21 community projects selected for $10 million in funding


Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that 21 proposed community improvement projects have been selected as semi-finalists for the Chicago Community Works challenge, a $10 million grant competition to support upgrades to public properties throughout Chicago.

“Ensuring that neighborhood investment remains a collaborative effort between our communities and City government remains a top priority of my administration,” Mayor Lightfoot stated. “The wide array of ideas we’ve received from this challenge reflects this commitment, and they will help guide and enrich our capital improvement plans for years to come.”

The proposed projects were selected from close to 500 ideas submitted this summer by community stakeholders for public parks, schools, libraries, city-owned lots, and other facilities.

“Officials from DPD, AIS, Parks, Libraries and CPS have reviewed these projects, and determined that all 21 semi-finalists are feasible and immediately actionable,” DPD Commissioner Maurice Cox said in a statement. “Public input will now be key in getting this list down to seven funded winners.”

Following public surveys and presentations that will begin later this month, seven final selections will be made, one for each of the city’s seven planning regions. Selected projects will receive up to $1.5 million in public funding to support construction.

The semi-finalists projects for each region are:


  • Haines Elementary School-Playground Upgrades, 247 W. 23rd Place (Armour Square)
  • King Branch Library-Children’s Area Improvements, 3436 S. King Drive (Douglas)
  • Skinner Park-Garden Improvements, 1331 W. Monroe St. (Near West Side)


  • Matthew Gallistel Language Academy-Playground Updates, 10347 S. Ewing Ave. (East Side)
  • Woodson Regional Library-Maker Space Makeover, 9525 S. Halsted St. (Washington Heights)
  • Park #581-Green Space Enhancements, 11625 S. Oakley Ave. (Morgan Park)


  • Nettelhorst School-Playground Renewal, 3252 N. Broadway (Lake View)
  • Sam Leone Beach Park-Nature Center Upgrades, 1222 W. Touhy Ave. (Rogers Park)
  • Warren Park-Multigenerational Recreation Enhancements, 6601 N. Western Ave. (West Ridge)


  • Volta Elementary School-Playground Updates, 4950 N. Avers Ave. (Albany Park)
  • Ronan Park-Multicultural Garden Enhancements, 2900 W. Lawrence Ave., (Albany Park)
  • Kelvyn Park-Field House Improvements, 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave. (Hermosa)


  • The Community Healing Garden-Open Space Updates, 7302 S. Dante Ave. (South Shore)
  • South Shore Cultural Center-Facility Improvements, 7059 S. South Shore Drive (South Shore)
  • Rainbow Beach-Racquet Court Updates, 3111 E. 77th St. (South Shore)


  • Claremont Academy-Playground Upgrades, 2300 W. 64th St. (Chicago Lawn)
  • McKinley Park-Garden and Skate Park Improvements, 3700 S. Damen Ave. (McKinley Park)
  • Archer Park-Ball Field Renovations, 4901 S. Kilbourne Ave. (Archer Heights)


  • LaSalle Elementary-Campus Improvements, 1148 N. Honore Ave. (West Town)
  • Dett Elementary- Garden Upgrades, 2131 W. Monroe St. (Near West Side)
  • Columbus Park-Open Space Renovations, 500 S. Central Ave. (Austin)

Semi-finalists were determined through a selection committee comprised of representatives from the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Public Library, the Department of Assets, Information, and Services, and the Office of the Mayor. The committee’s reviews were based on project viability, need, cost, impact, and other criteria.


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