Friends of the Parks is proud to announce a new partnership with the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago that will see more than 300 playgrounds replaced!
There are 523 playgrounds located within the Chicago Park District. 300 of these parks have been identified as more than 15 years old and in need of replacement. In a partnership with the Chicago Park District and Friends of the Parks launched a community application to select 50 parks in 2013 to replace the playground equipment in these parks. In addition to the 15 playgrounds already planned this year a total of 65 playgrounds will be replaced.
50 playgrounds were selected through an application based process that allowed community organizations to nominate those playgrounds that are most in need. The program is open to community and neighborhood organizations such as Park Advisory Councils, Adopt-a-Park groups, scouting troops, block clubs, neighborhood associations, churches, Chamber of Commerce or any other community focused organization.
The program is only open to community organizations because both Friends of the Parks and the Chicago Park District believe that a new playground is an investment into the community and that residents should aid in the care and maintenance of neighborhood parks and playgrounds. Existing community organizations have the benefit of in-place community infrastructure that will facilitate residents adopting their playground and helping to maintain and keep clean the facility. Following the application process playgrounds will be chosen for renovation based on need, community input, and geographic equity.
As a partner in Chicago Plays, Friends of the Parks will manage the community engagement and outreach components of the program. One of our largest roles will be the management of the application process and acting as a technical assistance provider for community organizations. Additionally, during the redevelopment process Friends of the Parks will manage a series of workdays at ten of the playgrounds as well as providing continual technical assistance for communities that wish to organize volunteer opportunities.