We live in a country of 300 million points of view. However, the value to our community of a park can not be underestimated. Your community is in the process of rising up to shape the place that we live. A park if a very legitimate use of TIF funds and the EMC site is smack dab in the middle of our community. It should be our public square, our plaza, our open meeting site. For those of you, who post messages anonymously, shame on you. Come out of the shadows and stand up for what you believe. I am a member of the WEAR Board, and the WEAR Board does not always agree on issues, but what we do agree on is making our neighborhood a better place. Note, elections are coming up this fall, so feel free to run and participate.
The alderman deserves some credit for his stance so far in support of a park, but he has not proven yet that he is willing to fight for this open space yet. We ask that he truly put his weight and energy behind this effort.
The property is still in federal bankruptcy and may remain under the bankruptcy courts supervision for some time. We should all be concerned that the bankruptcy procedures will negatively affect our community’s interests in the resolution to the EMC site.
Those of you calling for a play lot, or a tree or two miss the entire point. Don’t take my word for it, go read the Trust for Public Lands Primer on The Economic Value of Public Parks. Link follows: http://www.tpl.org/tier3_cd.cfm?content_item_id=22879&folder_id=3208
Even a conservative estimate of the increased property value due to a public park will pay for a park. It might not raise as much money as a condo development or homes, but you don’t have the increased costs for public services either.
Yes, parks do largely serve the communities that they reside in, but they also serve the entire City of Chicago. Chicago is and should remain the city of parks. Community parks benefit society forever. They enhance the reputation of the community and the quality of life for all citizens. People who live miles away from West Edgewater Park will be able to stop in for a drink of water or read a book as they bike to or from the lake front.
One of the greatest challenges our society faces is the health of our children. There is an epidemic of obesity. Cramming more and more people into less and less space creating more densely populated neighborhoods. This only fills the city coffers in the short run. In the long run it erodes the value of the surrounding property, increasing the costs for police, fire and school specialists to help deal with under exercised children.
Our neighbors have loudly stated that they want a park. Not another play lot or a tree planted around a parking lot (green space). The specialists who study society say our community needs additional open space and there is no other space in our neighborhood that can reasonably use for this purpose. Senn Park works fine for the people North of Ridge and East of Clark/Ashland, but is impractical for the WEAR/WANT/ETNA. It is also a Basketball centered play lot tied to the high school and not a park.
Communities and cities find money for priorities. This is a priority, not to be confused with other priorities. It can help with storm water removal and will make our community a better place to live for generations.
Please join your fellow citizens in our quest, and remember the words of Margaret Meade: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”