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Garfield Park Lagoon Paddling Trip Offers 'Another View' Of West Side Park

By Mina Bloom | September 14, 2017 9:00pm | Updated on September 19, 2017 11:47am
 Paddlers can expect to see a variety of birds and vegetation on the excursion, set for Sept. 22.
Paddlers can expect to see a variety of birds and vegetation on the excursion, set for Sept. 22.
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GARFIELD PARK — Nature lovers and curious neighbors alike are invited to canoe through Garfield Park's lagoon next week for "another view" of the sprawling West Side park.

The free excursion, put on by nonprofit Openlands in partnership with Wilderness Inquiry and the Chicago Park District, is set for 3-7 p.m. Sept. 22. Paddlers should meet at 3 p.m. at Garfield Park's Gold Dome Field House, 100 N. Central Ave.

Laura Barghusen, associate greenways director for Openlands, said paddlers should expect to see birds, fish, butterflies and even turtles on the canoe trip.

The lagoon is home to a number of birds like the northern cardinal and American robin and fish such as the bluegill carp and large-mouth bass, she said.

"In my experience, paddling is really good for bird viewing," Barghusen said. "When we were in the park last year, I remember we saw some of the birds that are on our bird watch checklist."

Barghusen and her team will lead the paddlers and point out animals and wildlife along the way.

"I tend to see more from the water than I do on land maybe because the view is better," she said. "You get another view of the park."

The primary goal of the paddling trip is to "connect everyone with the lagoon and the natural area regardless of their age, ability or experience level," she said.

Barghusen's team will also talk about the importance of keeping the lagoon and surrounding park clean. Information on stewardship opportunities will be provided.

For more information, and to register, email paddle@openlands.org or call 312-863-6253.