Residents forming Gladstone Park Advisory Council, seek improvements for the park
by BRIAN NADIG
A covering for the basketball court, a garden and an outdoor concert are some of the initiatives which a group of residents may undertake as part of a new park advisory council at Gladstone Park, 5421 N. Menard Ave.
Resident Robert Simpson said that bylaws for the council are being created and that the council plans to meet at 6:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month. “We had 13 people show up and sign membership applications,” he said of the July 18 organizational meeting.
The Chicago Park District encourages the formation of councils to help promote park programming, facilitate park upgrades and give input on a park’s needs and services.
Having a council in place will help residents cut through the bureaucratic red tape in bringing community events and improvements to the park, as the park district will waive permit fees for council-sponsored events, Simpson said.
One of the council’s first agenda items could be organizing a “Ravinia in the park” event, with live entertainment and food, Simpson said. Several residents also are interested in the installation of a small garden at the far north of the park at Menard and Magnet avenues, he said.
The council also can serve as a mechanism to promote and gather support for funding proposals on the 45th Ward Participatory Budget ballot which would benefit the park, Simpson said. Alderman John Arena holds a community vote to determine how to spend most of the ward’s annual $1.32 million allocation of discretionary funds.
Residents are hopeful that a proposal to install a covering over the park’s basketball court will make the ballot this fall, Simpson said.
The estimated cost of the project would be about $50,000, including installation, and it is designed to allow for more activity space for campers during the rain, given the small size of the fieldhouse, Simpson said.
Meanwhile, a group of area residents reportedly are looking into the creation of a dog run at the Austin-Foster Playlot Park, 6020 W. Foster Ave.