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William W. Powers State Recreation Area, located on Wolf Lake on Chicago’​s far southeast side at the Illinois-Indiana state line, offers opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy nature in the city for residents and visitors. A 160-acre recreation area was acquired by the State of Illinois in 1947 and became known as the Wolf Lake State Recreation Area [renamed in 1965 to honor memory of William W. Powers, a former state legislator, who was well-known for his deep interest in the promotion of recreation for the residents of his district]. Other acquisitions have now increased the area to 580 acres, of which 419 acres are water.

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Indian Ridge Marsh is 154 acres of native marsh and wet prairie habitat in the Calumet region. The park is split into a north and a south section. Both sections have parking lots and walking trails. The trails provide fantastic views of the marsh ponds, ponds that provide important habitat for local wetland birds.
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Park 564 “Big Marsh” is a 278 acre property on the southeast side of Chicago in the area commonly known as the Calumet Area Reserve. Once an active industrial property, the site was acquired by the Park District in 2011 and opened as a new public park in 2016. The vision of Big Marsh is to provide a new type of recreation in Chicago that marries habitat restoration with public use. The eco-recreation elements are located primarily on existing slag fields where plants have a hard time growing and good habitat creation is unlikely. Other acreage is reserved for more passive recreation including bird-watching and nature walking.  All acreage is being developed to protect or further enhance the overall natural habitat of the park property including sensitivity to flora, fauna, and wetlands.
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