ROGERS PARK — Four neighborhood parks — Goldberg, Lazarus, Matanky and Paschen — are slated for new equipment under the Chicago Plays! program.
Ald. Joe Moore (49th) announced Tuesday the well-worn parks would receive new equipment, and the community would be invited to help design the new playgrounds.
Moore said he'd hold public meetings later this summer to decide on the designs. The alderman expects construction to begin next spring.
"I would like to see more engaged equipment, like seesaws," said Jeremy Antak, 37, who played with his daughter at Lazarus Playlot Park, 1257 W. Columbia Ave., on Tuesday.
He said he and his wife, who just had a newborn, visit the neighborhood parks nearly every day.
Chicago Plays!, a program administered by Friends of the Parks, aims to renovate 50 of the city's 523 playgrounds this year.
In order to qualify for the program, a park to be renovated needed 50 signatures from area residents who would benefit from a new playground and a letter of support from the local alderman.
Moore said that every park submitted for consideration in his ward was selected.
Tony Iniquez, president of the Touhy Park Advisory Council, has fought since 2005 to get a dilapidated playground at the park replaced.
It wasn't until residents voted for the playground during two participatory budgeting elections that it could be done, he said.
"The Chicago Park District and the alderman can see the community really wanted this playground — no matter what it was going to cost," Iniquez said.
He said he would have applied for the Chicago Plays! program — a more streamlined process — had it been available.
"It gets really easy to get frustrated, but you have to push that aside," he said. "You just have to keep plugging along."