The Friends of Filbert Playlot Park got a big shot in the arm last week as Ald. Eugene Schulter committed $100,000 of 2010 Aldermanic menu money to the park’s renovation.
“Ald. Schulter is happy to work with the residents of Northcenter neighborhood to improve the playlot,” said Schulter spokesman Robert Rawls.
The playlot group, nestled next to the Brown Line at 1822 W. Larchmont, has been campaigning since August to raise $350,000 for a complete park revamp.
Typically, the Chicago Park District only pays for a third of park renovations, says Friends of Filbert Playlot president Emily Klingensmith, so Schulter’s commitment puts the park almost two-thirds of the way to completing their goal.
Friends of Filbert Playlot has a “family-friendly” fundraiser scheduled Sunday, Jan. 30 at Family Grounds Café with two play times (9 – 10:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.) and a special guest, Laura Doherty, a long-time Wiggleworms teacher at the Old Town School of Folk Music.
Klingensmith says as of last week over $20,000 has been raised by the community, including a $5,000 gifts from Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Northcenter Chamber of Commerce and the Sunny Durham Family Foundation.
“We are hopeful that this commitment from the Alderman will increase our chances of getting Filbert renovated this year,” said Kligensmith.
The Park District has not approved their 2011 budget, but Kligensmith said, “We are very encouraged by all of the feedback we are receiving from the Chicago Park District, Friends of the Parks and Alderman Schulter’s office.”
Although there is no official design for the park, Friends of Filbert Playlot has prepared a schematic, preliminary plan in order to estimate the cost of a new playground.