Filed Under Champaign

Douglass Park

Douglass Park is located in northeast Champaign, where it spans 12.5 acres.

Originally 3.5 acres, some of which were donated by Vern A. Roland, Anna K. Roland and Lela Collins and some of which were purchased 1931. In 1958, 1.1 acres were purchased and sold to the school district for Washington School. In 1961, 2 acres were purchased. In 1970, 7 more acres were purchased. Finally in 1997, .6 acres were purchased through from the City of Champaign through 1966 Bond Funds in order for the parking lot to be installed.

Douglass Park has a parking area, picnic areas, outdoor grills, restrooms, drinking fountains, and a walking path .43 miles long (installed 2007).

For outdoor recreation the park has a playground, an unlighted baseball field, 2 lighted basketball courts, and a soccer field.

In the winter, sledding is permitted on the hill.

In July of 1941 the Douglass Community Service Center Committee was formed to address the inadequate, segregated facilities that existed for the black community at the time. Mass fundraising efforts were initiated, and by 1943 the Committee, with support from the black community, acquired the land adjacent to Douglass Park as well as $14,500 in donations from individuals and organizations such as the Home and War Chest Organization, the City of Urbana, and the City of Champaign Recreation Department. The federal government agreed to provide an additional $18,500 after the local community had met its fundraising goal. Construction for the new Douglass Community Center started February 18th, 1945 and was dedicated September 23rd, 1945. The original construction cost was $35,000 (Champaign Park District, 2007). The community center houses a full size gymnasium that has 6 basketball hoops and a stage.

The Douglass Annex was previously the Gagliano IGA Supermarket. The Champaign Park District acquired the property and building from the City of Champaign in 1970 and the annex opened in 1978. The annex houses a large activity room, computer lab, kitchen, combined lounge and craft room, television, and piano.

The Douglas Library, a branch of the Champaign Public Library, is located adjacent to the park. It offers books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, video games, and audiobooks to its 7,000 visitors per month. There are also computers with free internet access and workstations available. Construction in 1996 was made possible through an Illinois State Library Construction Grant (Champaign Park District, 2007).


general view with a building and a sculpture amongst trees Image courtesy Champaign Park District


600-604 E Eureka St, Champaign, IL 61820


“Douglass Park,” ExploreCU, accessed January 27, 2022,