NORTH PARK — North Park residents will soon get to enjoy a nature space for children at Gompers Park, easier access to the area with more trails and other repairs and street upgrades as part of the 39th Ward’s participatory budget process.
Eight Northwest Side projects will be funded through $500,000 from Ald. Samantha Nugent’s office, money each ward receives from the city budget. Since 2019, Nugent has allowed neighbors to vote on how that money is spent.
More than 1,000 residents voted for the projects, said Erika Wozniak, Nugent’s chief of staff.
“The winning projects from this cycle are exciting and will be incredible neighborhood improvements,” Nugent said. “Each project illustrates what can happen when community members identify a need and work for a solution.”
The nature place center at Gompers Park, 4222 W. Foster Ave., will cost $50,000, while a trail connecting the park to Eugene Field Park, 5100 N. Ridgeway Ave., across Pulaski Road will cost $70,000. The connection will have striping, signs and signal lights.
Hollywood Park, 3315 W. Peterson Ave., and Eugene Field Park will get tennis court rehabs costing $65,000.
The North Park Village Nature Center will get a new roof for its equipment shed at 5801 N. Pulaski Road.
The two most expensive projects that made the cut are playground improvements to Solomon Elementary School at 6206 N. Hamlin Ave. in North Park and upgrades to the Forest Glen Avenue sidewalk. They will cost $100,000 each.
The Forest Glen sidewalk will be converted into a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists starting at the Forest Glen Woods parking lot so people can safely travel along the street and easily connect to the North Branch Trail, the Forest Preserve trails and the Metra Station.
Two other streets in the ward will also see beautification projects. Lawrence Avenue between Cicero Avenue and Pulaski Road will receive hardscaping improvements like repairs to traffic bollards and pillars around community identifiers. Four black bike racks will also be added as part of the $50,000 project. The city plans to replace the metal fences at the 21 bump-out gardens along the street, according to the proposal.
Bryn Mawr Avenue between Bernard Street and Kedzie Avenue will receive decorative community identifiers and more bike racks to increase foot traffic to the North Park area for $50,000.
Nugent said planning will begin in March and construction for some projects could begin this summer.
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