Columbus Park Guided Tour
Garden Club of OPRF Field Trip
On Tuesday, October 6, the Garden Club of Oak Park & River Forest sponsored a walk-through Columbus Park. Jette Castro, along with her husband Tony, led the trip for the maximum group of 15. It was a beautiful fall day and most attendees had never visited that part of Columbus Park. You can find a fascinating read about what landscape architect Jens Jensen called, “Balm for the Human Soul,” at NPS.gov , which is the National Park Service official site. Enter in the search space: “Chicago’s Columbus Park.” If you only have limited time, we recommend scrolling down, past the teachers’ section to the section called “Determining the Facts.” Here you will find the fascinating history of the park. I think you will agree that the historic landmark status granted in 2003 is deserved. The group’s take away was one question: “Who knew?”
It was a beautiful fall morning and Jette (& Tony) did an excellent job helping us find birds. Collectively the following birds were observed: a Great Blue Heron, a Red-tailed Hawk, a Northern Flicker, a Brown Creeper, a Northern Cardinal, American Robins, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Wood ducks, Canada Geese, Mallards and sparrows. Club members also enjoyed the flowers like Blue Astors. We learned that the park district found that planting tall plants at the water’s edge keep the geese from walking, and pooping, on their way to the water. Instead they fly directly to the pond. We ended the tour at the Refrectory building patio where we admired its mural from afar as well as the building’s architectural designs. Columbus Park was inaugurated in 1920. According to the 100th Anniversary book, the group learned that Jens Jensen gave a presentation on “Landscape Gardening” to the Garden Club of OPRF in February of 1919.