Cosmo Campoli's Great Bird of Peace installed at the Nichols Park fieldhouse

Nichols Park Advisory Council and Nichols Park

HPKCC program home. Committees. About HPKCC. HPKCC Parks homepage.
To Nichols Park Framework Plan with schematics. To Nichols planning process.

Nichols Park Advisory Council Logo, featuring the Bird of Peace

Officers elected May 2017

President- Stephanie Franklin 773 955-3622
Vice President- Van Bistrow Van Bistrow
Secretary- Dave White
Treasureer- Caprice Lindsay
At large- Camille Hamilton-Doyle

Meadow Steward- Daniel Brown

Correspondence address is
NPAC c/o Stephanie Frankli,
5453 S. Kenwood Av.
Chicago, IL 60615


This is the designated site of Nichols Park Advisory Council.

Park Supervisor Ayanna Nikki Peters, in the fieldhouse at the north end of Nichols Park, 1355 E. 53rd St., 312 747-2703.
Nichols Park runs between 53rd and 55th Streets, Kimark-Kenwood

Next NPAC meeting and Advisory Council News. November 14.
(2nd Thursdays) -7 pm in the fieldhouse (but sometimes elsewhere in summer).

PAC Resolution Oct 2017 on Jackson Park Proposals (PDF doc)


MEADOW WORKDAYS have a new schedule under Daniel Brown-
See details, contact & schedule.
Gloves and tools supplied but wear hats and long pants. Meet at 54th meadow. Generally in season, 4th Sundays 3-5 pm unless inclement weather. Check wih
Oct 20.
For the full schedule see the Park District’s Volunteer website:

A stroll through the wildflower meadow- a designated butterfly sanctuary- is a pleasant experience. Stroll also in summer the formal garden at the north end of the park.

4th on 53rd Parade and Picnic - Story and links to pictures. This 25+ year old community-run and supported institution underwrites the George Franklin Memorial Summer Sunday Concerts- 2017 July 7-Sept 8 2019 in the north end of the park.

Management and volunteering information- See next year.

Register to volunteer-

See 2 dead ash trees by Kimbark south of the tennic court and in the south part of the park that have been carved into a heron with fish (painted) and a wolf by artist Jim Long. Then see Cosmo Campoli's Bird of Peace on 53rd St. by the gym.
Dozens of replacement trees were planted 2015-16. And in 2016 playground equipment was replaced!

In this page:

To sub pages

Member, Hyde Park Vitality Committee

Nichols gym and programs: schedules
available at the gym and in the Park District website /Assets-look for the park's page.

Park Supervisor Ayanna "Nikki" Peters,
312 747-2703.
1355 E. 53rd Street.

Find info in

Hours: School year:
MWF 1-9, Tu,Th 10:30-9,
Saturday 8-4

Summer: M-F 7:30 am-9 varies, Weekends closed.
Summer Camp starts 4th Mon June


L.V. Banks and the Swinging Blues Band perform August 7 at the Nichols Park Sunday Concerts

Nichols Park long view south from middle to Neighborhoo Club. Gary Ossewaarde

Nichols Park Gary Woljniak water fountain sculptue in southwest corner at Kimbark-55th. Gary Ossewaarde

4th on 53rd Parade and Picnic 2005, including, right, Hyde Park Garden Fair Committee's float. (GF volunteers help in the Meadow and are responsible for aspects of the Formal Gardens.) Pics Mary Rose Shaughnessy. And a great time was had by all!

Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference is the fiscal agent for Nichols Park Advisory Council.
Website c HPKCC



Are you a loyal patron of Chicago’s parks? Then Park Points was made for you!

The Chicago Park District is excited to announce the launch of Park Points, a new and innovative program designed to enhance further exploration and engagement for park patrons by rewarding some of your everyday interactions with the Park District. The first of its kind in the country, Park Points is available through your mobile device, desktop, and any other devices with Internet access.

Park Points provides you many ways to earn points simply by being a Chicago Park District patron. Earning opportunities could include visiting a specific beach or park, sharing photos via social media, participating in certain classes, attending specific events, and more. As exciting activities are happening in our parks and facilities we will let you know exactly how to earn more points. In fact, by signing up today and linking some of your social media accounts, you’ll instantly be rewarded with points!

