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Urban GreenNature, Recreation, and the Working Class in Industrial Chicago$
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Colin Fisher

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469619958

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469619958.001.0001

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The Lithuanian Worker and the Lake Michigan Dunes

(p.1) Introduction
Urban Green

Colin Fisher

University of North Carolina Press

This introductory chapter highlights the importance of outdoor recreation for people living in industrialized and urban cities during the early twentieth century in America. It mentions the Sand Dunes National Park, a reserve located southeast of Chicago that featured massive wind-blown mounds of sand along the southern Lake Michigan shore. The park was formed from the demand of a signature wilderness park where people can interact with the nation’s frontier past. Additionally, the wilderness inspired artists and served as a vital laboratory for ecologists. The chapter describes how the park also had a different purpose—to serve the exploding immigrant and working-class population of Chicago. Contact with the dunes would restore and renew the tired industrial workers who toiled at monotonous jobs, serve as an alternative to unhealthy urban amusements, and Americanize the foreign born.

Keywords:   outdoor recreation, industrialization, urban cities, twentieth century, Sand Dunes National Park, Chicago, sand mounds, immigration, working-class, Americanization

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