Chicago Cubs and Alderman Tom Tunney Announce Major Donations to Playlot, Urge Residents to Join in Final Push
CHICAGO, June 10, 2017 – Due to the generosity of the Chicago Cubs, 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney, the Chicago Park District and neighborhood businesses and residents alike, the Juniper Park Advisory Council (JPAC) broke ground today on the playlot located at the corner of Waveland and Greenview Avenues. The park will be the premier nature play park in the city, featuring several “nature play” elements unlike anything currently in the area. Some the of elements include a new water feature, a sand play area with buried fossils, two slides, a revolving carousel climber, a modern basket swings for all ages, nature and sensory paths, a statue of Clark the Cub and more.
“We are so grateful to the Chicago Cubs organization, Alderman Tunney, other major donors and this incredible community for working together to achieve the funding needed to renovate this great little park,” said Council President David Genc. “Our plan has been to provide a world-class playground. Not only will it be safe, but it will be an unbelievable place to build memories, be active and connect as a community. Thanks to the support we’ve received, we are making this vision a reality.”
Alderman Tunney turned the Council’s vision into a reality in less than a year. Not only did he first identify the need to renovate Juniper Park, he secured the initial contribution of $250,000 from M&R Development and Bucksbaum Retail Developers, the developers behind Addison & Clark and arranged for the Park District to contribute $250,000. The Cubs’ generous donation of $200,000 closed the gap, allowing the project to break ground this year.
“Juniper Park was in dire need of repair. Not a day goes by when the park is not filled with young families enjoying the outdoors. I am proud to say that it will soon be one of the premier nature play parks in the City,” said Alderman Tunney.
The latest designs can be found on the playlot’s website, www.juniperparkchicago.org. Renovations will begin mid-July and are slated to last 12 weeks.
The Chicago Cubs have generously donated $200,000, which includes a permanent bronze statue of Clark the Cub.
“Cubs Charities is proud of our record of giving to the Lakeview community,” said Cubs Executive Vice President of Community Affairs Mike Lufrano. “The Southport Neighborhood is home to many of our fans and a revitalized Juniper Park will help keep our community vibrant and provide a safe space to play year-round. We look forward to seeing the renovations completed and to watching families enjoy this community asset for years to come.” Cubs Charities is among the largest private annual donors to the Chicago Park District.
Dairy Queen (at 3811 N. Southport Ave.) was the first local business to support the cause, donating net profits during Saturday sales at the Southport Arts Festival, held in July, 2016. Jeff Lowe, of the Lowe Group, and Jenny Ames, of Coldwell Banker, also made significant contributions to the renovations.
“The leadership of our Alderman, and the generosity of the Cubs, other businesses and residents has been tremendous, and we will all benefit from the improvements this playground will make to our neighborhood,” said Jill Peters, Council Secretary.
FINAL PUSH FOR COMMUNITY SUPPORT
If residents would like to still participate in the renovation via a brick or bench order, they are urged to do so immediately. Order forms will only be accepted until June 30, 2017, and can be found at www.juniperparkchicago.org.
HOW TO SUPPORT
- “Like” and follow park progress on Facebook: www.facebook.com/JuniperParkChicago
- Donate by buying a brick or bench before June 30.
- Drop the JPAC a message at www.juniperparkchicago.org if you are interested in volunteering in upcoming park initiatives.
About Juniper Park
This small park is located in the Lakeview neighborhood (two blocks east of Ashland Avenue, ½ block north of Addison Street). Before the creation of Juniper Park, the surrounding section of the Lakeview neighborhood had suffered from a shortage of parkland. In 1973, the Chicago Park District acquired the park property from the Waveland Avenue Congregational Church, designating it Juniper Park shortly thereafter. Juniper Park was one of a number of properties the park district named for trees and plants at this time. Junipers are small, pyramid-shaped evergreen trees or shrubs. More: http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks/Juniper-Playlot-Park/
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