The best part of it all is that you get to take the points you’ve earned and bid on exclusive experiences such as turning on Buckingham Fountain, private training from a boxing expert or taking a boat cruise to enjoy the lakefront fireworks! And that’s just the beginning, throughout the year we’ll be adding exciting experiences for you to bid on.

Park Points is our way of saying thanks for being our biggest supporters and reward you for your continued loyalty.

If you have not checked out Park Points yet, visit to register and start earning points now!


2005 4th on 53rd Parade. MR. Shaughnessy HPKCC Garden Fari Committee's float in 4th on 53rd 2005 Parade. MR. Shaughnessy
The 2005 4th on 53rd was one of the best ever. More watchers lined the route than usual. The games, assigned to specific businesses etc. were highly popular, as was Zendu the Magician (helped by a brief shower outside.)
In 2016 the Parade celebrated its 25th and added more floats!

L.V. Banks and band across north fountain at August 7 concert. L.V. Banks band (Banks 2nd from left) Aug. 7 2005. Gary Ossewaaarde

Nichols Park Advisory Council: Call Stephanie Franklin, President, 773 955-3622, with comments and questions or e-mail Nichols Park Council. Dues $10 per year, but all are welcome at the monthly meetings, 2nd Thursdays, 7 pm, Nichols Park Fieldhouse, 1355 E. 53rd St.
Second contact Van Bistrow, 773 667-1808. We can use your due/contributions- just $10, although voting depends on attending a minimum number of meetings a year, not paying dues.

Meetings Nichols Park Advisory Council, the recognized advisory body under the Chicago Park District,
is a self-sustaining program committee of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. This page is maintained by HPKCC as one of the ny services we provide to one of the city's most active park advisory councils, serving the needs and residents of the "central park" of Hyde Park, at the center of the neighborhood. The Council also gratefully acknowledges the management of the Formal Garden by the Hyde Park Garden Fair Committee, management of the mail bed at 53rd Street by Vue 53, and lead sponsorship of the 4th on 53rd St.

Officers are elected annually. (Elected April 2019:

President Stephanie Franklin, Vice President Van Bistrow, Secretary Dave White, Treasurer Caprice Lindsay, at-large Camille Hamilton-Doyle

Nichols Park Advisory Council meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month, 7 pm, at the Nichols Park Fieldhouse. 1355 E. 53rd St. (Use door on west side) Next regular meeting is Thursday, NOVEMBER 14, 2019, 7 pm, Nichols Park field house, 1355 E. 53rd St.

Regular members can expect e-mailed minutes, advisories and requests for their views between meetings, generally from Dave White. Call Stephanie or Van Bistrow if you wish to be put on a snail or e-mail list. 773 955-3622 Monthly meetings discuss park programming, upkeep, repairs and improvements with the park supervisor.

Events, Workdays

NICHOLS PARK Night Out in the Parks events 2020:
Nichols Park also hosts 4th on 53rd Parade and Picnic and on following weeks to mid September-
George Franklin Memorial Sunday Afternoon Concerts (4 p.m. various genres).

To events other than 4th on 53rd.


Preparations are well under way for Hyde Park’s 28th annual (2019) 4th of July Parade. In the past, you registered to march. Hopefully you are planning to do so again.

As always, the parade is on July 4th and kicks off at 11:00 am sharp! We assemble in the Hyde Park Bank Parking lot and march an
approximate 1 mile route to Nichols Park.

More details to come, closer to the event for those that register in advance, but we ask that groups plan to be at the parade site no later than 10:30 for registration and line-up. And we will have supplies on hand for those who wish to participate in the bike brigade decorating.

Please register to march on our Eventbrite page (if you cannot find it by typing in 4thon53rd, go to or to to find link) so that we can send you updates and determine where to place your group in the marching order.
Additionally, while it is free to march in the parade, there are a number of expenses related to the parade, the Picnic in the Park that follows and the 10 week Summer Sunday Concert Series in Nichols Park. Total production costs for these events are around $30,000.

We are working hard to fundraise so that we can continue to grow and provide this event free of cost to the community. If you are able, please consider becoming a sponsor or making a donation to these events. You can find additional information on our website at or email the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce for more details.

