Pollinator garden among winning projects in participatory budget
Pollinator gardens and sidewalk repairs were among the winning projects in the first-ever participatory budget vote in the 39th Ward.
Alderman Samantha Nugent recently held a community vote to determine how to spend $500,000 of the ward’s $1.32 million discretionary 2020 budget, whose funds must be used for infrastructure improvements. About 1,200 ward residents voted.
The following five proposals are being funded:
Pollinator learning gardens at Sauganash and Volta schools. The gardens are intended to teach students about the importance of honey bees, preservation, biology and sustainable agriculture.
Green space at Volta. The school’s concrete playground will be transformed into a green area for fitness and other activities to promote better student health.
Sidewalk repairs at Eugene Field Park. Several concrete slabs outside park entrances are crumbling and will be replaced.
Sidewalk repairs at Peterson School. Currently the sidewalk area along Christina Avenue floods with several inches of water, and measures will be taken to address the issue.
Repair of the sidewalk collapse at Lowell and Granville avenues at the pedestrian underpass.The underpass is in disrepair with several tripping hazards.
Not all aldermen hold participatory budget votes, but in most wards a significant amount of the funds are used for side-street resurfacing. Nugent has said that not all of the 39th Ward’s discretionary funds were put up for a vote in order to have sufficient funding left for street repairs.