Douglass Park Patch Chat: Resources and References

The Gyllenhaal family presented a Zoom Patch Chat about Douglass Park (Chicago) on July 19, 2022.

Here’s the link to the YouTube recording of that presentation:

Here are the slides we used during the presentation (66.5 MB PDF):

The rest of this post includes some of the resources and references we used to develop our talk.

Douglass Park’s eBird hotspot page:

Nature in Douglass Park Facebook group:

Here’s the Chicago Park District’s Douglass Park page:

This Wikipedia entry discusses the history of Douglass Park:

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Becoming Douglass, Not Douglas, Park

In 2020, after several years of work, students from the Village Leadership Academy final persuaded the Chicago Park District Board to rename Douglas Park in honor of Frederick Douglass and Anna Murray Douglass. (Block Club Chicago, Sep 9, 2020)

Here’s another Block Club Chicago article, dated Sep 22, 2020: “How Did These Students Get The City To Change The Name Of Douglass Park? They Built Collective Power And Didn’t Back Down.”

Douglass Park’s Rarest Bird, a Small-billed Elaenia

From the American Birding Association blog, April 18, 2012: “#ABArare Elaenia sp. in Illinois

CBS Chicago Radio brief interviews, April 19, 2012: “South American Bird Overshoots During Migration, Ends Up In Chicago

David Sibley on the initial difficulties identifying the Elaenia to species: “In praise of mystery

The Gyllenhaal’s hometown paper’s take on the whole thing, April 2024, 2012: “OPRF teens discover another rare bird

The Illinois Ornithological Records Committee finally accepted the identification of the bird as a Small-billed Elaenia in March, 2020:

Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area Canada Goose Project (Neck-collared geese)

Description of the project:

Outdoor Illinois Wildlife, November 1, 2018: “Canada Geese: Chicago Parks to the Canadian Tundra

ScienceDaily, October 23, 2017: Smart birds: “Canada geese give hunters the slip by hiding out in Chicago

Dorak, B.E., M.P. Ward, T.P. Lyons, H.M. Hagy, M.W. Eichholz, and B.E. Washburn. 2017. Survival and habitat selection of Canada Geese during autumn and winter in metropolitan Chicago, USACondor 119(4):787–799. 

Askren, Ryan J.; Dorak, Brett E.; Hagy, Heath M.; Eichholz, Michael W.; Washburn, Brian E.; and Ward, Michael P. (2019) “Tracking Canada Geese Near Airports: Using Spatial Data to Better Inform Management,” Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 13 : Iss. 2 , Article 18.

Leg-marked Geese in Douglass and Other Chicago Parks

Eric’s Neighborhood Nature blog post, October 22, 2015: “Returns of the Winter Geese

In answer to one of the questions I raised during the talk, Canada Geese do recognize parents and siblings after they are grown up. They may join them during migration and where they winter:

Natural Area Development and Maintenance

CBS Chicago article about the National Football League’s 100th anniversary wildflower plantings by the mini-golf course, Sep 2, 2019: “Goodell, Former NFL Players Turn Out To Clean Up Douglas Park, Reward Community Leader.”

USA Today article, Sep 4, 2019: “NFL’s latest Huddle for 100 cleans up Douglas Park

The Decline of Insect Populations and Its Effect on Birds

Bird declines tied to fewer insects.” Dana Kobilinsky. The Wildlife Society. March 2, 2021.

Are declines in insects and insectivorous birds related?” Douglas W Tallamy & W Gregory Shriver. Ornithological Applications, Volume 123, Issue 1, 1 February 2021,

Insect Freefall: What Does It Mean for Birds?” Howard Youth. BirdCalls: News and Perspectives on Bird Conservation. August 29, 2019.

Douglass 18 Mini-Golf Course

Chicago Park District page with open hours and other information:

Douglass 18 Facebook page:

Block Club Chicago, May 13, 2022: “Douglass 18 Mini Golf Will Soon Reopen With Concession Stand And Patio Dining At West Side Park

Free Spirit Media, Dec 13, 2021: “Douglass 18 Mini Golf team Discuss First Season and Future” (podcast)

Sense of Place References and Resources

Sense of Place.” Jennifer Adams, David Greenwood, Mitchell Thomashow, & Alex Russ. The Nature of Cities. 26 May 2016.

A Sense of Place: Human Geography in the Early Childhood Classroom.” Pamela Brillante & Sue Mankiw. Young Children. July 2015. Vol. 70, No. 3.

Impacts of Huge Music Festivals South of Ogden in Douglass Park

You can get frequent updates on this issue at the Concerned Citizens of Riot Fest in Douglass Park Facebook group:

Block Club Chicago, published this article on June 21, 2022: “With Much Of Douglass Park Closed To Public For 3 Music Fests, Some Residents Say ‘Almost The Entire Summer Is Ruined’

There’s also an online petition you can sign to express your opposition to the music festivals:

They are very close to 1,000 signatures, so you may be the one to send them over the top!

Here are links to learn more about the history of the community groups organizing against the music festivals that take over the south end of the park:

In English:

In Spanish:ñol

Finally, you are invited to the upcoming Trash Talk #3 meet-up on Sunday July 24th at noon at 18th and California Ave.:

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