GOLD COAST — Proposals for improving Washington Square Park include more benches, temporary food carts and perhaps a dog drinking fountain, officials say.
Those possibilities were included in a strategic plan for future park changes presented at a public meeting earlier this week by the Washington Square Park Advisory Council’s Placemaking Committee.
The proposal will be presented to the Chicago Park District for further revision, said Nina Winston, chair of the council’s Landscape and Placemaking committees.
Also on the table for possible improvements in the park are additional lighting, moving garbage receptacles away from the entryways and placing historical information about the park, created in 1842, into the pavement, according to a copy of the 22-page final draft obtained by DNAinfo.
Fundraising strategies may include developing a naming rights plan and facilitating a bench donation program. The proposed bench donation program, which is subject to the Chicago Park District’s approval, would solicit donations on more than 40 new benches to the park in exchange for a bronze memorial plaque. That measure alone could bring approximately $140,000 in revenue for the council, the final draft shows.
About 15 people attended the Sept. 14 meeting, including consultant Alison Zehr and landscape architect Chris Gent. The goal is have the plan reviewed, approved by the Washington Square Park council and completed by the end of the year, Winston said.
“I think everybody who loves the park should get involved in the park and come to the council meetings, because the council meetings are a wonderful opportunity to learn what’s happening,” Winston said.