About fifty parents and kids gathered Saturday afternoon to celebrate the opening of the new playlot in Sheil Park. The $500,000 new playlot is a result of three years of fundraising and organizing by the Sheil Park Advisory Council with funding assistance from the State of Illinois and the Chicago Cubs.
“We started three years ago, but I think that’s a pretty quick turn around time for projects like this,” said Jill Heise, president of the Sheil Park Advisory Board. According to Heise, the Board and community raised about $250,000 for the park.
“We’d love to build more [parks],” said 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney. ”We have a couple more places in West Lakeview where we’re looking at new parks.”
As the city tightens its budget Tunney is seeking new funding sources. “We’re working on public-private partnerships to create new parks. We’re working with Corelands and Neighborspace to help.”
Now that the park is open, the Sheil Park Advisory Board is planning to continue as a 501(c)3 organization and they are looking for volunteers to, “manage the web site, do event planning, like the Daddy-Daughter dance…gardening programs, that sort of thing.” says Heise. The new organization can be found at SheilPark.org.