Largest urban park in the contiguous U.S.A planned for Chicago

The Green Urbanist recently reported plans for the constructing of the largest urban park in the contiguous United States. Claiming Chicago as its home, this park project is reported to have $17 million in backing from the state of Illinois. The project aims to convert 140,000 acres of both under-used and post-industrial land into a public recreation zone. These acres lay along Chicago‘s southern rim. The working title for this park? The Millennium Reserve.

In an effort to preserve the Lake Calumet area, the Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, is hoping to add private funding to the project. The Millennium Reserve, if followed through with, will create hundreds of jobs and boost the local economy. While I love the idea of making use of land that is no longer in use, I hope the plan includes keeping at least a few of those charming post-industrial buildings around. I can imagine them now, gleaming from their renovations and welcoming park visitors with maps, information, and restrooms while stilling nodding to the area’s past as a historical token immersed in the to-be beautiful terrain.