Finally, we'll need volunteers for a number of tasks including planning, decorating, filling balloons, staffing games, bouncy houses and our registration table. If you are able to help, please consider volunteering. You can sign up here or by emailing the Chamber.
And finally… really, don't forget to follow our FB page or tell your favorite businesses “thank you” for supporting Hyde Park’s 4th of July and for keeping this community tradition thrivingThank you,
Tommy Inglis
4th on 53rd Commitee



Nichols Meadow workdays 2019, 3-5 , mostly 3rd Sunday
Oct 13? or 20?, Nov 17?

SPECIAL WORKDAYS - Thanks to those who helped plant bulbs at the 55th fountain October 5!



Nichols Park George Franklin Summer Sunday Concert Series. 4-6 pm. 53rd Kenwood. Bring own chair. Free, outside. Remaining:

Formal Park Programs
Online Park Program Registration
Utilizes PayPal- and you sign up for a password in the website.
CPD is now using the PayPal online payment system. Before you register online for one of our fall classes, we encourage you to review the new screens and review our Q&A about the new system. You can
do this by copying and pasting the web address below into your web browser:

Bridge Mondays, 12:30-2:30. Open, no registration needed.

Registration for park programs

*Save the date**Online Day Camp registration begins Mon., 2nd or 3rd Tuesday two months before the quarter (i.e. April for Summer) at 9 a.m. In person registration begins the Saturday after online. View program offerings and create a wish list beginning a couple of weeks before at Get a chance to win Exclusive Early Access to Summer Registration through Park Points™. Not a member? Sign up NOW and start earning toward this great reward!

Substantial changes have been made to the system by ActiveNet, the Park District’s web vendor (more on these changes below). While we believe these changes will make a big impact on the performance of the system, the Park District is taking the extra step of dividing registration into two different zones, to help ensure a successful fall registration.

It is important that all patrons either create an account in the PD website or update their account information prior to fall registration.
Update your account information now. Once logged into the system, click on the "Answer/Edit Account Questions" link. Look for these questions under the "Account Creation Questions" section for each account holder. Remember to update this information for all individuals on your account
. Questions? at the website or


News: Council actions, Park special events, new and exciting

Spring 2019 a successful controlled burn was held.
Workdays are underway in the Meadow and the 53rd formal garden beds. Lots of plants coming.
ALSO COMING: 13 Ornamental TREES for the curvy path by the Meadow.

2017. In May, NPAC gave final approval to support for management of 4th on 53rd Street by th Chamber of Commerce, with all final decisions remaining wth NPAC and its 4th on 53rd Committee.
In May, NPAC also elected officers (the same as before), to not have a honey bee program in the pasrk, and to pursue a progam for hummingbird houses in the Meadow.


o prepare a statement concerning need for parks to do comprehnsive planning, for example Jackson in light of several major proposals that have recently been made.

Framework Plan:

In February-March, the council was reviewing and prioritizing the Framework Plan of 2003. See results in Framework page. (Good news" the tennis courts are to be resurfaced this year.)

In February 2016 revised bylaws were passed.



About our Memorial trees.


By Bam Postell

One of the signs of an aging organization is the need to memorialize members who have died, and in the case of the Garden Fair Committee, beloved children of members who have passed away all too soon. Naturally, we wanted to remember our friends by means of living trees, and in centrally located Nichols Park. These trees were dedicated on Sunday, June 1. The children’s tree, a Kousa dogwood, is located in a stone-framed plot facing 55th Street, near Kimbark, and the adults’ tree, an American yellowwood, is located behind it on the far side of the pool.

At the same time we honored the installation of the Mary Milner memorial bench, which is located just north of the Neighborhood Club facing the baseball diamond. This was financed by the Mary’s life companion, Eugenia Fawcett, and the Committee.

A third memorial was the relocation of a group of roses in honor of Ruth Billingsley to the bed fronting the new Park District Field House at the north end of the park.

