Smile Politely

Year of the Park, A to Z: Firefighter’s Park, Champaign


Firefighter’s Park


305 S Randolph St, Champaign, IL 61820


Obtained by the Park District in 1989, this little sitting pocket park is intended to honor the valor and bravery of our local firefighters and it does so nicely. Filled with benches to sit and eat a lunch to go, and flanked with gorgeous redbud and Chinese beech trees, this Downtown respite is shady and calm. The sign for the park is missing an apostrophe. It is hard for me to sit here and type this and not feel my teeth itch a bit. I cannot fix it, cannot change it. I have to live with the idea that this sign is missing an apostrophe. Please, wish me well. 

a photo of firefighter's park featuring a flower bed in the middle and sitting benches around them

Photo by Maddie Rice. 


More of these please. Fact is, the more green space you can inject into a Downtown commercial district, the higher the property value, the better you can bank on taxes coming back through to preserve and improve upon everything. I always thought that this park, along with the little tiny sitting space on Chester and First St. in Midtown next to Plant Mode, would be perfect for chess / checkers tables. People play chess like big time. So, it would stand to reason that they might want to play it in a park, preferably with aging people, wearing polyester, or with nice hats, and a sharp demeanor. After all, it’s chess in a park. I didn’t write the script, I am just reporting. 

Anyhow, check out some of this gorgeous bark on these trees. 

A photo of two red bud trees with sitting benches behind them

Photo by Maddie Rice.

Seriously, just mesmerizing, especially with a couple milligrams of sativa in you.

a close up of the bark on a Chinese beech tree

Photo by Maddie Rice. 
Top Image Maddie Rice. 

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