One of Three Chicago Parks Has the Chance to Receive $20,000 Through the Meet Me at the Park Campaign

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One of three Chicago parks has the chance to receive $20,000 through Meet Me At The Park Campaign

[Chicago, IL, April 4, 2017]– This Earth Month, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is collaborating with The Walt Disney Company, including Disney Citizenship, Disney|ABC Television Group and ESPN, to revitalize parks across the U.S. for the third year, including a park right here in Chicago.

Through Meet Me At The Park, an initiative that gives back to these places that shape so much of our lives, one of three local parks will receive a $20,000 grant and Chicago residents get to choose which one.

Our local parks make Chicago a better place to live. Parks are essential to our community’s health and wellbeing as they provide safe places to get active, enjoy nature, preserve the environment and bring people together. That’s why thru April 30 Chicago residents will have the opportunity to help one of three park projects receive $20,000 in grant funding to make improvements. The projects are:

  • The Welles Park Nature Play Space will serve as an open play space, full of hidden nooks, climbing challenges, buzzing wildlife and elements of fun. The area will also be utilized for nature programming for residents of all ages. You can vote for this project starting April 1 by texting [welles] to 35350.*
  • The Cornell Square Park Ballfield Amenities proposal will use the grant funds to purchase and install two dugout benches with concrete pads at the southwest ballfield in Cornell Square Park. These amenities will improve the ballfield experience for all users and prevent the accumulation of water puddles and muddy areas. You can vote for this project starting April 1 by texting [cornell] to 35350.*
  • The Youth Bike for Big Marsh project will provide bikes, helmets and maintenance equipment that will allow Chicago Park District youth to ride the trails located within minutes of southeast Chicago communities, and just 20 minutes from the Chicago Loop. You can vote for this project starting April 1 by texting [bigmarsh] to 35350.*

By visiting, park supporters can vote daily for their favorite park project. At the end of April, the park project with the most votes will receive grant funding. New this year, everyone who votes will be entered into a drawing for a tablet outfitted for the outdoors.

"We are grateful to The Walt Disney Company and the National Recreation and Park Association for enhancing the park experience for all of our patrons by providing assistance for improvements and supporting creative projects and programming like last year’s grant winner, the Prairie Mazes at the Garfield Park Conservatory," said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael P. Kelly.

“Supporting local parks is essential to the health and vitality of communities everywhere,” said Lori Robertson, NRPA Director of Conservation. “That’s why we are proud to collaborate with The Walt Disney Company to help fund critical park improvement projects in communities in need. We encourage everyone to join us in giving back to the places that shape so much of our lives by voting in this year’s Meet Me at the Park campaign.”

During April, a public service announcement (PSA) supporting the Meet Me at the Park campaign will be shared with audiences across Disney, including ABC Television Network, ABC-owned and affiliate stations, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, the ABC app and other digital platforms.

The PSA will also be available to view on the voting site at Additionally, Radio Disney will support the campaign with an on-air radio spot.

Last year, Chicago voted for the Prairie Mazes at Garfield Park Conservatory’s Child Wild Garden to win $20,000. With that funding, the community is now able to enjoy a 4,500 sq. ft. prairie maze in the Earth Exploration Zone, and a smaller 720 ft. garden in the Early Childhood Area at the Garfield Park Conservatory. These organic gardens are designed to capture children’s imaginations about the Tallgrass Prairie, as well as develop cooperation, gross motor, and problem-solving skills.

This year, resident votes will help improve another one of Chicago’s great parks. Nationally, more than $600,000 has been awarded to help fund local park improvement projects as part of the Meet Me At The Park campaign.  

This Earth Month, show how parks revitalize your community and vote to improve local parks right here in Chicago. Encourage your friends to vote too by taking a selfie in your favorite park and using the hashtags #MeetMeAtThePark, #Parkies and #BeInspired.

For more information and to vote, visit

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