City Officials Cap Off Week of Park Investments 
to Coincide With the 10th Anniversary of Millennium Park

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Park District Chief Administrative Officer Tanya Anthony, Alderman Carrie Austin and members of the Washington Heights community today cut the ribbon on the new playground and other park improvements at Jackie Robinson Park.

“The new and improved Jackie Robinson Park is more than a safe place for kids to stay active,  it’s a place for friendships to form, for neighbors to get to know each other and for the community to come together,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This is a great example of the kind of investments we are making in neighborhoods all over to Chicago to build a stronger city, one community at a time.”

The new ADA accessible playground, part of Mayor Emanuel’s Chicago Plays! program, includes challenging play equipment for children aged two-12 years old. Other improvements include rubberized soft surfacing, pathway improvements, picnic tables and benches and landscaping. 

“I am pleased to present to the Jackie Robinson Park community and beyond the essential upgrades they’ve requested for quite a while,” said Alderman Austin. “I likewise thank the Mayor for his broad ranging commitment to improve all of the City’s park districts. I’m often quoted as saying we’re often overlooked because funding for services and improvements run out by the time they reach 99th Street. But today is a great day for our community and I value the potential this park facility and grounds holds toward reinvigorating the use of this vital recreational asset.”

The improvements to the park cost approximately $449,000, consisting of $350,000 in NATO funds and $114,000 in Chicago Park District funds.

The playground at Jackie Robinson Park is one of 103 playgrounds to be renovated this year under Mayor Emanuel’s Chicago Plays! program,  which is hailed as the most aggressive playground renovation in the country. The Chicago Plays! program was launched last spring by Mayor Emanuel, who announced that the Park District would rebuild, repair and/or refurbish 325 playgrounds in communities across Chicago over five years. Last year, 50 playgrounds were rehabilitated under the program. The Park District partnered with Friends of the Park to seek community input to prioritize locations.

This week, Mayor Emanuel, First Lady Amy Rule and the Chicago Park District have celebrated new investments in park facilities across the city, with the opening of an additional five new playgrounds at Cragin Park (Belmont Cragin), Montgomery Park (River North), Cornell Square Park (Englewood), Lucy Flower Park (Logan Square), and Cornell Square Park (New City), an announcement of an artificial turf development in Kelly Park (Brighton Park) and groundbreakings for a skate park in Grant Park (downtown), a track and field at Lindblom Park (Englewood) and a sports center (Morgan Park/Beverly).

For more information, or call 312.742.PLAY, 312.747.2001 (TTY).