EAST SIDE — Several community groups are coming together for a free youth jump roping event Saturday.
Faith in Place, a faith-based environmental nonprofit organization, is partnering with other local groups to host its second community Double Dutch Fest 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at Big Marsh Park, a rehabilitated eco-recreation site at 11559 S. Stony Island Ave.
Registration for Saturday’s event is online.
There will be a Double Dutch workshop for people who don’t know how to jump rope and rope turners for those looking to jump Double Dutch, organizers said.
Princess Harris, the sustainable food and land use senior coordinator at Faith in Place, is organizing this year’s event, which she said was inspired by her upbringing.
“I thought about what I did when I was young, and that was Double Dutch,” Harris said. “That was something that kept me outside that I enjoyed doing, it brought a sense of community, a sense of closeness — I knew everyone in the neighborhood.
“Jumping rope was something that broke all barriers. You can be turning rope and someone will stop their car and be like, ‘Can I get a jump?’ Or someone will be walking by, ‘Can I get a jump?’ So I was like, ‘That’s what I’m gonna do.’”
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There will also be a performance from youth Double Dutch team the Jumping Juniors 12:30-1 p.m., breakdance performances, opportunities to bike ride along the trails at Big Marsh, poetry, comedy, lawn games and a Mexican food truck from El Rancho restaurant.
Participants can also learn about Faith in Place’s Migration and Me program, which has participants share stories of family migration while learning about the migration patterns of the monarch butterfly.
Bike rentals are free for the first 25 people Saturday. Subsequent bike rentals are $5 each.
The event will be emcee’d by Devan J and DJ’d by DJ Antonio Cesar. In the event of rain, the festival will be rescheduled for Aug. 13.
Faith in Place regularly works with neighborhood churches to get neighbors engaged with nature and environmental issues on the Southeast Side, an area known for its past as a hub of the Chicago steel industry.
Harris and other event organizers said they hope local youth and other community members can think about eco-recreation and local environmental justice education on a personal level. By keeping the event free, Harris also hopes it will be more accessible to community members, she said.
“I just feel like the reason I want to bring Double Dutch back and have people try to find a sense of community is because I know with all the violence that’s going on and everything, it’s kind of tragic,” Harris said. “I just want to say that with Double Dutch and being out and getting to know your neighbors and everything — you’re less likely to do harm to people that you know, and I just really want to get back to that era.”
Other organizations participating include the Southeast Side Chicago Park District, Friends of Big Marsh, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Forest of Preserves of Cook County, We Keep You Rollin’ and the Nature Conservancy.
Those with questions can email Harris at email@example.com.
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