Sunshine Playscape

Welcome to the new world of playgrounds!

Well, it isn’t really “new,” in fact, the Sunshine Playscape at the North Pond Nature Sanctuary is all about getting back to basics. For many of us,  our fondest childhood memories that center around play, are rooted in the freedom of exploring the outside world. In those unsupervised moments of watching a bird build a nest, jumping in a pile of autumn leaves, or chasing fireflies in those precious few minutes before sunset and then taking them home in a jar.


Thank You For Helping Us Change The Way Children Play!

Over 100 individuals, families, and businesses contributed to making the Sunshine Playscape possible.  Thank you!

The Sunshine Playscape offers a unique play experience that blends the best of traditional playground equipment with nature-play elements.  The Playscape is designed to inspire curiosity and connection with the natural world and features native trees and plants found throughout the North Pond Nature Sanctuary.  Medical research has found that regular exposure to outdoor nature settings can reduce ADHD symptoms, increase standardized test scores, improve critical thinking, and reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It’s not bad for parents and grandparents either!

The Sunshine opened to the public on Saturday, September 21 as a part of our annual Walk the Pond Family Party.  Over 300 persons joined in the celebration.  Be sure to visit Chicago’s newest playground soon!

Ninety percent of the funding for the Playscape came from private donations, with the Chicago Park District supporting the rest.  While the Playscape is open, donations are still being accepted.   All individual donors of $1,000 or more and business donors of $2,500 or more will be recognized with embossed brass leaves on the Playscape’s donor wall.  Visit the Sunshine Playscape Top-Off Campaign Page for more information or contact Doug Widener at:

Donate Today

Please visit our crowdfunding page to donate or start a fundraiser on our behalf.

Donor leaf example.

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Thank you to our generous Playscape donors!

Carol and Larry Levy
Peter Lehman and Family
Wilson Garling Foundation
Jennifer Chow, Steven Minisini, and Family
Arnold Family
Cathy Watt and Joel Speer
Serope Kalpakjian
Sarah Rae Murphy
Brad and Susan Oltmanns
Patricia A. Teplitz
Bob and Rita Havey
Ravindra and Hymavathy Kandula
Lori Sugarman
Linda and Ron Wolf
Pat Aluisi and John Montague
Steve and Jill Smart
Thomas Chibucos
David W. Ruttenerg
Margee Elias
Alison Lewitas
Mary Shanly Watts
Luisa Marcelino Backman
Janalee Nielson
Alex and Elaine Eun
Janis and John Notz
Megan Sleight
Ravindra and Hymavathy Kandula
Margot and Tom Pritzker Family Foundation
Julie and Evan Jahn
Baskin Family Foundation/Judy Wise
Diane Heller
Ronald and Anstiss Krueck
Lori and Steve Kaufman
Marc and Angela Levenstein
Brian and Susan Fargo
Jamie and Bruce Hague
Tom and Janet Sontag
Candice Dias
Max Meyers
Nancy Gidwitz
Karen Howell
Marsha and Hassan Nagib
Jack Butler and John VanderLinden
Matthew Pecorelli
The Everest Family
Tom and Lisa Groos
Ana de Diego
Heiji Black
Debra Hadelman
Cheryl and Jack Neal
James and Danielle Hoeg
Don and Kristina Pierce and Family
John and Susan Papadopoulos
Kathleen Sargent
Walk the Pond 2018
Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation
Helene and Norm Raidl
Steven and Catherine Jacob Family Foundation
Gayle and Chip Everest
Andrea and Brian Chadwick
D. Elizabeth Price
James Amend
Heidi and Jim Suprenant
Jodi McNally
Melinda and James Munson
Carey and Cindy Brunelli
Tom and Jane Heiden
Fran and Marv Levy
Donnan and Stacey Steele
Doug Widener and Mark Becker
Associated Bank
Martha and Todd Martin
Suzanne Wychocki
Eric Rothfeder
Tom and Bette Sturges
Claire Millet
Eric Steele
Ariele Scodro
Megan Smith
Kevin Li
Robert and Ellen Rosen
Dr. and Mrs. Paul A. Levine
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