Mayor Richard M. Daley today led community leaders and educators in a ribbon-cutting to open a new campus park at Burnham/Anthony Mathematics and Science Inclusive Academy, 1903 East 96th Street, on the Southeast Side.
“Campus parks are invaluable to the quality of life of a community because they provide a peaceful place for residents and families.,” Daley said. “Thanks to our campus parks program, we are creating green, open spaces with grass, trees and flowers and replacing concrete and asphalt.”
The new campus park, built by the Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC) for the Chicago Public Schools in a joint effort with the Chicago Park District, replaces broken pavement with a multi-purpose playing field and two fully equipped playgrounds with soft play surfaces.
“In addition to the right academic environment, kids need safe play areas,” said Arne Duncan, CPS chief executive officer. “Physical activity is just as important to a child’s growth and has a tremendous impact academically.”
“The Park District continuously seeks opportunities for new parks and green space,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent David Doig. “By helping to develop interactive parks on school property, we create an environment that serves as a community center when class is not in session.”
Kevin Gujral, PBC executive director, noted the landscaping brightens the area and gives it a warmer feeling. “We’ve added 74 trees, 391 shrubs and 1004 perennial plants,” Gujral said. “These plantings and improvements turn a schoolyard into a campus park.”
Additional amenities at the academy’s campus park include:
- Ornamental lighting
- Drinking fountain
- Bicycle rack
- Benches and ornamental trash receptacles
- Trash compactor to replace dumpsters
- Two new staff parking areas
- Drainage structures
- Four-foot ornamental fence around entire campus
The initiative was launched as a result of Mayor Daley’s vision to replace concrete and asphalt with green, and open spaces. The campus parks are anchored by local public schools and can include playgrounds, baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts and running tracks.