September 10, 2014

Five Open Space Projects Approved for South and North Sides


Three park improvement and two garden projects will be made possible through financial measures approved today by City Council.

School Street Park, 1230 W. School St.
School Street Park in Lake View will be developed with water play areas, playground equipment, picnic and open space amenities through $141,000 in Open Space Impact Fees. Being built with the assistance of the Trust for Public Land, the half-acre, $1.3 million project will be partly financed with $945, 000 from Chicago Cubs Charities and $175,000 from the School Street Park Advisory Council. Upon completion, the site will be owned and managed by the Chicago Park District.

Open Space Impact Fees are generated by new residential development projects to accommodate open space needs within the City’s 77 formal community areas.

Dirksen Elementary School Garden, 8601 W. Foster Ave.
Dirksen School in the O’Hare community will be improved with a .2-acre school garden and outdoor classroom area through approximately $147,000 in Open Space Impact Fees. The fees will pay to for garden design costs, the removal of asphalt, and the installation of fencing, benches and native plants. The garden will be maintained by students, teachers, parents and community residents

43rd Street Pedestrian Bridge Access Park, 1163 E. 43rd St.
A new park space that provides access to a planned pedestrian bridge over Lake Shore Drive at 43rd Street in Kenwood will be partly financed with $173,000 in Open Space Impact Fees. The funds,along with a $600,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, will be used to acquire and landscape 0.9 acres of land that will provide entry to the new bridge. Planned by the Department of Transportation, the bridge will replace an existing, 75-year-old pedestrian crossing across Lake Shore Drive. Ninety percent of the $773,000 park project cost involves the site’s purchase from a local church.

Amundsen Park, 6200 W. Bloomingdale Ave.
Amundsen Park in Austin will be improved with a new athletic field and running track through $2.9 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) assistance. To be entirely funded by TIF, the Chicago Park District project will replace two existing baseball fields within the 14-acre park, which is named for Norwegian polar adventurer Roald Amundsen.

Merchant Park Garden, Keeler Avenue between Addison Street and Milwaukee Avenue
The Merchant Park Community Garden in the Irving Park community will be improved with a new fence, storage shed, walking path and water access through $60,000 in Open Space Impact Fees. Owned by NeighborSpace land trust, the 0.35-acre site is managed as a public garden by Irving Park residents.


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