As an unofficial lead-in to tonight’s 49th Ward participatory budgeting meeting, parents and kids who use Goldberg Park (Greenleaf and Glenwood) engaged in their own version of participatory budgeting last night by voting for their favorite design for the park’s new playground.
The Park District and I agreed to abide by the results of the plebiscite.
The vote came after a meeting in which three alternative designs for the new playground were presented to community residents and their children. To view the three design options up for a vote, CLICK HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.
Both kids and adult community members were allowed to vote at the meeting. Voting was also held earlier in the day for parents and children at Christopher House (see photo on right), a nearby pre-school that uses Goldberg Park on a daily basis.
Design option number 2 (see rendering below) emerged victorious after a “run-off” election between the first and second designs options. The presence of a teeter totter in option 2 played a decisive role in securing critical support for that option from many of the children who voted.
Rogers Park resident Rebecca Jansen-Weinberg, president of Baby Wranglers of East Rogers Park, played a critical role in securing community support for a new playground at Goldberg and organizing yesterday’s election.
Construction of the new playground is scheduled to begin immediately and will be completed by Thanksgiving, weather permitting. Goldberg is the first of four 49th Ward parks that are slated to receive new playgrounds through the Chicago Park District’s Chicago Plays! Playground Replacement Initiative.
The playgrounds were 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 last March 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.
The other 49th Ward parks slated for new playgrounds are Lazarus Park, 1257 W. Columbia, Matanky Park, 6925 N. Ridge (at Morse) and Paschen Park, 1932 W. Lunt (at Damen). The playgrounds will be selected through the same participatory process as was employed for the Goldberg playground.
The four playgrounds are in addition to a new playground at Touhy Park, which is funded through myParticipatory Budgeting process. Construction of the Touhy Park playground has begun and will be completed by next spring.
By this time next year, the 49th Ward will boast five brand new playgrounds for Rogers Park families.