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Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Park District General Superintendent Michael P. Kelly, Alderman Latasha Thomas, Alderman Ray Suarez, Alderman Joe Moreno and community members celebrated the opening of three new playgrounds at Cragin Park, Montgomery Park and Lucy Flower Park. These three playgrounds are among the 103 neighborhood playgrounds that will be built or refurbished across the City this year as part of Mayor Emanuel's Chicago Plays! program.
"Investments in our parks and playgrounds enrich Chicago communities and ensure that our kids have safe places to have fun and stay active," said Mayor Emanuel. ""Through this program, we're rebuilding Chicago so that every child in every neighborhood is within a 10 minute walk of a park or playground."
The Chicago Plays! playground renovation program was launched last spring by Mayor Emanuel, who announced that Chicago Park District would rebuild, repair and/or refurbish 325 playgrounds in communities across Chicago. Last year, 50 playgrounds were rehabilitated under the program.
"These new playgrounds are safe havens for children and families to come together and have fun," said Kelly. "We are excited to continue improving the quality of life in Chicago through this initiative."
In addition to a new playground, Lucy Flower Park has undergone additional renovations. An estimated $470,000 was invested in the park for upgrades that included rubberized soft surfacing, spray features, pathway improvements, lighting and landscaping. Alderman Joe Moreno contributed $140,000 through his aldermanic menu money. Donations also came from Trust for Public Land ($50,000) and Bucktown West community members ($70,000). The Chicago Park District contributed the remaining $210,000 for the completion of the project.
The program invests approximately $125,000 in new playground equipment at each park location for a total program cost of $37,500,000, providing a broad investment in capital projects throughout the City. The Park District partnered with Friends of the Park to seek community input to prioritize locations.
Mayor Emanuel's Chicago Plays! program underscores the major announcements the Mayor has previously made regarding parks, including a comprehensive plan to build and improve parks throughout the city.
Cragin Park is also one of many of Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks sites this summer. Upcoming events include Magic in the Parks, where mysterious "Magic of the Spellbinder" will delight all ages, on July 18 and a Movie in the Park featuring Despicable Me 2 on August 1.
The Night Out in the Parks series brings 1,000 events and programs to more than 250 neighborhood parks throughout the City. Chicago Park District has partnered with more than 50 artists and community organizations to expand and produce this successful initiative.
For more information, visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or call 312.742.PLAY, 312.747.2001 (TTY).
For more information about the Chicago Park District's more than 8,200 acres of parkland, 580 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 10 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, 10 bird and wildlife gardens, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or contact the Chicago Park District at 312.742.PLAY or 312.747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling 312.742.PLAY.
Photo Caption - 1: Mayor Emanuel joins community members while celebrating the ribbon cutting of Lucy Flower Park.
Photo Caption - 2: Mayor Emanuel joins community members while celebrating the ribbon cutting of Montgomery Park.
Photo Caption - 3: Mayor Emanuel joins community members while celebrating the ribbon cutting of Cragin Park.
Photo Credit: Patrick Pyszka // City of Chicago