Those present, Garden Fair members and some family members, toasted the memorials in lemonade as they walked from one to another, reading the names of the children at the Kousa dogwood:

Diana Van Valen
David Scheunemann
Norman Nakama
Darcy Black
Reed Schug
Lily Klinger

And the names of the adult members at the yellowwood:

Sophie Rudin, Richard Kersting, Mollie Salmon, Betty Wagner, Janet Shepherd, Miyo Schug, Maxine Brown, Mary Milner,
Sue Cullen, Tamara Mendis, Cherry Nakama, Kit Klinger, Cynthia Pittman, Ruth Billingsley, Jim Lichon, Larayne Black

We were pleased to find that the Park District, which governs the planting of memorial trees in parks, has broadened its list of choices to include some beautiful and lesser known trees. Cornus kousa, the Kousa Dogwood, is related to our American dogwood, Cornus florida, but is native to Japan, Korea, and China. We chose this tree for its many fine features: smaller size (20 to 30 feet), strong horizontal branching pattern, and bloom time 2 or 3 weeks later than the local dogwood. Kousa’s “flowers” are 4 white, pointed bracts around a green center and when they cover the tree make a starry effect. The bracts often turn pink as they age. Raspberry-like fruits follow in August to October, 1 inch in diameter, very decorative and edible. In addition, the tree turns maroon to scarlet in the fall, and the bark, as the tree ages, exfoliates neatly into patterns of grey, tan, warm brown, and pale green.

Cladastris lutea, American yellowwood, is a member of the pea family which will grow 2 to 3 feet per year into an open-arching, dome-shaped tree, to 50 feet or larger, with a spread almost as wide. It casts a dense shade. The foliage is dark green and dense, and turns clear yellow in autumn. In June, it bears long (to 15”) panicles of fragrant white flowers, followed by flat, thin pods. It has smooth gray bark which is seen best in winter, accenting the dramatic framework of the branches.

Each of these trees is the only example of its kind in the park, and will grow in size and beauty with the years.

Getting there:

From south-bound Lake Shore Drive Exit at 53rd and west about a mile. The meadow is south from 53rd on your left, between Kimbark and Kenwood. Parking is available on 53rd, 55th, Kenwood, and Kimbark. Public transportation: CTA route 55 (not 55X) stops on the south side of the park. Other routes require a walk of 2-5 blocks:
#2 & 15 along 51st (15 from Lake Park until June 20, then nearest is 51st/Lake Park), #6 express from downtown- from 51st and Lake Park or 55th/Hyde Park, # 28 express from downtown- from 53rd or 55th (at Lake Park after June 20), #4 Cottage Grove. Metra--currently closest stop is at 51st or 55th; 53rd should reopen July 2004. There is no in-park parking but is street parking. For additional information, call (773) 955-3622.

Who's in charge here?

Ayanna "Nikki" Peters is the Park Supervisor. 312 747-2703.
At South Region, now dispersed but with main hq at Tarkington Park. Region Manager Maya Solis. Region phone remains 312 747-7661. Area Manager Farah Tunks, 773 324-0540. Marketing and Communications: Yeama Vincent-Neal.

Did You Know? Nichols has the second largest in program sign up and attendance in the whole South Region, next only to South Shore Cultural Center. And there has been no drop off in its popularity, full to the brim.


Blast from the past- the fieldhouse is born and gardens and plaza created

1st picture by George Rumsey c. February, 2003, rest Gary Ossewaarde, summer, 2003. The cinder block wall and tyvek was followed by brick.
See North end (Murray addition) Planning; North Addition views, design, controversy; East Addition views including murals


North end (Murray addition) under construction 2003 A peak over the 53rd St. lilac hedge to Nichols fieldhouse under construction


Nichols fieldhouse and old formal garden Nichols fielhouse and old formal garden

Volunteer days- see below

Jumpstart's event at Nichols, part of nationwide program that had parents reading to kids "The Little Engine That Could" was a huge success.


Hot Topics and news

Watch for an exciting announcement about the 4th on 53rd Parade and Picnic and the Summer Concerts




See complete original Garden Fair
proposal with view.


Trash overflowing 2004. Ongoing since then: The cans keep disappearing and periodically trash pickup stops. The NPAC again asked for help early in 2017.


Trash: Nichols asks,
"What will it take to get this problem fixed?" Just replacing Waste Management with Flood was not enough! See the Trash Change page.

"where are the cans going?"

Southeast Region office, 312/747-7661. Be sure also to call Van Bistrow of the Trash Committee, 773 667-1808.

Trash overflowing-an undending problem Trash overflowing-an undending problem


Park Work Days-