Chicago Boulder

Reaching New Heights in Chicago 

The North Face and The Trust for Public Land Unveil Second Public Climbing Boulder at Chicago Park District’s Palmisano Park

The Trust for Public Land, The North Face, and the Chicago Park District unveiled three free, public climbing boulders in Palmisano Park on Chicago’s Southwest Side on September 21, 2019.

The boulders create a space for the local community to gather and a new venue to enjoy the outdoors and explore. The climbing boulders are the second public climbing boulder installation from The North Face as part of the Walls Are Meant for Climbing initiative, which builds free boulders across the U.S. to make climbing more accessible in communities that lack such amenities. In the heart of the Bridgeport neighborhood, Palmisano Park is a 26-acre park that is accessible to 24,000 people in one of Chicago’s most diverse communities, serving as a launching point for the creativity inherent in climbing that we will bring to our new climbing boulder.

“Walls Are Meant for Climbing is about uniting communities and encouraging people to work together to overcome challenges and push their boundaries,” said Eric Raymond, Director of Social Impact and Advocacy at The North Face. “By bringing public climbing boulders to Palmisano Park, we’re creating new, accessible climbing opportunities, supporting future climbers and the Chicago community.” 

Palmisano Park and the Southwest Side of Chicago were selected for the second climbing boulder installation based on the community’s interest in new activities and its home within the beautiful Palmisano Park green space. What really stood out was the rich history of the park; it has transformed many times over - from an ancient coral reef dating back 400 million years, to a rock quarry and landfill, to most recently, a community-focused, sustainably-designed green space.

"We are proud to be partnering with The North Face and the Chicago Park District to cultivate a love of the outdoors in the next generation of explorers and adventurers," said Aaron Koch Chicago Area Director for The Trust for Public Land,"We hope these boulders encourage folks to get outside and play in the park, and we are thrilled to be a part of the Bridgeport neighborhood."

“Thanks to The North Face and Trust for Public Land for bringing this incredible new feature to Palmisano Park,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly. “These climbing boulders will create opportunities for children and their families to be active, explore, push their limits, but more importantly, have fun together.”

When designing the boulders, we took inspiration from the community and space where the boulders will permanently live.

We hope that with every climbing boulder we open in a new community across the country, it will serve as a safe and activity-focused space to bring the community - all ages and all backgrounds - together. 

Learn more about Walls are Meant for Climbing.

About The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit

About the Chicago Park District

The Chicago Park District is the 2014 Gold Medal Award winner, recognized for excellence in park and recreation management across the nation. For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,300 acres of parkland, more than 600 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 12 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY.

About The North Face®    

The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, LLC, was founded in 1966 with the goal of preparing outdoor athletes for the rigors of their next adventure. Today we are the world's leading outdoor brand, creating athlete-tested, expedition-proven products that help people explore and test the limits of human potential. We protect our outdoor playgrounds and minimize our impact on the planet through programs that encourage sustainability. The North Face products are available at premium and specialty retail sporting goods stores globally and we are headquartered in California on a LEED Platinum-certified campus. For more information, please visit