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Mayor Emanuel Calls For New Park, Upgrades To 4 Old Parks

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday introduced plans for a new park on the city’s Near West Side, and four upgrades to parks on each side of the city.

The new park, called Trio Park, is planned for a half-acre site at 702 W. Wayman St. in the Fulton River District. The park will be financed in part with $500,000 in Open Space Impact fees, which are generated through revenues taken from new residential developments.

Trio Park will include a garden path, trees, other landscaping and perimeter fencing.

Meanwhile at Mather Park, located at Peterson and California avenues adjacent to the Mather High School campus in West Rogers Park, the playground equipment just off Richmond Street will be replaced with replaced with new ADA-compliant equipment and surfaces. The total cost would be $250,000.

At Union Park, the site of the Pitchfork Music Festival and other events at Randolph Street and Ogden Avenue, another playground will receive ADA-compliant upgrades. The $700,000 project would also include a rubberized surface, new lighting and perimeter fencing, the Mayor’s office said.

At Metcalf Park, at 42nd and State streets in the Grand Boulevard neighborhood, $125,000 in TIF assistance would go for the installation of a new lighting system. The lights would provide security for users and help illuminate the tennis courts.

Metcalf Park was the subject of grim headlines this past August, when Darius Brown, 13, was shot on a basketball court there and died soon afterward. Five people have been charged in connection to the murder, but the Chicago Reader reported in September that the popular basketball courts in Metcalf Park had been deserted ever since Darius’ slaying.

At Stanton Park, at 318 W. Scott St. in the old Cabrini-Green area, a new playground and tennis courts will be built through $3.5 million in Tax Increment Financing assistance, the Mayor’s office said.

The field house at Stanton Park will also be upgraded as part of the proposal, which would include $500,000 from the Chicago Park District.

“Each of these measures will go a long way in positively impacting the lives of neighborhood residents,” Mayor Emanuel said in a news release. “Chicago’s open spaces are a treasure, and these improvements will help ensure that Chicagoans around the city can enjoy them for years to come.”

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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