A Fine and Performing Arts Magnet Cluster School
Our New ‘Green Not Gray’ Playground!

Our New ‘Green Not Gray’ Playground!

Thanks to the Ravenswood teachers, staff, students, parents and community members, including the Amundsen High pep band and When Pigs Fly’s tasty food, for making our playground grand opening a big success. What a wonderful way to “break in” our new playground!

This playground came together because an amazing group of Ravenswood parents and friends – Michael Waechter, Tiffany and John Evans, Cornelia Grumman, Adam Walsh and Doug Green – created a plan to upgrade our old asphalt playground into a green playground, using their expertise to design the space, write grants and secure funding.

Our Green Not Gray playground highlights what makes Ravenswood Elementary and its community so special: Through support from the community, Gov. Pat Quinn, the Illinois EPA, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, State Sen. Heather Steans, State Rep. Greg Harris, Ald. Ameya Pawar, Barrett & Porto and Sy Taxman (developers of Ravenswood Station), one student’s idea for a “Green Not Gray” playground became a reality.

Thank you to the parents and surrounding community who responded to our fund-raising appeals, neighbors who put up with the construction mess and noise, and teachers and students for their design ideas. This playground is a wonderful example of what can happen when an entire community rallies around its neighborhood school – everyone had a hand in making this amazing transformation happen!

Over the next few weeks, crews will continue to put the final touches on the playground and south campus, including lighting, a final finish on the track and permeable pavers. The new playground features more shade, two new play structures, a custom climbing feature, an outdoor classroom, a sport court, a synthetic turf field and more. Just as important, it features the latest best practices in stormwater management, making it truly green!

Funding for the new playground at Ravenswood school was provided in large part by an Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant written by parent and community volunteers in partnership with CPS and Grow47. The exterior campus upgrade project – the new playground, the parkway landscaping along Paulina street, and a marquee and public sculpture project (still underway) – includes financial, volunteer and in-kind support from a very long list of partners and friends. It’s becoming a reality because of our strom school community and active, engaged neighbors.

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