-Rolling Into the Beyond-
July. That month that is smack-dab in the middle of summer. The exuberant June jump into fine weather is only smoothed out and solidified with the oh so fine month of July. Celebrations. Freedom. Time to reflect on how awesome the summer already has been, and how much more there still is to embrace! But you likely don't need a reminder to embrace summer because that's what we Chicagoland folks do best. We embrace it. Biking this bodacious basin from Burnham's boulevards to big water beaches to the beautiful bogs.
Ramble with us this July as we traverse the Waterways of the West, go on a ride that started it all (200 miles in 2 days). and preform ecological service on the North Branch Trail. Oh yeah, there is even a block party with live music too! Read on to see what's new with the OOFD and learn a thing or two about this beautiful basin of ours.
And as always, get outside and enjoy this weather!!!
Post by: Glenn Schneider
Big streams of lava hot slag spill out onto the strip of land at 115th and Stony Island as black smoke rises from it. This was the scene at when the South East Side of Chicago was still a booming industrial corridor. After much of the industry left, specifically the steel plants were closed, the land sat flat, open, contaminated, and unused. That is until last year when the Friends of Big Marsh teamed up with the City of Chicago and opened it as Park District Park #564 aka Big Marsh. The vision of the park is to “provide a new type of recreation in Chicago that marries habitat restoration with public use.” Presently, it is one of the many wonders located on the Southeast side of Chicago and has 278 acres of open space for hikes, bike rides, and fun! It plays host to Chicago’s premiere BMX park as well as plenty of open space to wander about or just relax.
Sunday July 16th 8:30 am | Logan Square Monument | 3150 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647
Bike Ride, ecological restoration, native plant talk, Superdawgs and Drinks. A bike service day from Logan Square to the North Branch Trail's new Clayton Smith Woods Preserve and back. (map down below)
As Bicycle Nomad puts it "On a Bicycle seeing the big picture comes naturally."
Into the Basin: Exploring Chicago's Lower Lake Michigan Basin Area by bike
Included in June's Newsletter: Up-coming events, overnight bike camping adventures! New Programs! A Block Party! And so much more. Also to give a little insight on what we've been up too the last couple of weeks: We helped plant native trees and shrubs on the new North Branch Trail's southern extension in LaBagh woods and we completed our “Battle to the Dunes” ride where we rocked it with an amazing team of three Field Guides and 12 participants. Such a stellar group and lasting connections made. This is what we are talking about! We're really loving the community we are building.
The Out Our Front Organization is in the process of making a series of patches for the bike camping destinations around Chicago and The Lower Lake Michigan Basin area. Where each patch is unique to it's landscape and local area.
Before embarking on a 120-mile round-trip bike journey from Chicago to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, The Out Our Front Door Organization led a collaborative series of events to kick start their first trip of the season. Where the public took part in a 100 year old tradition, learned the battle and struggle for a National Park which sparked a world wide movement and introduced legislation that would forever change American history, and discovered the birthplace of modern day ecology.
Welcome to Spring folks! We hope you have had a good winter and here we come! Overnight bike camping adventures! Our second full-fledged season as an organization has all sorts of adventures lined-up. Six self-supported overnight guided tours, a supported Family Ride, a ride to help some Southside friends maintain a classic Chicago bike trail, and who knows what else! All to purposely educate and immerse in the natural habitats and history of The Lower Lake Michigan Basin Area!
On Thursday May 18th stop in BFF Bikes for an OOFD Bike Camp Movie Night: A locally produced documentary showcasing how the historical journey of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore came to be —"Shifting Sands: On the Path to Sustainability"
After the film, join documentarian and Co-Producer Tom Desch for a Q&A, and check out regional bike maps & routes. Then go bike camping this season to discover first-hand about a place which exists outside all our front doors, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
"Immersing and educating in our history, culture, and the uniquely beautiful natural habitats of the Lower Lake Michigan Basin Area"
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