HUMBOLDT PARK — A rehabbed Kells Park opened Tuesday afternoon, one of 103 city parks built or overhauled this year.
Ald. William Burnett (27th), Chicago Park District Superintendent Mike Kelly and Amy Rule, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s wife, attended the unveiling of the Humboldt Park site established in 1924.
Chicago Plays! was launched in 2013 and aims to rebuild, repair and/or refurbish 325 parks across the city over the next five years. Thirty-three more parks are slated for work before the end of 2014, according to Kelly.
Community members, including robed representatives from Mission of Our Lady of the Angles church and CeaseFire volunteers, cut a ribbon on the park as local school kids trickled into the park Tuesday afternoon.
The “community park” has been the site of youth baseball games, stepping parties, music stages, Easter egg hunts and Halloween celebrations, Burnett told the crowd, noting that Humboldt Park residents have envisioned a safe walkway leading from the nearby library to the park in future plans.
“A lot of people want to see our neighborhood come alive — to boost it up,” said Sister Jaime Mitchell. “This is essential for our community.”
The nearly 2-acre park was named for George D. Kells, an alderman of the surrounding 28th ward from 1931 to 1951 and a strong proponent of civil rights, according to the Park District. Over the years, a number of improvements to the site have been made, including basketball courts in 1979 and a new soft surface playground in the 1990s.
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