Applications for the Chicago Park District’s Chicago Plays! Playground Replacement Initiative are online now. This new program is designed to replace the playground equipment at 35 Chicago parks this year and help make playgrounds safer and more accessible.
The playgrounds selected this year will be based on a community application process administered by Friends of the Parks, a park advocacy organization, dedicated to preserving, protecting, and improving Chicago’s parks.
We have many playgrounds in the 49th Ward and in recent years we created or replaced three playgrounds–including Berger Park, Harold Washington Playlot and Willye White Park–and just last night neighbors signed off on the final plans for a new playground at Touhy Park, funded through myParticipatory Budgeting process. But many of our remaining playgrounds are in need of replacement.
Do you have a favorite playground in the 49th Ward that you believe needs to be replaced with new equipment? If so, here’s how you can get your playground on the list:
Download an application by CLICKING HERE or visiting the Chicago Plays page of the Friends of the Park website at:
The application deadline is Monday, April 15th.
If you and your organization are interested in participating in this program, please contact my office (email@example.com or 773-338-5796) as soon as possible. The application process requires an “Aldermanic Letter of Support.” In addition, I will actively advocate for the selection of your playground.
Please note: THE PROGRAM IS OPEN TO COMMUNITY AND NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATIONS ONLY. These organizations may include park advisory councils, adopt-a-park groups, scouting groups, block clubs, neighborhood associations, churches, business associations, or any other community-based organization.
The program is open to community organizations only because bothFriends of the Parks and the Chicago Park District believe that a new playground is an investment in the community and that residents should aid in the care and maintenance of neighborhood parks and playgrounds. Existing community organizations have the benefit of in-place community infrastructure that will facilitate residents adopting their playground and helping to maintain and keep clean the facility.
If you are not part of a community or neighborhood organization and want to participate in this application process, you need to join an existing organization and convince them to participate or organize your neighbors into forming your own block club or park advisory council. For help and advice in forming a block club or park advisory council, contact my 49th Ward Service Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-338-5796.
In addition to completing the application, communities that receive new playgrounds are expected to adopt their playground to help maintain and keep it clean. Organizations will have opportunities to help put the finishing touches on the new playgrounds when they are installed. Friends of the Parks and my office can provide on-going assistance in order to help your group organize community clean-up days throughout the year.
The winners of the competition will be announced later this spring.
An informational meeting will be held on Chicago’s Northside next week where you will have an opportunity to learn more about the application process and what kind of playgrounds can be expected. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 26th, 6:00 p.m., at Independence Park Bungalow, 3900 N. Hamlin (just south of Irving Park Road).
I look forward to working with you as we continue to improve our 49th Ward parks!