PAC Corner  Volunteer Advocacy Councils Advocate for Parks  

 

Our Local Parks 

Beverly/Morgan Park is home to 13 Chicago Park District-owned parks and playlots that serve as gathering and recreation spaces for neighbors of all ages.  

From playgrounds, baseball fields, tennis courts, and swimming pools, to art classes, community events, and performance spaces, our parks provide facilities and programming that match a variety of interests, and support many of our community organizations.  

Why Form a PAC? 

The condition of the buildings and facilities that make up neighborhood parks is a concern for many residents. Historical buildings starting to show their age, lack of specific programming or facilities, or playground equipment that is outdated or in disrepair. The Chicago Park District (CPD) receives such requests and concerns across all of its 570 parks. In order to respond, CPD encourages residents to form Park Advisory Councils (PACs).   

PACs are groups of neighbors who come together as volunteers to create a more efficient way for communities to advocate for and represent their parks. PACs communicate with CPD on matters relating to their parks and increase community awareness of CPD projects. PACs allow for communities to better utilize CPD programs and facilities and they serve as a vehicle through which park information can be shared.  

What Do PACs Do? 

PACS advocate for improvements at local parks and assist in locating alternate funding sources to enhance park facilities. PACs also serve as a voice for their park when CPD seeks input about services to provide, park needs, problems, and accomplishments that impact the operation of that park.  

In September, BAPA held a meeting for the local PACs, and representatives from Ridge, Cosme and Park 581 PACs attended and reported on their activities and goals.  

Local PACs 

RIDGE PARK 

Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr., originally constructed in 1913, is one of the city’s most widely used parks because of the variety of programming. The Ridge Park Advisory Council was formed to help get the approval for and funds needed to repair the historical building’s roof, and, shortly after, some of the building’s windows. Recently, CPD approved installation of an elevator at Ridge Park after the PAC advocated for a need to provide access to the second floor for park patrons who cannot use the stairs. 

Meetings: 3rd Monday of the month, Vanderpoel Gallery 

Contact: ridgeparkadvisorycouncil@gmail.com 

PARK 581 

Park 581, 11625 S, Oakley Ave., was owned by the Chicago Board of Education until January 2016 when the land was transferred to the Chicago Park District. The space rezoned from RS – residential to POS – parks and open space, protecting it from being built on for any use other than public use as a park. The Park 581 PAC has been busy! They conducted a community survey about capital improvements for the park (and now they are working on raising funds), affiliated with the Chicago Parks Foundation, investigated a community garden project, began the process for naming Park 581 (their choice in The Prairie Park since so many neighbors affectionately call the space The Prairie), and strengthened relationships with community organizations including BAPA and the 22nd District Police CAPS office.   

Meetings: 2nd Tuesday of the month, Kennedy Park 

Contact: park581.oakley@gmail.com 

COSME PARK 

The PAC for Cosme Park, 9201 S. Longwood Dr., was recently formed and members tend to the park’s maintenance with clean-ups such as the Pitch in for the Parks event coming up on Sat., Oct. 22., 9 to 11 a.m. Neighborhood residents who use Cosme Park are encouraged to take the PAC’s community survey and learn more about the PAC’s initiatives and how to become a donor and or volunteer at linktr.ee/cosmeparkadvisorycouncil . Residents can also keep up the Cosme Park news and PAC events on social media at CosmeParkAdvisoryCouncil.  

Meetings:  

Contact: CosmeParkAdvisoryCouncil@gmail.com  

Other local parks with PACs are Kennedy Park, 11320 S. Western, kennedyparkpac@gmail.com, and a joint PAC for Beverly Park, 2460 W. 102nd Pl. and Munroe Park, 2617 W, 105th St. 

Forming a PAC 

Would you like to form a PAC for one of the local parks listed below that are not yet served by these important advocates? BAPA can help guide you through the process. Contact BAPA Executive Director Mary Jo Viero, mjviero@bapa.org. 

Graver Park, 1518 W. 102nd Pl. 

Barnard Park, 10431 S. Longwood Dr. 

Blackwelder Park, 11500 S. Homewood Ave. 

Hurley Park, 1901 W. 100th St. 

Crescent Park, 2200 W. 108th Pl. 

Morgan Park Sports Center, 11505 S. Western 

King Lockhart Park, 10609 S. Western 

 

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