Launched in 1997, the Campus Parks Program was a $50 million joint effort between the Public Building Commission, Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District to create new green spaces across the city.
The parks are meant to serve not only as a playground for children, but also as community meeting spaces that entire neighborhoods can enjoy.
“In addition to our neighborhood parks, schools serve as community centers,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent David Doig. “The Campus Park program presents an opportunity to improve upon the school grounds and create an enjoyable and useful environment even when class isn’t in session.”
The initiative was launched as a result of Mayor Daley’s vision to replace concrete and asphalt with green open spaces. The campus parks are anchored by local public schools and can include playgrounds, baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts and running tracks.
“This program is a great example of different city departments and agencies working together with the community to revitalize neighborhoods. These places serve as neighborhood anchors in the way a public school building ought to.”
- Mayor Richard M. Daley
“The more that we improve the learning environment at our schools, the more our kids will improve in the classroom,” said Chief Education Officer Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins. “Campus parks provide a safe area for children to spend their time and participate in activities during and after school.”
The city has built more than 110 campus parks throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods for a total of 260 acres of new parks and playgrounds at public schools, increasing the amount of open space and providing a safe, positive alternative for children after school where they can keep active and engaged in recreational activities.
Between 1989 and 2010, 1,516 acres of new public open space were added in Chicago.
Campus Park Features
Rubberized ground covering
Trash receptacles and compactors