigley Jr. In 1922 Wrigley began renovations to the stadium, the renovations continued into 1923; the most prominent improvement at that time was the additional of more seating, increasing the capacity to 20,000. Cubs Park began more extreme renovations in 1926. at that time it was renamed as Wrigley Field. The seating

capacity increased to 38,396; this was done by doubling the decking of the grandstands. The left field bleachers were also removed. About a decade later, 1937, renovations began again, more bleachers were added, this time to the outfield. The notorious 27 by 75 foot hand operated scoreboard was put into place; it is still being used today. They also planted Ivy along the wall of the outfield. Wrigley Field was scheduled to have lighting installed for the 1942 season, but with World War II in full swing,


September/October 2010

and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Phil advertisements; most ads are primarily Wrigley decided to donate the lights placed on the stadiums surrounding to the government. Lighting was not buildings. On game days you can still installed in the stadium until February see fans watching the game on nearby 1988. The very first night game at rooftops. Wrigley Field is located in a Wrigley Field was played on August 8, residential area, which has dubbed the 1988; the game was rained out after name, Wrigleyville. On game days, the 4th inning. The first complete night Wrigleyville is filled with thousands game was of Cubs fans. The played the Wrigley Field is the last Federal “Ballhawks” (die following League ballpark still in use today! hard fans) hang evening. out on Waveland Over the many years, Wrigley Field Avenue in hopes to catch a homerun has continued to have improvements ball during a game. The hand operated done of one sort or another. The seating scoreboard is still being used to this capacity is now at just over 41,000. The day, ivy still envelopes the outfield brick old playing field had been removed and walls, and the outfield bleachers are still a new playing field was set up in 2007; a fill with those who have been dubbed, new drainage system was put into place “bleacher bums”. The stadium still uses and the old grass was replaced with flags on top of the scoreboard to alert bluegrass. There are plans to erect a fans of previous wins and their standmultipurpose building on the west side ings during the season. of Wrigley Field; the plan is to have it So pack up the family, or all your completed by 2014. This will house batbuddies, and head out to Wrigley Field. ting and pitching cages for the players, a Take in a Cubs baseball game, where restaurant, and an open-air courtyard. you will be surrounded by the rich Wrigley Field is known for its noshistory of the stadium. Enjoy some talgia. It is the last standing Federal baseball, time with friends, sing along League ballpark; still being used today. during the seventh-inning stretch, and By maintaining its’ old-fashion flair, have a great time. And don’t forget an Wrigley Field has limited the in-park icy cold drink, along with a Chicago

September/October 2010

style hotdogs, and peanuts! Don’t forget, when you go to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, it is in your best interest to use public transportation. Since the stadium is located in a residential area, Wrigleyville, parking can be a bit nightmarish. Chicago has many public transportation services available. You can go online to see which would be best suited for you.

Contact Information

For game times, seating, and ticketing, visit the official website of the Chicago Cubs at:



Next Issue

‘On the Road’ with In Proximity

Acadia National Park

& Bar Harbor, Maine


Student project in which I wrote all articles, took all images, and designed a travel magazine.