Trail Map at TPPF
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Just a few blocks from downtown Northbrook, Techny Prairie Park and Fields combines the beauty of nature with the excitement of ball fields and sports activities. The Park District transformed the site, formerly known as the Anetsberger property and the adjacent Meadowhill Park South, to create a one-stop recreational showpiece. The park contains a nine-hole golf course, ponds, lighted turf fields for soccer or lacrosse, four baseball diamonds, batting cages, a 22,000-square-foot skate park, educational and recreational trails, a playground, a lighted sled hill and several walking/jogging paths including a 5k race course. This park is home to the annual Liberty Loop 5k Run and Liberty Lap Fun Run held every year on the 4th of July.

Techny Prairie Park and Fields is part of our Tree and Bench Donation Program. Benches can be donated in an open space or can replace an existing aging one. Bronze donor recognition plaques are attached to each generously donated bench seatback. Tree donations include the planting of a 2‐3 inch‐diameter tree, with recognition noted by an engraved brass leaf that’s mounted to the Northbrook Leisure Center’s donation wall. For more information, you can check out the Tree and Bench Donation Program page.

Trail Through Time

In a peaceful corner of Techny Prairie Park and Fields, the Northbrook Park District has created a unique natural history walk to educate the community and benefit the environment. Along the West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River, visitors can walk the 14-acre Trail Through Time, discovering how early settlers developed a relationship with the land. The trail encourages a true interaction with nature. Stop by and travel back in time.

In the Trail Through Time, the Park District restored an old farm field and created an ecosystem, with a restored prairie and two wetlands that are home to mammals, birds and insects. As the site matures, the variety of species continues to increase. Highlighting the native landscapes are five main components:

  • a classic council ring
  • a boardwalk over the wetland
  • a Native American hunting camp
  • the foundation of a sod school house
  • a discovery garden in a formal setting

Each site has educational signs and suggested activities, in addition to providing space for spontaneous play.

Visitors can enjoy the Trail through active or passive experiences, including self-directed interpretation. Children can race through tall grasses and study insects, developing a deeper understanding of the environment as they learn how pioneers relied on natural resources. They can build houses out of sod and use plants for cooking and making toys. Guests can sit on the boardwalk and enjoy birds, plants and vistas rarely found in a suburban village. Photographers and painters can record the seasons through their art.

By restoring the land, providing a home for wildlife, offering a variety of experiences and illustrating life on the prairie, the Trail Through Time encourages exploration of the natural world. Children and adults who visit the Trail Through Time will leave with a better understanding of the spirit of the pioneers, the value of prairie, wetlands and open space, and the need for balance in the environment. The Park District has transformed an old field into a rich marshland habitat where learning can take place every day, with nature as the teacher.

Anetsberger Golf Course
Separating the active and passive uses of the park is the nine-hole Anetsberger Golf Course, a par-three course geared toward beginners and older players, as well as anyone who wants a shorter, more relaxed game. The Techny Prairie Center offers a golf shop and registration, fishing poles and bait, a patio/sitting area, vending machines and restrooms.

Techny Prairie Park and Fields Sled Hill Access
Entering the park from Techny Road on the south, drivers see the peaceful pond and lush greens of the golf course, framed by the breezeway at the Techny Prairie Center. Anets Drive is closed to traffic but available for bicyclists and walkers.

Paths
An extensive pathway system ties the sections of the park together with more than two miles of trails including a 5k course that connects to a pathway system in Meadowhill Park. The result is a continuous trail reaching Meadowbrook Elementary School, Northbrook Junior High School, Village Green and downtown Northbrook. The trail system is expected to link to an additional 40 miles of regional trails in the future.

Picnics
Near the golf course, a picnic shelter provides a covered area with two large grills, tables and a multi-level water fountain. The shelter can be reserved for cookouts and parties. Restrooms are available nearby in the Techny Prairie Center.

Shelters
Three covered shelters offer a place to rest or visit near the skate park, the ball diamonds and the playground. The design of the shelters reflects the architectural style of the Techny Prairie Center.

Sled Hill
The popular sled hill remains from the former Meadowhill Park South, along with a warming house, stairs and lights for evening use. The hill measures 28 feet in height.

Batting Cages
The Northbrook Park District has six batting cages in Techny Prairie Park and Fields to provide more intensive practice for ball players and a warm-up facility for teams. All six machines pitch baseballs, and four of the machines can pitch 12” softballs. Players can choose the speed of the balls.

History

In 1993, the Society of the Divine Word donated 47.82 acres to the Park District. That property became Meadowhill South Park, which held a formal dedication on June 22, 1996, and then became part of Techny Prairie Park and Fields in 2006.

The Grand Opening of Techny Prairie Park and Fields on September 30, 2006 represented the culmination of years of hopes and plans to offer a wide assortment of recreational activities at one location. In a referendum in March of 2000, residents overwhelmingly approved the Park District’s purchase of 60 acres that had been owned by the Anetsberger family. Six years later, after countless meetings, surveys, focus groups, public comments, drawings, bids and contracts, the idea became a reality. The Grand Opening featured four separate ribbon-cutting ceremonies to acknowledge the people who had supported and helped develop the park facilities.  In 2010, the District purchased the former Anetsberger Manufacturing plant. The Park District demolished the building, and it is now a six-acre parcel which is part of Techny Prairie Park and Fields.

Trail Through Time

Opened in July of 2004, the Trail was created with the help of two grants from the state of Illinois―$1.4 million from an Open Land Trust Grant and $200,000 from the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program. To preserve its undeveloped feeling, many of the materials used along the Trail are recycled. The path is made from ground asphalt reused from a nearby road resurfacing project. The boardwalk and its benches are constructed from a sawdust and plastic material that uses recycle plastic milk bottles.

Planned to accommodate a variety of users, from individuals to families and school groups, the Trail Through Time has won two awards―one for its unique design and development and another for environmental activities. In 2005, the Illinois Park and Recreation Association honored the project with an Outstanding Facility and Parks Award. And the Northbrook Park District received the 2008 Environmental Award from the National Parks and Recreation Association, Great Lakes Region (GLR). The GLR commended the Park District for being “active and exceptional” in furthering the goals and values of parks and recreation.

The Trail and boardwalk are fully accessible for people with disabilities, and all ages can share the experience.