Re-opening of the restrooms at Winnemac Park

The Chicago Park District


Winnemac Park is a beloved place in our community where many exercise, play sports, hold events, use the playground, or just go to relax and enjoy the beautiful nature trails and scenic prairie gardens.  

The newly invigorated Winnemac Park Advisory Council is focused on reopening the restrooms in Jorndt Stadium to create a better park experience for all park visitors. The Chicago Park District budget for 2024 is being decided now, and WPAC would like to see some of those resources allocated to Winnemac Park.

Advisory council members have frequently heard concerns regarding open restrooms, and as a result we have created this petition to formally present feedback to the Park District as part of the request for funding. Restrooms being open and available can make a huge difference in someone's experience visiting Winnemac Park. The petition will remain open for the next few months, and we plan to share evidence of the support for open bathrooms with the Park District during the 2024 Budget Hearing.  Please consider signing and sharing the petition to support the need for restrooms being reopened in Jorndt Stadium within Winnemac Park.  

Petition by

To: The Chicago Park District
From: [Your Name]

To: The Chicago Park District

Subject: Petition to reopen the restrooms within Jorndt Stadium for the patrons of Winnemac Park

Dear Chicago Park District Officials:

We, the members of the Winnemac Park Advisory Committee, along with numerous park visitors and Chicago residents, kindly request the reopening of the bathrooms within Jorndt Stadium for the patrons of Winnemac Park. Our community depends on the availability of these facilities, especially during peak hours when the park experiences maximum usage.

Winnemac Park is over 22 acres and houses two public schools, Jorndt Stadium, a soccer field, five baseball fields, two tennis courts, an accessible playground, and five nature areas. The importance of open public restrooms cannot be emphasized enough. Winnemac hosts Welles Park baseball and other sports leagues from spring through fall; performances of Shakespeare in the Park; outdoor film screenings; and activities at its children’s garden–to name just a few–and all manner of informal gatherings that increased during the COVID pandemic and have continued since. The park's restroom facilities should be open to everyone, including children, pregnant mothers, students enjoying the park after school, teams practicing and competing or any other park patrons. Without bathroom facilities, there tend to be two options: the nature areas, which in warmer months provide some semblance of privacy, or nearby alleys. It is very likely that every WPAC member along with nearby park residents would all have at least one story to tell of “interrupting” someone in the act of going to the bathroom using one of these option locations. Parents have been observed taking their kids into the prairies after being told that there is no nearby option for a restroom. This is simply unacceptable.

We urge the Chicago Park District to allocate more funds to Winnemac Park to ensure that the restrooms within Jorndt Field are able to be opened throughout the park's operating hours, including weekdays and weekends. We understand staffing challenges can impact the availability of amenities. We believe that budgetary allocations for unfilled positions may be used to cover these costs immediately while a plan for a sustained solution is implemented based on input provided at the 2024 Chicago Park District public budget hearing on September 20, 2023. We offer the signatures on this petition as evidence of the need for restrooms in Winnemac as well.

The availability of restrooms is not just about convenience; it's about safety, sanitation, dignity, health, and community well-being. We urge the Chicago Park District to prioritize this request and ensure that restroom facilities at Winnemac Park within Jorndt Field are open when the community needs them the most.
We hope to collaborate closely with the Chicago Park District to find a feasible solution and continue making Winnemac Park a welcoming space for all.

The Winnemac Park Advisory Committee