We are a grassroots organization consisting of residents living in the neighborhoods surrounding the blighted Edgewater Medical Center (EMC). EMC was closed ten years ago. We think ten years is long enough. During these ten years the abandoned building has drawn crime and drug activity, and hindered retail activity across the street on both Ashland and Clark. The building has reduced the aesthetic and financial value of our community. We want to change this situation by having EMC torn down and turned into a park.
Edgewater currently has no park area. Our children have no outdoor places to play. We have no place for friends and neighbors to gather. Instead, we have a cemetery and a tiny play lot next to the Jewel-Osco on the busy street of Ashland. The closest park is a thirty minute walk.
Parks are an amenity to a community. By providing a graceful gateway and resting place, parks effectively increase traffic to surrounding businesses, while offering space for area resident children to play. Parks provide a visual break from crowded urban development, creating a peaceful moment. Green areas increase the value of property, which in turn provides greater value for the city via property taxes.
We love our community! It is why we live here and stay here. We love it because it is diverse and tolerant of a variety of lifestyles and people. Many of us are raising our children in this neighborhood, and we would like them to have a place to play other than on the street or on the busy sidewalk on a block lined by dumpsters. We strongly believe that a park will improve the quality of life for all residents. We also believe that it will be an amenity enjoyed by many who will also frequent the nearby businesses. We are an urban village without a town square. An urban park is not only a solution to the current eye sore, it is an amenity every neighborhood wants. We are no different.