For most of our history (and much of our prehistory), human life has been intricately connected with water. Our earliest organized communities arose around lakes and rivers, and we continue to be drawn to the water, from local river trails to beachfront resorts. It’s not just that we need water to live; being in—or even near—is a calming experience that demonstrates our connection with nature.
When you gotta go, you gotta go. And if there’s nowhere to go, you’re not going to hang around. Add young kids with potty emergencies to the mix, and there’s no question about it: Your park needs restrooms—especially if it’s a home to playgrounds, sports fields and any other amenity that encourages folks to stick around a while.
I had the pleasure of taking my usual walk with a new friend on my birthday this year. One block down the road, we turned onto my usual path into Blackwell Forest Preserve, through what we still call The Cenacle (though the former retreat was taken over by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County more than a d