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Park opens where old airport stood

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CHICAGO >> What was once an airport on Chicago’s lakefront is now a park featuring nature trails, rolling hills and native plantings.

The 40-acre expanse of green space officially opened Friday on the southern half of Northerly Island, which hosted the 1933 World’s Fair before it became an airport.

It’s been 12 years since then-Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, citing security concerns following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, sent backhoes to carve X’s into the Meigs Field runway.

The city spent $9.7 million to build the park, which features man-made hills, a 5-acre lagoon and a winding bike and pedestrian trail.

Canyonlands’ clear night sky touted

MOAB, Utah >> Canyonlands National Park in eastern Utah is being recognized for its dark skies and lack of light pollution.

Park officials announced this week that Canyonlands was named as an “International Dark Sky Park” by the Arizona-based International Dark-Sky Association.

It’s one of 26 parks recognized by the group for park efforts to preserve views of the night sky.

Park officials said they installed light bulbs and fixtures that minimize glare and limit light pollution and that 100 percent of the park’s bulbs and fixtures are considered “night sky friendly.”

The National Park Service is planning a special astronomy event at the park on Friday to commemorate the dark-sky designation.

Relics returning to Ellis Island

NEW YORK >> Artifacts that were removed from the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration after Superstorm Sandy are being returned following completion of a $39 million project to protect the facility from future storms. The exhibits are expected to be fully restored by early October.

The National Park Service said more than a million archival documents and artifacts that were moved to a museum storage facility in Maryland were to be returned Thursday.

The project included moving mechanical and electrical systems above flood elevations and upgrading humidity controls in the museum.

Many of the items were donated by families across the country. They include shoes worn by immigrants from Austria, China, Albania, Greece and other countries.


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