After Two Years of Fundraising, New Filbert Playlot Park Makes Debut

By Sam Charles | Monday, December 17, 2012

Children, eager to play on the new equipment at the Filbert Playlot Park, watch as Emily Klingensmith cuts the ceremonial ribbon. Credit: Sam Charles

The opening of the new Filbert Playlot Park, 1822 W. Larchmont Ave., was more than enough motivation for dozens of parents and their children to brave the cold, rainy afternoon on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Emily Klingensmith, president of Friends of Filbert Playlot Park, Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) and former 47th Ward Alderman Gene Schulter welcomed those who gathered with kind words for the people who helped make the new park a reality.

“Government can not do everything by itself,” said Schulter, who also played a role in securing funds for the park while still in office. “It needs the people behind it as well. For our parks, our schools, our community, I’d like to say a big ‘Thank you’ for really reaching out.”

Klingensmith and others started fundraising efforts to renovate the park in summer 2010.

Posted near the entrance to the park is a sign, detailing who were some of the major donors to the project. Benefactors include Ald. Pawar, the Sunny Durham Family Foundation, Guaranteed Rate, Gametime Play Court Company, The Northcenter Chamber of Commerce and Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

Families gathered outside the park’s gate more than 20 minutes before the ribbon cutting ceremony, and those who were there early enough were treated to a brief visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The specifics of the new park were crafted by the Hitchcock Design Group and include new swings, a jungle gym and several other types of equipment for children to climb and explore. Designers also included a shaded bench area for parents to sit and watch their children.

Prior to the renovation, the previous incarnation of Filbert Park featured decrepit and sometimes dangerous equipment that could have posed a threat to the health and safety of children playing there.

For a full video of the ribbon cutting ceremony and a view into the the new park, click here.

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