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Canaryville Residents Form Taylor-Lauridsen Park Advisory Council

By Casey Cora | January 30, 2014 7:19am
 A volunteer group plans to boost activities at Taylor-Lauridsen Park.
A volunteer group plans to boost activities at Taylor-Lauridsen Park.
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Chicago Park District

CANARYVILLE — A group of neighborhood volunteers have banded together to restore Taylor-Lauridsen Park's advisory council.

"It's about getting people into the park. It’s a great facility with private rooms for workout classes and arts and crafts. What other kind of programs are out there? How do we keep it going and flourishing and meet the needs of neighborhood?" said Janet McCormick, a longtime Canaryville resident who's active with CAPS and the Canaryville Improvement Association.

Made up of volunteers, park advisory councils help support local parks through recommendations made to park supervisors and Chicago Park District brass.

McCormick said the facilities at the park, 704 W. 42nd St., and its programs are already "well-used" by residents and sports teams from the local grammar schools. The focus now, she said, is determining what else can be done there. 

To start, the group — including president Katie Gagen, vice-president Carole Hillgamyer and treasurer Sam Rivera — will embark on "objective needs assessment" to get a handle on the neighborhood's priorities.

The group is looking to enhance the upcoming Easter egg hunt that's thrown each year by the park district. Beyond that, McCormick said they hope to tackle the issue of "lots of wasted nature space that’s unfortunately not attractive and brings rodents" and explore more programming options.

It's the neighborhood's second recent attempt at forming the council. An earlier effort fizzled in 2012 after interest waned, but the group's new leadership is looking to gain momentum by getting more people involved.

The group will meet at the park, still known to many in the neighborhood as Boyce Park, at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. The meetings are public.