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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced the kick-off of PlayStreets 2015. Starting Thursday, June 11th, the City of Chicago will host more than 150 special PlayStreets events throughout the summer for children and their families to get out and get active.
“I want every child in every neighborhood to get out and enjoy their community this summer,” said Mayor Emanuel. “PlayStreets provides our children and their families more opportunities to be active while having fun and staying safe while developing a healthy life style for the rest of their lives.”
At a PlayStreets event, traffic is closed off for three or more hours and the streets are transformed into an urban oasis featuring sports, games, bounce houses, dancing, fitness classes and more. Last year, more than 26,000 residents participated in 140 PlayStreets events.
Now in its fourth year, PlayStreets has grown to more than 150 events in 36 neighborhoods across Chicago: Albany Park, Archer Heights, Auburn Gresham, Austin, Avalon Park, Belmont Cragin, Bridgeport, Brighton Park, Cabrini, Calumet Heights, Chicago Lawn, Douglas, East Garfield Park, Englewood, Grand Boulevard, Hermosa, Humboldt Park, Kenwood, Lower West Side, Montclare, Morgan Park, North Lawndale, Oakland, Pilsen, Portage Park, Rogers Park, Roseland, South Chicago, South Lawndale, South Shore, Uptown, Washington Heights, Washington Park, West Garfield Park, and Woodlawn. The current schedule is available at PlayStreets.org.
Gads Hill Center, the Active Transportation Alliance, World Sport Chicago and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago are coordinating the events this year on behalf of CDPH. They will be working with more than 20 grassroots community partners to help host the events and empower residents to take back their streets for fun and fitness.
“Our goal is to create healthy residents,” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “PlayStreets is a part of our citywide strategy to encourage our youngest residents to live healthier lives and help them stay healthy down the road.”
PlayStreets is a key component of Healthy Chicago, the citywide public health agenda first launched by Mayor Emanuel and CDPH in 2011. Healthy Chicago outlines more than 200 strategies dedicated to transforming the health of the City through collaborative efforts. Mayor Emanuel and CDPH continue to promote strategic health efforts, including guaranteed recess for students, improved physical activity guidelines at childcare centers and increased access to healthy food options for families across Chicago.
PlayStreets’ community partners organizing this year’s events include: Breakthrough Urban Ministries, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Carole Robertson Center for Learning, Casa Norte, Centro Romero, Chicago Youth Center, Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Claretian Associates, Gads Hill Center, Garfield Park Community Council, Howard Area Community Center, IMPACT Family Center, Lamp, Local Motions, Mary Crane, New Life Center, New Life Community Church, Northwest Side Housing Center, Onward Neighborhood House, PEP, Primo Center for Women and Children, Rugby Illinois, Seventh Presbyterian Church, SGA Youth and Family Services, Southeast Community Development Corporation, Southwest Organizing Project, The Community Builders, Universidad Popular, VOICE, West Humboldt Park Fam/Community Dev Council, West Side Health Authority, Woodlawn Public Safety Alliance, and YMEN.
More information on Healthy Chicago and a full schedule of PlayStreets events can be found at www.CityofChicago.org/Health.