Norwood Park Playground to Get Facelift

By Heather Cherone on June 6, 2013 4:16pm 

 The well-loved playground equipment at Norwood Park will be replaced with new equipment, courtesy of a new city program.
The well-loved playground equipment at Norwood Park will be replaced with new equipment, courtesy of a new city program.
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NORWOOD PARK — The well-loved playground equipment at Norwood Park will be replaced with new equipment, courtesy of a new city program.

"It is showing its age, and it's worn," Mike Emerson, a member of the park's advisory council, said of the playground equipment.

Norwood Park was won new equipment through the park district's Chicago Plays Playground Renovation initiative, which aims to replace 50 playgrounds a year during the next five years.

However, the playground at 5801 N. Natoma Ave. needs to be replaced because it is not accessible for children with special needs, many of whom come to the park to attend special programs, Emerson said.

"We want to accommodate them along side everyone else," Emerson said.

Norwood Park's playground is expected to be replaced this year, while the playground at Roberts Square Park in Jefferson Park will be replaced next spring.

Ald. Mary O'Connor (41st) called the new playground much needed, and praised the Norwood Park Youth Baseball Association for their work in applying for the grant.

The advisory council will get to pick between two options for equipment layouts, and the wood chips will be replaced with Fibar, a soft, artificial surface that is designed to reduce injuries. Construction is expected to take about six weeks.

Emerson, who has lived near the park for 10 years, said the advisory council formed about a year ago to do something to improve the condition of the baseball fields, which he said were a "wreck."

The fields were replanted with buffalograss, which is easier to maintain and needs less water, Emerson said.

There are also plans to renovate the track around the park, Emerson said.

"We're really excited," Emerson said. "Great things are happening."

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