For over a decade our community has lived with the unsightliness of a triangular piece of property across Blue Island Ave. from our 012th District police station. A few years ago, not only was the triangular shaped piece of property a mess, but the planted grounds, and parkways of the new 012th District police station were also a weed infested mess while its parking lot was literally sinking into the ground in spots, and wrought iron parking lot entrance/exit gates that had never even been installed sitting rusting on the ground…..until C4C intervened.
The station issues were due to a long-unresolved subcontractor issue from when this new station was built. C4C’s approach was to first get the situation at the 012th District station addressed, and then begin immediately working on the triangular shaped piece of property which had a longer time horizon.
Walking by this part of our community now is a totally different experience.
The above slide show is evidence of what happens when you take 100 volunteers, $200,000 of in-kind donations, and enlist the City of Chicago Commission on Chicago Landmarks, and land scape architect Ernie Wong, a Principal of Site Design Group, to design a small, public amenity.
The transformation of Triangle Lot along Chicago’s Blue Island Corridor goes from vacant mess to vibrant “Insta Park, ” and a community amenity in six hours!
Big thanks to: Ernie Wong, and Site Design (also responsible for the beautiful Ping Tom Park in Chinatown, the spectacular Mary Bartelme Park in the West Loop, and future beauty coming to the Jane Byrne Interchange redesign, and redevelopment in which C4C was deeply engaged); the Student Conservation Association; Speedy Gonzalez Landscaping; The Home Depot; and Timberland for helping us see through this One-Day Urban Greening Initiative. Alderman Solis’s office helped where it could.
To add to the inspiration, University Commons resident, Jevon Covington, and his super-chill, green-feathered friend, Nigel, saw the volunteers working from their condo across the street, and decided they wanted to get in on the volunteer action. And yes, we’re speaking about a man’s parrot as though he were human. If you’ve met Nigel you’d understand why.
A few weeks later, a small fence was installed, along with seeding and mulching. HUGE THANKS to UC residents Ed Renner, Milo Plavec, Ashley Keefe, Isa Morales and her son Aiert, Cory Tanzer and his son Theo, MJ Lawrence and Yassine Taib for your help. Children are never too young to be shown how wonderful volunteering is.
And now the latest news! After 5 years of C4C advocating for public art to be put in this area it will finally happen. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events met in mid November with District 12 Commander Steven Chung and C4C’s Director of Community Outreach Nancy Plax. Officially the “Plaza” will now have the art installation process started. Stay tuned for more information as available. We are very excited.