Join me, the Chicago Park District and members of the Willye White Park Advisory Council as we cut the ribbon on the amazing new playground at Willye White Park. The ribbon cutting ceremony takes place tomorrow (Saturday, August 1st) at 9:00 a.m.behind the Willye White Park Fieldhouse, 1610 W. Howard (at Ashland). Community festivities preceding the ceremony begin at 8:30 a.m.
The new playground was selected through a community application process administered by Friends of the Parks, a park advocacy organization, dedicated to preserving, protecting, and improving Chicago’s parks. I announced the initiative in March of 2013 and urged neighbors to submit their favorite playground for consideration. In true Rogers Park fashion, the neighbors were enthusiastic and well-organized. As a result, every 49th Ward playground submitted for consideration was selected.
After consulting with community residents, the Park District submitted several optional designs for each park with the final decision made by a vote of the community, in the spirit of the 49th Ward’s participatory budgeting process (see photo on left).
The parks selected in the first round included Goldberg Park, 7043 N. Glenwood (at Greenleaf), Lazarus Park, 1257 W. Columbia, Matanky Park, 6925 N. Ridge (at Morse) and Paschen Park, 1932 W. Lunt (at Damen). Construction of those new playgrounds was completed last summer.
In addition to Willye White Park, the parks selected in Round 2 include Hartigan Beach Park, 1050 W. Albion (at the Lake), Howard Beach Park, 7519 N. Eastlake (at Howard and the Lake), Langdon Park, 1754 W. Albion (at Ravenswood), and Pottawattomie Park, 7340 N. Rogers (at Winchester). All of these new playgrounds either have been completed or are about to be completed this summer.
In addition, Touhy Park, 7348 N. Paulina (at Jarvis), received a new playground in 2013, courtesy of my Participatory Budgeting process.
Once construction of this second round of new playgrounds is completed, nearly every old playground in Rogers Park will have been replaced in the last three years. In all, our kids now have 10 brand new playgrounds to enjoy!