By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
Construction has begun on the first 50 of 300 of Chicago’s aging playgrounds, which include Harold Washington, Bessie Coleman and Jackson parks.
Earlier this month Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Park District (CPD) CEO Michael P. Kelly broke ground on a new playground at Harding Playground, 3921 W. Division St. (see playground rendering below). Bessie Coleman Park, 5445 S. Drexel Ave.; Harold Washington Park, 5200 S. Hyde Park Blvd. and Jackson Park, 6401 S. Stony Island Ave., are expected to have similar playground equipment installed in the next few months. Upgrades to the first 50 playgrounds will be complete by fall, 2013. Over the next five years, the Chicago Park District will rebuild, repair and refurbish 300 playgrounds in communities across Chicago.
In order to prioritize equipment replacement, CPD worked with the Friends of the Parks organization to seek community input and determine those parks and neighborhoods’ in greatest need. The first round of parks won top-of-the-list rankings through a Chicago Plays competition sponsored by Friends of the Parks.