City Breaks Grounds on Boundless Playground

The Chicago Park District has broken ground to build the citys first public Boundless Playground at Columbus Park, a barrier-free playground designed for children with special needs.

In June 2005, Parkways Foundation presented the Chicago Park District with a check to cover the $675,000 cost of the new playground, which is scheduled to be complete this June 2006. Columbus Park, located at 500 S. Central Ave., is considered a living masterpiece of renowned landscape architect and conservationist Jens Jensen.

The Park District is grateful to Parkways Foundation for taking on the challenge of raising funds for this unique playground that meets the needs of all children, says Timothy J. Mitchell, the general superintendent of the Chicago Park District.

The Parkways Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the Chicago Park District, has been working since 2003 to raise funds for the playground in the 135-acre Columbus Park.

The Chicago Park District is working with Boundless Playgrounds to build the new playground that is designed remove the barriers that limit the exploration and development of children with special needs. The developmentally advantageous playground will meet the needs of children of all abilitiesincluding children with physical, developmental and sensory disabilitiesso that they can play together. The park will also accommodate parents with special needs who want to enjoy the park with their children.

Parkways is excited to fund this valuable project, says Laura Barnett Sawchyn, president of Parkways. This playground will give children with special needs an environment without any of the obstacles they face at traditional playgrounds, and allow Chicago to continue to be a leader in public park projects. Parkways Foundation was founded in 1994 to enhance and rehabilitate the parks through philanthropic means. Parkways has aided the Chicago Park District in raising millions of dollars toward historic preservation and restoration, programming initiatives and environmental enrichment. Among its many contributions, Parkways raised $250,000 to restore the Humboldt Park Boathouse in 2003 and $250,000 to improve portions of the Independence Park Field House in 2002.

The public is welcome to donate to Parkways Foundation. Please call 312.742.4808 for more information.